maine attraction — poppyseed cake w passion-fruit curd

by hungryrabbit on September 9, 2011

 Poppyseed Cake w Passion-Fruit Curd

For the last four years, M and I have planned the same summer getaway to Ogunquit, Maine. It’s our road trip that takes us to a place of beach relaxation and good food opportunities. It ranges from fishermen who cook up their morning haul in tiny takeout places to creative chefs pursuing serious cuisine. We revisit the same B&B and catch up on the lives of the owners and the gossip about town.

Thanks to Lon and Jessica‘s recommendations, we discovered a new restaurant—Fisherman’s Catch, a bustling lobster shack sitting by itself in a salt marsh in Wells, one town north of Ogunquit. Fisherman’s Catch serves fresh lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fried mounds of lightly battered clams, haddock, and smelts. This lobster shack is definitely worth the wait.

As for a new discovery at an old favorite, Five-O‘s Blueberry Martini captures the essence of a Maine summer. In prior years, we ordered other cocktails from the chatty bartenders and avoided what seemed to be just a tourist novelty. This year I succumbed, which turned out to be the right move. We now have a seasonal treat to add to the list of Ogunquit annual traditions.

Our last vacation meal in Ogunquit has always been at 98 Provence, which occupies a rustic country house. The kitchen’s use of local ingredients for traditional and creative dishes was impressive once again. For this year’s dessert, we ordered Passion-fruit Pot de Creme. The vibrant tartness of passion-fruit balanced perfectly with the sweet cream. Normally, I wouldn’t associate Provence with passion fruit, but it worked.

Upon our return to New York, I couldn’t get that sensation of passion fruit out of my head. So I made this mini Poppyseed Cake with Passion-fruit Curd. The citrus in the cake radiates summer, while the poppyseed gives a playful crunch to the tender cake. The passion-fruit curd recalls 98 Provence—plus, the rich curd could rival the creaminess of that dessert. I sliced each cake layer in half so I could maximize the application of the curd. You can simply leave it as is and serve extra curd on the side.

Poppyseed Cake w Passion-fruit Curd

yield 4 servings


1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pans
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pans
2 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk room temperature
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Passion-fruit Curd, recipe to follow
Passion-fruit Glaze, recipe to follow


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees; place oven rack in middle position. Butter two 6-by-2-inch round cake pans; line each with a circle of parchment paper. Butter paper, and dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Combine orange and lime zest with sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Run on medium-low speed  until fully combined, about 1 minute. It should resemble semi-wet sand.

3. Add butter to sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Turn speed to medium-low and drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beat until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla until combined.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Alternately add reserved flour mixture and milk, a little of each at a time, beginning and ending with flour mixture until incorporated. Fold in poppy seeds with rubber spatula unit levelly distributed.

5. Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake 20 minutes, rotate pans from front to back. Continue to bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes, and set on racks, top-side up. Cool completely.

6. Remove parchment from bottom of each layer. Slice each layer horizontally to make two even layers. Place one layer on the serving platter. Spread 1/4 cup passion-fruit curd over the top. Place second cake layer on top, and spread another 1/4 cup of curd over top. Continue the remaining layers, do not spread curd on top layer. Chill cake, loosely covered with plastic wrap, 1 hour.

Passion-fruit Curd

yield about 2 cups
– you will not use up all of the curd in this recipe


1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup passion-fruit puree
5 large eggs yolks
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes.


1. Combine sugar, passion-fruit puree, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter, piece by piece, until melted. Cool, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed, up to 4 days.

Passion-fruit Glaze

yield: 1-1/2 cups


1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons passion-fruit puree
1 tablespoon orange juice, freshly squeezed


1. Sift sugar into a  medium bowl. Mix passion-fruit puree and orange juice until combined. Slowly drizzle fruit mixture into sugar, whisk until combined and smooth; mixture should be slightly thick.

2. Pour glaze slowly over the top of the cake and let it run down the side to form streaks. Let glaze set for 30 minute before serving.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

cathy September 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

Maybe the cake won’t use all the curd, but I’ll bet I’d eat the rest of it with a SPOON before long.

Kathryn September 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

I love passion fruit and this cake looks wonderfully light and flavourful.

Sharon September 9, 2011 at 8:26 am

Gorgeous. I’m a big fan of lemon curd with french toast but next time I’ll be attempting your passion fruit curd instead… I’m a sucker for passion fruit in any form.

Deb @ knitstamatic September 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

Love the tradition that you and M have created with your trips to Maine. it’s a beautiful thing when you can bring a little bit of it back home, especially in the form of this lovely cake.

foodwanderings September 9, 2011 at 9:11 am

OMG I saw your twitpic yesterday and I was jolly when I saw poppyseeds. One of our favorites is lemon poppyseed with lemon glaze but love what you did here pairing with passion fruit. Love how your trips inspire your creations Wabbit!

