This cake, called piegus in Polish, is beautifully easy, beautifully delicious and beautifully Polish. Polish poppy seed cake is one of my favourites, and one that I have yet to fail at making – much to my dismay I am an otherwise atrocious baker, but that only reaffirms how wonderfully simple this recipe is.

Polish poppy seed cake: INGREDIENTS

200g sugar
200g butter
130g flour
130g poppy seeds
5 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

Polish poppy seed cake: METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160⁰C.
  2. Melt the butter and let it cool.
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the egg whites in the fridge.
  4. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, butter and poppy seeds.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the above-described mixture.
  6. Grease a cake tin with butter and pour the mixture in.
  7. Bake in the oven at 160⁰C until cake rises, then increase the temperature to 180⁰C. Baking time is usually 45-60 minutes.

Polish poppy seed cake is delicious on its own, but you can also sprinkle it with icing sugar or make a chocolate sauce to go on top together with some almond flakes. You can also add dried fruit such as raisins into the mixture. If you want to make the poppy seeds less crunchy, before mixing them with the egg yolks place them in a cup and cover with boiling water (just) for a few minutes.

Michel Roux’s chocolate sauce

200g high-quality dark chocolate
175ml milk
2 tbsp double cream
30g caster sugar
30g butter, diced


  1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until very smooth. Take off the heat.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan, stir with a whisk and bring to the boil.
  3. Still stirring with the whisk, pour the boiling milk mixture onto the melted chocolate, then return the mixture to the pan and let it bubble over the heat for a few seconds, stirring continuously.
  4. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter, a little at a time, to give a smooth sauce.