Holiday Gifts 2019: Mohntorte

November 21, 2019

The classic, very dense Austrian poppyseed cake.

Know someone who thinks there’s nothing like Christmas in Austria? You couldn’t possibly find a better gift than this evocative cake. All it takes is a single bite, and you’re walking down snow-sprinkled streets in Vienna.

If the only poppyseeds you know are the ones that top bagels, you’re in for a surprise: gathered into a group the seeds have a slightly bitter, nutty, almost stony and decidedly intense flavor. This is a very grown-up cake; each bite is intense.

The Vienna Cookie Company makes the cakes in two styles. One is covered with marzipan and lemon zest. The Christmas variation comes robed in chocolate hiding a layer of apricot jam just underneath.

The cakes are created by baker Heidi Reigler, who says this was a favorite when she was growing up in Austria. It’s easy to understand why. The one I ordered vanished in an instant.

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