This is probably my favorite cake. I had my first Poppyseed Cake Moment over the one Elge made many, many years ago for my 22rd birthday: a light, white-cake matrix so chock-full of poppyseeds that it was blue. An orange-lemon soak, but otherwise no topping. Sliced fresh oranges all around the edge of the cake. With the first bite, the intriguing flavor of poppyseeds captivated my tastebuds. The cake carried their distinctive, elusive aroma beautifully, better than any muffin, bagel, or sweet salad dressing. She used the “Poppyseed Custard Cake Cockaigne” recipe on page 689 of the 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking, only without the custard filling. I began to experiment with different poppyseed cake recipes—once I made one containing walnuts, walnut oil, and orange zest—it had a lush, Eastern-European cold-weather richness.