“Lemon Poppy Seed Cake” – Christina Campos

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“Lemon Poppy Seed Cake” – Christina Campos
“Lemon Poppy Seed Cake” – Christina Campos

An hour later, when they opened the oven, the smell of freshly baked bread wafted from it, and this smell slowly caressed the soul of our heroine. She closed her eyes and breathed in the scent, filling her with nostalgia. The scent of her childhood. The scent of her home.

From Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

The perfect recipe for cold winter days

Winter is the time for heartwarming stories to help us forget the sub-zero temperatures and keep the comfort of past holidays. That's why we invite you on an enchanting walk around the island of Mallorca with a story of two sisters, an unexpected inheritance and a cake everyone is talking about.

About the book


In a small village inland on the island of Mallorca, Anna and Marina meet after fifteen years of separation to sell the mill and bakery they inherited from a complete stranger.

The two are sisters, but their destinies are radically different. Anna enjoys her life of luxury, but is married to a man she no longer loves. Marina works in Third World countries as an associate of Doctors Without Borders.

Unexpectedly, Marina decides to stay on the island to find out who the woman is who left them such a generous legacy. In her search for answers, she will uncover old family secrets, learn to bake bread, and reconnect with her sister. Together, maybe they will be able to make up for the lost years and revive Khan Molly Bakery.

But will they discover the secret ingredient to everyone's favorite lemon poppy seed cake?

About the author

Cristina Campos was born in Barcelona. He graduated in humanities in Barcelona and then studied in Heidelberg, Germany, where he also worked as the coordinator of the International Film Festival. After returning to Spain, he started working in the film industry and has been organizing and conducting castings for films and television series for ten years. " Lemon Poppy Seed Cake" is her first novel, which quickly gained her worldwide fame.

3 interesting facts about Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1. The book will be made into a movie

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake is the first Spanish novel selected to be presented at the Berlinale International Film Festival, which considers books suitable for adaptation. Film rights have already been purchased, Cristina Campos herself is working on the script, and the production will be directed by the multi-award winning Benito Zambrano.

2. Can Molly Bakery really exists

Although the story of the two sisters in the novel is fictional, the main setting, the Can Molly bakery, really exists. Its real name is Panaderia pasteleria Ca'n Molinas and it is located in Valdemosa, Mallorca. The bakery was established back in 1920, and during its almost hundred-year history, it has won the recognition of both critics and its numerous visitors.

3. Everyone can make the legendary cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Required products:

the grated peel of 2 lemons

30 g poppy seeds

350 g wholemeal flour

200 g brown sugar

250 ml full-fat fresh milk

200 g butter

3 eggs

1 packet yeast powder

1 tsp s alt

You can replace fresh milk with sour and dry yeast with baking powder. As well as other products at your discretion.

To get the superb pastry that Cristina Campos talks about, however, you need one secret ingredient. Who is she - you will find out in the book "Lemon Poppy Seed Cake"!


Another sharp blow with the mallet. Niebla barked. Marina opened her eyes. He looked at his wristwatch. He smiled. He knew who it was. He quickly pulled on his jeans and ran down the stairs.

– Good morning, Catalina – Marina said, opening the door.

Catalina stroked the bitch who started jumping on her.

– Good morning – the woman cleared her throat slightly. - Look, honey… I came because it's a real misfortune… We have to buy bread from the supermarket, and it tastes like grass.

– Glad you came, Catalina. Welcome, feel at home.

– Call me Cathy and now you know the names of half of Majorca. Here, half the women are called Catalina, and half the men are called Tomeu. We Majorcans are hardworking but not very original, she said in Majorcan as she cleaned her sweaty glasses in the loose black skirt that covered her knees. – Do you understand Mallorcan?

– Yes, I understand. I haven't been to the island in a long time. If I don't understand some words, I will ask you to translate them for me. Do not worry. Talk to me calmly in Majorcan.

– I could do with practicing my Spanish…we'll speak both.

Catalina entered the office slowly and calmly, as she did everything in life. She carried a basket from which she took kvass, which she had prepared at her home. He looked at the shisha sacks scattered on the floor. Enough to feed the whole village through the winter. He reached for the apron that was hanging next to the sacks. He looked at the new owner of the bakery. He had to ask for permission, it was no longer Maria Dolores's.

– Please Cathy, do what you have to do.

Catalina washed her hands. He ordered Niebla not to enter the room and put on his apron.

– It's strange that I'm here without Lola, she said to herself.

– Did you call her Lola?

– Maria Dolores didn't like her name. Neither does Dolores. Neither Dolo… She said she was like Maria Agony or Maria Suffering… Yes, here in Valdemosa we all called her Lola since we were little.

