While leaving moving into January means leaving behind the wonderful flavors of fall (I'm looking at you caramel), I can't help to be excited by all the citrus filling the shelves. The possibilities are endless, and it provides such a bright contrast to the rich, sultry flavors that seemed to have taken over my life the last few months. To start the year on a fresh note, I new I wanted to bring in some of that beautiful citrus. And, you can't go wrong with a lemon poppy seed cake.
This lemon poppy seed cake combines the tang of the lemon with the nuttiness of the poppy seeds in one delightfully moist and tender cake. It works great as a a larger layer cake, or a quick loaf for breakfast on the go. Either way, the cake combined with the sweet lemon glaze provides a wonderful start to the day (and the year!).
Does it have to be lemon?
No! Please, use this with a variety of other citrus. Poppy seeds pair so wonderfully with a variety of fruit. I highly recommend you try it with grapefruit or blood oranges. The color of the cake with be a beautiful pinkish color, but the flavor profiles with be similar.
To Loaf, or not to loaf, that is the question…
Honestly, you can bake this cake in a variety of shapes, and people will believe that you've come with a new recipe each time. Want to do a lemon poppy seed muffin? Fine, throw this in a muffin tin. Want it to be a loaf cake, fit for tea? Fine, throw it in a bread pan and let it become a beautiful loaf. Want it to be a traditional layer of cake for your next (virtual) dinner party? Fine, put this baby in a cake pan and decorate to please the masses.
Regardless fo the form, the cake provides a tender crumb. Just make sure you adjust the baking times accordingly. Muffins (and loaf pans) need significantly less baking time than a full cake. Bake at the same temperature, but begin to check on the batter around the 18 minute mark (muffins) and 25 minute mark (loaf bread).
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9Ã—9" pan. (Or 2 loaf pans)
- In a large mixture, cream butter, sugar, and eggs together for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Slowly stir in remaining wet ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
- Combine sugar and juice until a pourable (but thick) glaze forms. If you add too much lemon juice, add in more powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time.
- Pour over your cooled cake. Decorate with poppy seeds and lemon slices. Serve and enjoy.