Poppy Seed Cake (Bobovka)

May 2, 2010

This is one of my husband’s favorites cakes.  His mother used to make this a lot.  He loves poppy seed.

I asked his sister for this recipe for years but she never gave it to me.  I actually ended up getting this from his aunt.  I think the reason that his sister never shared it is because of his mother.  She was notorious for giving out a recipe and leaving out an ingredient.  Something that you may not have noticed until you tasted it.  That way you could tell her that when you made the dish it just wasn’t as good as hers.  She did it to her own daughter.  A lot.  So I guess it would only be natural for my SIL to make me work for any recipe I requested.  I worked for it all right, right around her to someone else. 

And now I’m sharing with you.

Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (Bobovka)

  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/3 C butter
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 can poppy seed filling
  • powdered sugar

Combine the milk, sugar and butter in a sauce pan.  Scald the milk mixture.  Set aside for about 40 minutes.  Add the yeast.  Let it set for a minute.  Add the eggs, salt, vanilla and flour.  Blend well.  The dough will be very tacky.  Place the dough mixture in a greased bowl.  Cover with a damp towel and let rest for about an hour.  After it has rested, I put it in the fridge overnight so that it will be easier to roll.

Generously flour your counter, place dough on counter and knead slightly.  Roll dough to about a 12×18 rectangle.  Spread filling over the dough.  Roll up dough like a jelly roll and pinch ends.  Place in a greased tube pan.   Let rest for about an hour and a half, covered . Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for about 35-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and while warm, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.


  1. Karen, this looks really really good! Do you think this is something that takes a bit of practice or would a newbie have any luck trying it for the first time? I loved your story about the recipe sharing from your mother-in-law and leaving out an ingredient. So glad you finally found a willing family member to share it with you!

  2. Allison-
    What do you mean by newbie? You seem to have the chops to handle yeast, which to me is always the hardest part. No practice necessary, but I like to work with yeast when it isn’t too humid and that’s my preference. I have no doubt you can make this, and can’t wait to hear about the results.

    I’ve heard stories about my MIL all my married life and it’s those types of stories that make me glad I never met her. As it is, I bite my lip quite a bit when dealing with my SIL who my husband says resembles his mother in quite a few ways. Although, she’s never left out an ingredient with a recipe, she just doesn’t share! Plus I LOVE to share a recipe and can’t wrap my brain around someone so insecure that they would leave out a recipe so they can hear “mine just didn’t taste as good as when you made it.”


  3. […] is a cake from my husband’s childhood, bobovka.  It’s a moist cake made with yeast and poppy seed filling.   This is a great cake warm […]

    • Good Morning,
      I’m thinking of trying this this AM but am a little confused. If the milk cools for 40 min.; how does the yeast proof in the cooled off milk?
      Thanks. Your blog is fun!

      • Elizabeth-
        The milk is scalded, so I allow it to cool off for about 40 minutes. That way it isn’t too hot and allows the yeast to do its thing. I’m hoping that makes sense. Just make sure the milk is no warmer than about 110 degrees…

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