Catalina took her friend Lola's apron. He looked at her for a moment with nostalgia.

– I already said I'm looking for a helper. Today I will only bake a hundred loaves of bread.

– I can help you until you find someone, Marina suggested.

Catalina looked at her in surprise.

– Knead bread?

– Yes. My grandmother taught me to make bread as a child. We were more like playing, but maybe I remember something.

Catalina was silent for a moment, staring at the new owner.

– Done bueno. - Marina looked in disbelief. - Well, good. Yes, she said, taking Lola's apron and handing it to her.

Marina put on the apron and tied it on her back. Catalina put on a bonnet that she took out of her basket, and Marina braided her hair.

– So, you already know – sheisha flour, water, kvass, no s alt, no sugar and we let it rise overnight until it doubles in volume. For the bread today we will use dry yeast and let it rise for an hour and a half.

Catalina opened the furnace. It was deep, vaulted, three meters long and about a meter wide.

– Bring me the facials if you like – asked Catalina.

Marina raised her eyebrows in bewilderment. He looked around the room, looking for something to materialize this unfamiliar Mallorcan word.

– Feixini… isn’t that what it’s called in Spanish? - said Catalina, pointing to the bundles of oak logs and pine and almond tree branches.

Marina picked up the laces from the ground, without explaining to this nice woman that this word does not exist in the Spanish language, and handed them to her. Catalina put the almond tree and pine branches into the vaulted furnace first, then the oak logs. He took a matchbox out of the basket. He lit a match and threw it inside. The almond branches burst into flames instantly, the oak tree seconds later. The flame rose to the ceiling. Marina looked at the baker. There was something magical in there, in that ancient and deep wood oven. Magical for Marina, of course, who was seeing it for the first time, but for one who had worked all her life with this century-old furnace, it was everyday life.

Catalina closed the door hermetically.

He opened a sack of flour and as he floured the wooden table he explained to her how he and Maria Dolores had worked together for almost fifty years. In the summer they prepared three hundred pieces of black bread, and in the winter - six hundred. At the end of the week – the traditional sweet potato coke and the s alty coke with vegetables. The baker continued to talk about the vendors who came twice a year, and as she listened Marina remembered that Gabriel had mentioned to her about a lemon poppy seed cake. She remembered him because of the words of praise he used to describe the taste of this pastry… However, Catalina did not mention anything about him.

Into an old dough kneading machine, flour, water, pre-leavened dough and yeast were slowly poured.

– The bakeries in Palma sell kneading machines that prepare the dough in five minutes. Everything is done quickly now, but it's not the same. It doesn't have the flavor it should have… when it's done gradually, everything gets better.

– Did he say in the village that the bakery will open again? – asked Marina.

– Of course, otherwise why would I come here with foggy glasses and freezing cold at five in the morning, not knowing that I will sell all the bread. I went to Tomeu's bar yesterday… Do you know Tomeu's bar?

– The one on the road?

– Yes, this one. If you want to know something, you go there. They will tell you everything there - who got divorced, who went broke, who gave up… In Valdemosa you can't hide anything - a small village, a big hell… Yesterday I went to have a coffee and talked to Josefa, his wife, so everyone will learn. People here are very bored and jerga massa. Gossip, as the Spanish say. There is a lot of talk about you.

– Right? And what is being said?

– Ugh! Rumor has it that you are the daughter of a German multi-millionaire sausage maker who bought you the mill to keep you occupied. They can't understand how you learned Spanish so well… Stupid people, she said to herself. – I said I don't know anything. The whole village will come to buy bread, firstly because the white bread from the supermarket is not fit to eat, and secondly because they are dying of curiosity and want to know who you are.

They took out the dough. Catalina took a knife and cut off a small piece. He taught her to knead with her fists, first folding the dough, then lifting it a few inches off the table and letting it fall. He had to repeat this movement several times. Next was kneading by hand for a few minutes, then he had to shape it into a perfect ball. Catalina cut a hundred pieces while Marina kneaded with her clumsy hands. Catalina's plump hands were dexterous and quick.

They covered the dough with cotton towels and let it rest.

They opened the oven, the temperature was between two hundred and fifty and two hundred and seventy degrees. The pine, the almond, and the oak had turned to ashes and embers.

Catalina inserted a metal shovel with a long handle and scooped out the ashes and embers. He took another shovel, just as long but wooden, and floured it. Marina put the loaves on the shovel as Catalina told her. The first series. The second. The third. The fourth. The fifth…

An hour later, when they opened the oven, the smell of freshly baked bread wafted from it, and this smell slowly caressed the soul of our heroine. She closed her eyes and breathed in the scent, filling her with nostalgia. The scent of her childhood. The scent of her home.

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