Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

The syrup for this guarantees a moist cake.  Depending on your tastes, you can add a little more lemon juice or rind for extra tang.  The trick to any good cake is to cream the butter and sugar until it is no longer gritty, and to not over-mix the dry ingredients.


4 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup milk
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
21/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk


1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

  • Preheat oven to a medium-high temperature. Grease a 25cm diameter pan and line the base with paper. Soak the poppy seeds in the milk and lemon juice for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the butter, lemon rind and sugar in a very large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder straight into the bowl, in two batches, folding it in between batches, along with the milk and poppy seed mixture. 
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • When the cake is nearly done, make the syrup by combining the juice, sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the hot syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven (use a skewer to poke holes for the syrup to soak into). Leave to cool in the pan.

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