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Marbled poppy seed & semolina cake

Marbled poppy seed & semolina cake

Oia Hercules says; "This cake is light and not too sweet. Crushing the poppy seads teases out the flavour, and a touch of vanilla and lemon complement their earthy, nutty character. In Ukraine we eat it plain, perhaps with coffee for breakfast, but my British husband Joe insists on serving some kind of cream alongside which transforms it into more of a pudding."

4 out of 5 stars(4) Rate this recipe
  • Serves10
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook1 hr 10 mins
  • Total time1 hr 35 mins
  • Plusresting + cooling

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 500ml baked milk kefir or natural kefir yogurt
  • 200g semolina
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g poppy seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • 160g plain flour
  • Crème fraîche or whipped cream, to serve (optional)
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. Grease and line a 20cm round springform cake tin. In a large bowl, mix the kefir (or natural kefir yogurt), semolina and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda together and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly toast the poppy seeds, then tip into a mortar (or a coffee or spice grinder) and use a pestle to grind them as finely as possible. You may need to do this in batches.

  2. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, melted butter, vanilla, lemon zest and remaining 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda to the kefir mixture. Mix together, then fold in the flour. Transfer ¼ of this mixture to a small bowl and fold in the ground poppy seeds. Tip ½ the remaining batter into the prepared tin, then dot over ½ the poppy seed mixture. Use a palette knife to swirl it into the mixture to create a marbled effect. Repeat with the remaining batters on top.

  3. Bake for 55 minutes - 1 hour 10 minutes, covering with foil after 40 minutes, until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,286kJ/ 548kcals



Saturated Fat












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