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Onion Cake

Onion cakes have been eaten around the world for centuries, as onions are easy to grow. The sharp flavor of onion creates a satisfyingly zesty bite. Among Europe's onion cakes is zwiebelkuchen, an onion pie from south-central Germany and Switzerland that is often made with bacon. This rich and moist onion-poppy seed bread is in the American Amish tradition, which has German cultural roots. Germans make up the largest ethnic group in America and they settled across the country, from Pennsylvania west to California. The cake can be served as a side with meats, soups, and salads.

Recipe Servings: 12

Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. In a large skillet, melt ½ cup butter over low heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add poppy seeds, salt, paprika, and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. In a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and sugars, and mix to combine.
  6. Cut in 1¼ cups butter, mixing until the texture is coarsely crumbly.
  7. Melt the remaining butter and set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, add eggs, milk, sour cream, and melted butter, whisking to combine.
  9. Forming a well in the dough mixture, add the egg mixture, and stir until just moistened.
  10. Prepare a 10-inch springform pan or 10-inch cast iron skillet with grease or butter.
  11. Placing the dough on the pan, spoon the onion mixture over all.
  12. Placing the pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 35–40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  13. Serve warm.

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