Hungarian poppyseed and walnut cake

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 300g poppy seeds
  • 100g walnuts
  • 200g cake crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 7 eggs, separated
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 200g apricot jam


1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Grind the poppy seeds and walnuts in a blender until they thicken and begin to stick to one another. Mix with the cake crumbs and coffee powder, then set aside.
2 Combine the butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, until smooth.
3 Whisk the egg whites to soft peak with the cream of tartar, adding the caster sugar in four stages. Fold half the meringue into the butter mixture, then alternate the remaining meringue with the poppy seed mixture. To finish, fold in the lemon juice. Spoon into a lined 24cm cake tin, then bake for 40 minutes, until firm to touch.
4 Invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Spoon the jam into a small saucepan and set over a medium heat. Brush over the cooled cake, then cool until set. Slice with a warm knife, then serve.