Poppyseed Refrigerator Torte

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Recipe origins are slippery things, aren’t they? When reader Cynthia J. asked us to find a Chicago Tribune recipe for a Poppyseed Refrigerator Torte from 1967 that her grandma used to make, we complied. That torte was credited to a woman in Cudahy, WI. But more recently, we came across a very-similar recipe that won a blue-ribbon in the Wisconsin State Fair in 1963.  Whomever gets the credit, the light and airy result is delicious.

Makes one, nine-inch torte

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp plain gelatin
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped


Combine crumbs, sugar, pecans and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a buttered 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; cool. Dissolve gelatin in cold water. mix sugar, salt, poppy seeds, and cornstarch in saucepan. Gradually blend in milk; cook and stir over medium heat untiil smooth and thick. Blend a small amount of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; add to hot mixture and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, stirring. Add softened gelatin; stir to dissolve. Blend in vanilla. Chill until mixture begins to thicken. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff. Fold egg whites into gelatin mixture; pour in spring form pan. Refrigerate several hours or, overnight. Serve topped with whipped cream.

2 thoughts on “Poppyseed Refrigerator Torte

  1. Would just like to Thank You!!! I have been looking for a recipe that my mom use to make for me every year for my Birthday. She unexpectedly past away a year ago and I have searched all her recipes and had no luck. So put in Poppy Seed Torte into the computer and this was one of them that came up!!!!! Just made my day… Hoping to carry on the tradition of my mom:) Thank You Again

  2. My Mom too had a this recipe and made it for special occasions such as our birthdays. She passed away in 2011 and I kept her recipe box. I made it, finally, and it brought back memories of her making this. Her’s is a little different, not by much, and it’s delicious. There are specific techniques that I believe are what make it special. We grew up in Wisconsin and it seemed this Torte was a favorite by many.

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