Coconut and Poppy Seed Cake

We all know how colorful and pretty the Poppy Flowers are! But few of us know about poppy seeds, the tiny nutty-tasting, bluegray seeds inside capsules of the flowers. They are generally used to flavor breads, cakes, rolls, and cookies in European and Middle Eastern cooking. In Turkey, they are often ground and used in desserts. In India, the seeds are ground and used to thicken sauces. The seeds are also used in noodle, fish, and vegetable dishes in Jewish, German, and Slavic cooking. I for one, had my first poppy seed exposure on a tasty coffee cake in a cafe, and I liked the crunch it provided in every bite. I have had it in bagels too, but I prefer the pairing with desserts:) They also lend a wonderful aroma to baked goodies. So I tried making this very simple yet rich-looking cake flavored with vanilla, shredded coconut and poppy seeds. I think the combination works very well, and this Coconut-Poppy Seed Cake can serve to be a very light dessert cake, particularly to be savored with your tea or coffee.

Poppy seeds are derivatives of plants from which opium is extracted. Although the amount of opiates in poppy seeds is not enough to produce a narcotic effect in cooking or consumption, some people say that one could test positive for narcotics after consuming 4 poppy seed bagels!! So don't get too carried away by how much seeds you use for your cake! We don't want you to get drugged:) just a few teaspoons that add the crunch factor and aroma shuld be enough:)

1/2-3/4 cup poppy seeds (If you haven't tasted them before, start with less)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cups sugar (add more to your taste after batter is ready)
4 eggs - whites and yolks separated
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tspn vanilla
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt

In a small sauce pan cook poppy seeds with honey and 1/4 cup water for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow them to cool. Some people add the poppy seeds dry, but I think soaking this way helps extract their flavor.

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cooled poppy seed mixture to this, and beat in the egg yolks(not the whites)one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, blend in sour cream and vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the poppy seed mixture to the dry mixture, beating well. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Once it's completely cooled, you can slice into wedges and serve with tea or coffee, or as a light dessert with low-fat whip cream. You can also wrap the cake in double-layered plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for upto a month. Make sure to bring to room temperature before serving.

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remya said... poppy seeds in cakes....sounds delicious...vanilla ,coconut in it...

Coffee & Vanilla said...

I make often poppy seed cake, muffins, I even add them to my Weetabix with coconut milk but I have never tried coconut and poppy seed in a cake... I must try your recipe one day, sounds delicious.

Rina said...

Mansi, Love this combo.. Have them in stock in my pantry. So when time permits I would love to try it. Good idea..

Brilynn said...

This looks perfectly moist and delicious!

heather said...

This looks very pretty and so inviting Mansi! I thik the poppy seeds with coconut is a winning combination:)


Jane said...

wow, a cake that can get you a little high is what always works for me:)

nice one!! will try this next time, as it looks simple enough too:)


Superchef said...

i got exposed to poppy seeds only recently... i wont say im a big fan of it....but teh crunchiness it gives to cakes..

Flanboyant Eats said...

i must try this. i eat a really good poppy seed berry salad.. the dressing really kicks it up. thanks for sharing this... tea? hmmm. i'll have to experiment with that too.

Aparna said...

I like poppy seed cake but never thought of making it. Will do it now.

Happy cook said...

I mist admit I hardly use poppy seeds except when i make rolls then i sprinkle over them.
Cake look so good with poppy seeds.
You do come up with such good ideas

Archana said...

This looks perfectly moist and delicious! I like to call it middle eastern. I have very similar one, but different propotions and a little but of this and that :). Will try yours soon. I have a party coming up :).

I must say, do you make desserts and exotic foods regulary for family and home or is it a business. I am always waiting for occasions.

DK said...

never used poppy seeds in cakes! though i have used the combo of coconut and poppy seeds in normal cooking! this went to my draft :)

Sagari said...

havent used poppy seeds till now your cake looks beautifullllll mansi

DEEPA said...

Your cake looks awesome mansi ....Must try cake ...I have bookmarked it ...

Asha said...

That is so beautiful, I was thinking of baking that too and then settled for Rum Raisin bake!;D

Have a great weekend Mansi!:)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I went to college in PA Dutch country and the bakers in the campus cafeteria often put poppy seeds in cake. It weirded me out at first (I generally considered them as something you only sprinkle on bagels and rolls)but once I tried the cakes, I was hooked. I am intrigued by the idea of mixing them with coconut. I usually think of mixing them with lemon.

Just be careful. Remember what happened to Elaine on "Seinfeld" after eating a daily poppyseed bagel. Let's hope we don't have to take any drug tests after we eat this. ;-)

nicisme said...

Hi there, this looks like a cake that is full of flavour - I really like poppy seeds too!
You have a lovely blog Mansi and I'm going to have a wonderful time going through your recipes!

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks so much for your spectacular feedback people:) I too made this for the first time and got hooked! but then, anything goes well generally with coconut, right:)

bittersweetblog said...

How creative! Poppy seeds are definitely an under-utilized ingredient, rarely appearing without lemon or on top of bagels. This sounds like a great new combination of flavors!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Why don't I ever bake with poppy seeds? They're so pretty as your cake clearly illustrates. I love how moist it looks too. Delicious!

glamah16 said...

This looks perfect for this cold Chicago weather with coffee. Thanks for the kind words on my blog.

Kribha said...

I love poppy seed muffins. I think it would taste a little similar to that. The picture looks gorgeous.

Suzana said...

Wow! That's a very cool poppy cake recipe - I'm crazy about poppy seeds and always look forward fro new recipes. Sounds delicious!

Naomi Devlin said...

Great tip about soaking the poppy seeds. going to try the recipe with coconut flour at the weekend, yum!
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