Vanilla & poppy seed swirl cake

Vanilla & poppy seed swirl cake

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 40 mins plus 3 hrs proving and overnight chilling

More effort

Serves 10

This clever rolled dough gives this bundt cake a lovely swirled finish. Serve as a special occasion breakfast, or with coffee

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal506
  • fat35g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre1g
  • protein11g
  • salt1g
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    For the dough

    • 400g '00' or sponge flour



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 7g sachet or 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
    • 50g golden caster sugar
    • 100ml milk, warmed



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 150g butter (from a 250g pack - use the rest in the filling), really soft but not melting or greasy



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    For the poppy seed filling

    • 100g flaked almond
    • 140g poppy seed
    • 100g butter (save 1 tbsp for greasing)



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 4 tbsp clear honey

    For the vanilla glaze

    • 85g icing sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract


    1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, milk, eggs and ½ tsp salt in a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix for 5 mins, or tip into a large bowl and mix with your hands for 10 mins – the dough should look quite sticky at this stage. Add the butter, bit by bit, mixing after every addition, until it is all fully incorporated. Mix for a few more mins until smooth. Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl, cover with a sheet of oiled cling film and leave to rise for 3 hrs at room temperature (somewhere cool, otherwise the butter in the dough will start to melt), then transfer to the fridge and leave overnight (you can use the dough straight away but the flavour will not be as good).

    2. Tip the almonds into a large frying pan and toast for a few mins until starting to brown, then add the poppy seeds and toast for a few mins more until aromatic. Leave to cool completely.

    3. Tip the cooled seeds and nuts into a food processor with the butter, vanilla and honey, and whizz to a smooth paste.

    4. If using dough from the fridge, remove at least 3 hrs (or until it reaches room temperature) before using. Generously grease a large Bundt tin with butter (ours has a 2.5-litre capacity). Tip the dough onto your work surface and gently knead to knock out the air bubbles. Roll the dough to a rectangle, roughly 35 x 45cm, and spread the poppy seed butter all over the surface. Starting from one of the long sides, roll the dough up tightly. With the seam side facing up, place the dough into the Bundt tin in a ring shape, tucking one end into the other. Cover the tin with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 30-40 mins, or until it fills roughly ¾ of the tin. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

    5. Uncover and bake for 35 mins until golden brown. Meanwhile, for the glaze, mix the icing sugar and vanilla with 2 tbsp water. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and brush all over with the vanilla glaze – keep layering it on until it is all used up. Cool for 10 mins before serving.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    10th May, 2020
    I followed this recipe to the letter and it was absolutely worth it! Although you need time and good planning, the recipe itself is not difficult. The resulting cake is so yummy, really nice texture and not overly sweet which is pleasant for a change. I think it would be easy to change the filling to suit your tastes... maybe chocolate spread and nuts or maybe something like cinnamon sugar with raisins? I have sliced some of the cake and frozen it so we’ll see how that goes!
    16th Nov, 2015
    Made this with Chocolate spread and nuts instead of Vanilla and Poppy seed, worked really well. yummy
    10th May, 2020
    Ooh, I just commented above thinking chocolate spread and nuts might work well. Great to hear it was a success!
    karampour54's picture
    23rd Jun, 2014
    I baked this cake I enjoyed that very much and shared it with my friends. Thanx BBC GOOD FOOD!
    7th Feb, 2014
    This recipe was involved - it took two days on and off. But it was worth every second. The brioche-like result with the aromatic poppyseed filling was so moreish, it was gone within a day. Don't be daunted, give it a try - you will love it. Naughty but unbelievably nice.
    19th Nov, 2013
    I made this to the letter of the recipe and I must say it turned out exactly like the photo - the first time this has happened to me! However it gave me some anxious moments. All went according to plan until I had put the filling in and rolled it up, but once it was in the tin, it didn't seem to rise at all. I left it for about 2 hours but could see no difference. I thought that somehow the yeast must have died overnight in the fridge, but after all that effort I decided to bake it anyway, although I wasn't expecting much. And blow me down it rose to twice the size in the oven, and looks and tastes lovely, very continental. And as others have said, it's huge, so lucky that you can freeze it. It's a fiddle to make, but in a nice way, and you do have a spectacular cake at the end of it.
    5th Nov, 2013
    I found this mixture to be a bit too sticky and had to add a little extra flour .The cake has a delicious flavour , and texture a like a cross between a brioche and a Danish pastry. I added about 5 chopped up soft eating apricots to the filling which gave it a nice tang! I do think if I make this cake again I will reduce the amount of poppy seed in the filling . I didn't bother with the icing glaze I we were desperate to try it . It really is a very big cake , great for sharing!
    14th Oct, 2013
    This makes a very big cake , 20 serves at least! A bit disappointing, with a bland filling. Would add peels or raisins if I bake another one.
    13th Oct, 2013
    Carefully followed the instructions but the dough came out way too sticky. Added 50g flour last minute and that fixed the problem. The filling was amazing!
    10th Oct, 2013
    I am not keen on almonds, what do we think would work well instead - hazelnuts maybe?


    22nd Mar, 2016
    Can anyone clarify - I'm assuming the recipe intends 00 flour without any raising agent, rather than sponge flour that is usually self-raising? Could someone who's made it successfully feed back on what they used? Thanks!
    goodfoodteam's picture
    20th May, 2016
    Yes you are correct. A fine flour without raising agent is best here as yeast is used as the raising agent in this recipe.
    10th Oct, 2013
    Can I freeze this cake?
    12th Oct, 2013
    Yes you can x
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