This is part 2 of my series “the tastiest-sounding Polish dishes” and it’s about Makowiec. Have you seen part 1 already?

What is Makowiec?

Now for something different. Something exciting. Something that might even be illegal.

Wait what?

You heard me right. Makowiec, also known as the poppy seed roll of legal questionability is a sweet cake from Poland. One begins making it by creating a sweetened yeast dough. This is then covered in a filling made from poppy seeds, raisins and and caramelized fruit. Finally, you roll that sucker up and boom, you have this Polish cake, or Polish dessert; Makoviec!

Makowiec. Have fun explaining that one to the traffic police.
Makowiec, camouflaging as harmless pastries

Sounds delicious, looks delicious, and probably is. But it does make me question if I should regret not trying it.

Cake from Poland

Here is the issue. While being much beloved in all of Poland as a snack and dessert, and counted as a traditional Christmas dish, it has a darker side, too.

The filling is-as you read-mostly made of poppy seeds. The very same plant parts from which morphine, opium and heroin are made. It has been shown that after eating it, you may very well test positive for Morphine usage.

How to make Makowiec

Because I have no experience with Makowiec, I found a very nice Makowiec recipe of someone else on how to make this delicious Polish cake.

There have been several cases of people being tested for other reasons, only to register positive for Morphine. The resulting situations probably fall into the “hilarious if it was a movie scene” category, but are decidedly less humorous if the person caught in it is you. Just imagine trying to explain to a very skeptical doctor that the cake is the culprit.

Don´t get me wrong, normal Makowiec does not contain enough poppy seeds to have a noticeable effect on you. This applies as long as your baker uses poppy seeds with low morphine content. If they don´t, things will get a bit more interesting.

Looming legal issues left aside, the poles love Makoviec. It is eaten for breakfast, as a snack, during coffee breaks and at weddings. It is also a staple of polish christmas food. As such, it´s likely not going anywhere.

I am honestly unsure what I should recommend. Seriously, normally I can just say “Try this, it´s amazing!” and the biggest danger to my readers is the calorie content. But these things can land you in trouble depending on the circumstances.

As such, I say: “Try them, but at your own risk!”

I mean if you are not about to go get a drug test or something, you should honestly be fine.


Well that was a weird one for sure. Never thought you could get into legal troubles because of cake. But hey, we learned something new, I guess.

For some equally tasty but less risqué recipes, feel free to browse the rest of our website.

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