Urvashee September 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

Gorgeous cake and lovely flavor pairings!

Joan Nova September 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I’ve traveled so many places but never to Maine. Your description of the annual trip makes it sound all so idyllic and leaves me wanting…a trip to Maine and a piece of that delicious cake!

Soma September 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This is something which will make me lick off the drip… no shame. Love the crunch of the poppy seeds needless to say the delicious curd. lovely soft photographs..makes me think of a calm summery day.

sweetsugarbelle September 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

So gorgeous I DON’T HAVE WORDS!!!

Margaret September 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

What a beautiful cake, wish I have a piece right now! I love passion fruit so can’t wait to try this at home.

Julia September 10, 2011 at 7:48 am

I love reading about your summer trip to Maine! Poppy Seed and Passion Fruit, oh my gooooooodness, yum!

Simone September 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This looks delicious Ken. I have an enormous jar of poppyseed leftover from the one time I needed them so I’m always looking for ways to use them and well, popping them in this gorgeous cake seems like the answer!

Jess September 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

Oh my gosh! This cake is absolutely gorgeous. It feels new and fresh but at the same instant almost old and rustic? Maybe it’s just me thinking of a bee hive but I love it!

Sasha @ The Procrastobaker September 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Just a beautiful post in every aspect :)

Jekka September 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

This looks lovely! Can you recommend a Passion Fruit Puree? I live in Alaska and will probably have to special order it so I want to make sure I get the good stuff!

Jamie September 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Ken, this is stunning and the tangy curd is just so tantilizing and making my tastebuds go all zingy. Gorgeous cake! The texture looks perfect and the layering and styling is beautiful! Absolutely perfect dessert and gorgeous pics!

hungryrabbit September 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hi Jekka, thanks for visiting my blog. I purchased Les Vergers Boiron ( from a store in New York City. If you can’t find that in Alaska, Perfect Puree ( is a good option. Goya also makes a passion-fruit puree. I hope you can get your hands on the puree and make this cake. Best, Ken

Russell van Kraayenburg September 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

My gosh, this cake looks scrumptious. So gooey, perfect and scrumptious! Your annual vacation up to maine sounds like such a fun trip too.

Jekka September 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Awesome, thanks for those resources Ken! I can’t wait to make this. :)

Ishay September 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Hey Ken!
Jelle adores passion fruit, so I’m hiding this recipe from him :)
Your description of the crunch of the poppy seed against the tender sponge and drenched in that curd, has got me mightily hungry at 2 am here. Lovely!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Oh my goodness… This looks absolutely incredible, Ken! I cannot wait to try that passion fruit curd.

Lora ~ cakeduchess September 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

mamma mia che torta! I LOVE any dessert with poppy seeds. This cake has my head spinning, my talented friend.

g. October 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

i am SUCH a passion-fruit fan! love it on mostly anything — and your cake?? well, i could look at it (and eat it) all day long!! :)

Meeta October 19, 2011 at 4:56 am

I am trying to play catch with all I am missing on this space. I so adore passion fruit and this cake is screaming at you to make one for me too :o) Ken – I just love what you are doing with your photography. Lovely images!

Dede July 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Your cake looks delicious.
How do I make “passionfruit puree”… just throw some in the blender, seeds & all? I have 12-14 per day dropping from the vine and am anxious to use them before they’re no good.

hungryrabbit July 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Hi Dede, I envy your bounty of passion fruit. I’ve only used frozen puree, but I believe you cut the passion fruit in half and squeeze it over a strainer to separate the juice from the seed. -Ken

Mubaraka July 8, 2014 at 8:53 am


I loved your post and definitely cant wait to try this cake. However, could you please suggest a substitute for the poppy seeds as stores are banned from selling them in our town. Also, if i omit them how different would the cake taste?
Thankyou :)

hungryrabbit July 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi Mubaraka, The poppy seeds adds a bit of crunch to the cake. Omitting them will not alter the flavor of the cake. Though I haven’t tried it, you can substitute them with sesame seeds. Happy Baking! -Ken

Ellen September 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm

HI! This cake looks fabulous. Would it work if I doubled the recipe & put it in an 8 or 9 inch baking pan?

hungryrabbit September 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

Hi Ellen, you can most certainly double the recipe, you’ll need to extend the baking time slightly. Happy Baking! -Ken

Norma E. Loepp June 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm

When they ask for passion fruit puree, do they mean to strain out the seeds?

hungryrabbit June 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

Hi Norma, you do want to strain out the seeds to get the puree. You can use the seeds later as garnish. Happy Baking! -Ken

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

Copyright © 2015 Hungry Rabbit NYC
Site by Kinetic Webs