Sunday, 22 June 2014

Strawberry & Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake

Strawberry and Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake Strawberry and Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake Photo

What attracts one to a certain food?
The smell, the appearance, the texture? The answers can be as different as it gets. For me one main player in this field is the story behind the dish. Plain prosciutto is great, but what about the one were you know every single step of the process because your relatives make it at home? Or the comfort food which always comes on the table when you're sick and makes you feel better than any medicine could?

The good, the bad, the pain and the joy. Dishes are so versatile and I can't get enough of getting to know the stories behind each of them. One of my favourite food stories or memories is the one of strawberry cake. When staying at my grandparents' in the summer we would always go to pick some strawberries to make a cake. It actually was always more a kind of imperfectly perfect crust, topped with juicy strawberries and to much gelantine, but we don't want to ruin childhood memories so let's stay at the story how much this treat was and is loved and enjoyed on the terrace while watching the birds in the garden.

While I grew older and got attracted to the different processes of homemade food (and the stories...) another tradition was born. Now we wouldn't only pick some strawberries for the cake but increase the amount to a few kilogramms instead to drive them home about 200km and cook up some jam in the middle of the night - every summer! And yes, we do have strawberries around here too, but that would be only half as fun and as memorizable as our "jam-tradition".
Upside Down Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

So yesterday the kitchen was turned into a jam factory once again and now there are 4 kgs of homemade strawberry jam sitting on the shelf, waiting to be given to neighbours, friends and family to be enjoyed and maybe even to create new food-memories.

But I think you're here for the cake! Because when you have strawberries, mixing them with whipped cream is one of the first thoughts you should get! But because Sunday= Cake Day (another food memory) I had the chance to go a little creative again. Choosing poppy seeds and a lovely butter-yogurt cake, turning this upside down, smearing it with the whipped cream and then adding the fresh strawberries as the protagonists on top was what happened today. And oh boy, it was GOOD!!!

The distinct poppy seed flavour  acts as a contrast to the sweet strawberries and the dense texture of this layer charms the light cake as well as the fresh whipped cream. Summer on your plate, easy preparation and impressive rustic appearance - I think this will be a new food story to tell and tradition to continue for the years to come!
Strawberry & Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake
- makes one 8 inch cake, about 12 pieces
For the Poppy Seed Layer:
- 200g ground Poppy Seeds
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp beaten egg

For the cake:
- 50g Butter
- 130g Sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten minus 2 Tbsp for the Poppy Seed layer
- 150g natural yogurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 250g all purpose flour
- 1 package baking powder

For the topping:
- 250 ml whipping cream
- 200g fresh strawberries, washed and cut into size of choice

1. Grease an 8 inch cake pan. Melt the 2 Tbsp of butter and spread on the bottom. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp of Poppy Seeds. Mix the remaining Poppy Seeds with the sour cream, flour, 2 Tbsp beaten egg from the cake and the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Spread on the bottom.
2. Now preheat your oven to 375°F/175°C. Make the cake: beat the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until well combined.
3. Add in the eggs and the yogurt - continue beating until just combined. Briefly stir in the flour, baking powder and salt to receive a just combined batter.
4. Pour on top of the poppy seed layer and bake for 35-45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Invert onto a clean plate and leave it to cool for an additional 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile prepare the topping: whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the cooled cake (once ready to serve) and sprinkle with the strawberries. Serve and enjoy!


  1. I love the poppy seed layer! The contrasting colors are gorgeous. And what a unique dessert :)

  2. Would you consider adding the weight of the baking powder to the recipe, please? I don't use baking powder in a packet and would love to try this recipe. Thanks!

    1. Of course - a packet equals 10g of baking powder :)