Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

October 24, 2010

Apple Poppy Seed Quark Coffee Cake

Do you like apples? Personaly, I love them and because I have a huge lot of them I just had to use them because they're so delicious. The first idea was apple strudel, then apple pie and then, well, what about something new? Oh, yes, how about a sheet cake?

This sheet cake is made from a very thin layer of yeast dough (or acording to the consistency - batter) and lots and lots of three different types of filling. One is with poppy seeds and milk, the second is with apples, of course, and the last one is traditional quark cheese filling. All these types of fillings are quite typical for Czech's taste buds but usually not in one cake :) Anyway, it's very tasty and quite easy to do and if cut into small squares it could be a great idea for a small tasty snack!
As for the apples, it doesn't matter what kind you choose to use but the sweeter and softer the better.

135g all-purpose flour, sifted + more
2 eggs
120g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast
65ml milk, lukewarm
100g butter, softened + more
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Apple Filling:
500g apples, peeled and cores removed
1 tsp cinnamon
caster sugar (depends on your taste)
Poppy Seed Filling:
200g ground poppy seeds
250ml milk
60g caster sugar (can be more)
1 tsp butter
Quark Cheese Filling:
250g soft quark cheese
2 eggs
60g caster sugar
50g butter
50g sugar
50g all-purpose flour

Batter: At first you have to make the leaven - mix fresh yeast with 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp flour and milk together using a spoon. Set aside in a warm place (about 30C) for about 15 minutes (it has to get foamy and be doubled in size). In another bowl mix the rest of flour and lemon zest. Then add eggs, the rest of sugar, butter and the leaven and mix with wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. The texture should be "pancake-y" (do not add any additional flour - it'll become doughy during baking). Sprinkle the batter with flour, cover with tea towel and place into a warm place (about 30C) and let raise for about 30 minutes (or until doubled in size). Spread evenly onto a greased and floured sheet pan (aprox. 40x30cm). Now using a tablespoon put the fillings on the batter - start with 1 tbsp of poppy seed filling, then 1 tbsp of quark cheese filling and then 1 tbsp of apple filling and then againg poppy seed filling and so on until the whole batter is covored. It might seem that the amount of all fillings is huge, but don't worry, it'll turn out great (don't let any leftover of fillings - use it all). Sprinkle with crumble and place into NOT preheated oven. Bake to 190C until the batter is golden and tooth pick comes out clean.
Apple Filling: Place halved apples in a saucepan and add water (so the apples are completely "covered" in water). Let boil 2 1/2 minutes covered. Reduce heat and let simmer until soft (about 3 - 4 minutes). Remove from heat, add sugar and cinnamon and mix well (the consistency should be puree-like).
Poppy Seed Filling: Mix ground poppy seeds with milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir constantly until milk incorporates into poppy seeds and the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and butter. Let cool.
Quark Cheese Filling: In a bowl mix together quark, eggs and sugar.
Crumble: Using your hands, combine all ingredients until small lumps form.
Although it seems to be pretty simple and boring, it's really pretty good becuase there's not much of a dough and there's a plenty of filling. My favourite one is the apple filling - so soft and moist, but the others are very tasty, too! It's better to make the fillings a little bit sweeter because after being baked it's less sweet than before. Oh and next week you're going to find out what this month's DB challange is (or was?)!


  1. This looks great! I am not familiar with quark cheese...what is it?

  2. ~*Wende*~: Quark cheese is a type of fresh cheese typical for Europe. It is soft, white and un-aged cheese, similar to some types of fromage frais. Quark has much lower fat content (about the same as yoghurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added. The taste is a little bit sour (similar to sour cream). Low fat cream cheese works well as a substitution (but you can find recipes to make your own quark cheese, though it's a little bit time consuming).

  3. What a interesting cake! It sounds delicious! I remember seeing quark at a cheese factory! I could sub the cream cheese as you mentioned above. I think this would be popular!

  4. poppy seed are good on anything! Thank you for the recipe and the English version of your blog!

  5. Marcellina: Thank you :) Yes, I think with cream cheese it'll be just a little bit more creamy :)

    Hilary: You're welcome :) And I totally agree with you!

  6. It's funny for me to come across a recipe with Quark cheese. I recently bought some because I wanted to make *soft* sugar cookies, and most recipes call for sour cream -I thought Quark would be a good substitute. In any case, I turned out not to have all of the necessary ingredients at home, and since that cheese can go bad easily, we have started using it as spread on sandwiches.

    Unlike Quark, poppy seeds are a little bit harder to find where I live. Would you recommend any other ingredient for that layer?

  7. Bundle Wade: I'm really surprised that you can buy Quark (at least I have read many times that it's almost impossible), anyway I'm really glad that it is possible and I agree with you that it's a tasty spread (I usually mix itt with fresh herbs and so on).
    As for the poppy seeds, I think you could use ground nuts - walnuts or pecans. The method is a bit different: firstly, boil milk with sugar (in this case you may need more sugar), then add nuts and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and let cool. If the filling is too runny, stir in ground ladyfingers or some similar cookies (the amount is from none to 100g, it depends on the thickness of the filling, but the consistency should be similar to pastry cream). You can even add some rum to give a nice aroma. I hope this helps :)

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