Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disconnect the Dots: Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

If you're wondering about the dearth of posts recently (apart from stress-relieving sugar fixes), the story is that we got a miniature dachshund. It's the cutest little thing ever. I don't know what it is about dogs, but no matter how much you train them, they still always keep that little bit of genetics with them. Dieter the Dachshund loves burrowing and snorfing around, probably due to the inate hound nature in him. It's so fun watching him spaz out that sometimes I even forget about food!

A couple of days ago, Omnomicon posted a recipe for some Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins, something which I've wanted to try for the longest time now since lemons are supremely easy to come by, and muffins are one of my favourite things in the world. Also, I stare at a jar of Lemon Poppy Seed face wash from Burt's Bees every morning. Some days I get some poppy seed stuck on the sides of my lips and it makes me think about lemony goodness in food form.

I actually prefer the idea of a lemon and poppy seed cake mostly because I want to save on muffin liners and because dumping a whole bowl of batter in a loaf pan is easier than scooping it out bit by bit. So yes, I'm lazy and have no pastry chef skills but have a go at this recipe. Be sure to floss well afterwards though, because you don't want to be walking around and grinning like a loon with poppy seeds in your teeth (speaking from experience here!)

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 stick butter
1/2 cup yogurt
3 tbsp blue poppy seed
2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 tbsp lemon peel (from 1 large lemon)
2 tsp pure vanilla essence
Apricot jam for glaze (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter for about 20 seconds. Stir until melted. Cool for about 5 minutes. Beat eggs together until fluffy. Gently add in the yogurt, vanilla essence, lemon juice and finally add in the melted butter.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients. Add in lemon peel and poppy seeds. Stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix! Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife.

Bake in preheated oven for about 55 - 60 minutes until a thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool completely on wire rack. Glaze with apricot jam and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note1: Once again, I used soy yogurt and cooking margarine instead to make it dairy-free.
Note2: I always use less sugar in my recipes because I don't like the feeling of being on sugar high all day. If you like things a little bit sweeter, use 3/4 cup light brown sugar.


Kirby! said...

Awwwww puppy!! I'm going to go ahead and request that you post pictures please.

aleta meadowlark said...

Omg, I used to work in an office with an office dachshund, and it was definitely the cutest thing EVER.

Thanks for linking me, that's totally cool! And yeah, there's something really neat about lemon poppy seed, I still haven't figured out what exactly, but it IS extremely photogenic.

Amanda said...

kirby!: If he can stay still for a moment I will. :)

aleta_meadowlark: I'm happy to link you and have more people read your blog. I love your pictures!

test it comm said...

That loaf looks good. The lemon and poppy seed in a nice combo.

The Food Librarian said...

Lovely! Must make!! :)

Anonymous said...

lemon & poppy seed has gotta be one of my favourite combinations..and i used to make lemon poppy bread all the time. i think it's time to whip out those ingredients once again
this looks delish!! the icing on top looks fantastic.

Amanda said...

kevin: I'd like to try a recipe if you can find anything else that uses poppy seed. I can't think of any other food that uses poppy seeds!

the food librarian: Thanks! I really like your blog. Linking it.

diva: I wonder if lemon poppy bread is different from this -- I think mine is a bit like quickbread.

Amy Cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Cooper said...

Edit: I make a similar recipe with much less butter and 1 cup of yogurt... it's moist and absolutely delicious. It's an idea for those who might want this a bit healthier.

Another great recipe using poppyseeds is coleslaw! Add some to your favorite coleslaw; it's delicious and adds a lovely texture.

Katie said...

Mmmm I adore anything with lemon. Nice photos!

Amanda said...

amy: Thanks for stopping by! I completely forgot about coleslaw - I add that in too, along with some celery seeds.

katie: Thank you! I never consider my photos any good but thank you again!

Anonymous said...

I tried out this recipe yesterday and I'm hoping to get some tips. I'm a novice baker/cook and with the cold weather coming up, I have an insane urge to be in the kitchen. My lemon poppy seed cake came out a little hard and dry. I substituted all purpose blean flour for the wheat flour since I don't have any. Also, what does beat the eggs til fluffy mean? Do I have to beat on low, medium or high and for how long? Thanks so much for the pointers, help and recipe!!!

Amanda said...

Ellen: If your cake turned out too hard, it means two things: There isn't enough oil (fat) and you overmixed it.

First you need to beat the eggs until it leaves a trail when you lift the whisk. I usually just use a fork and whip it, but if you're using a hand mixer, put it on low and beat for about 5 minutes until the eggs are bubbly and white and when you lift the whisk, there are little ribbons dripping from it.

When you mix your wet and dry ingredients, don't overdo it. A good rule of thumb for muffins and coffee cake is to use a spatula and stir for no more than 20 times.

You may want to add and extra 1/4 cup of yogurt to the recipe, it gives the cake a little more moisture. Let me know how it works out!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for all the pointers. I tried it again this past weekend and it was a success. Hooray. The cake came out nice and moist. I added 1 cup of yogurt and I lowered the baking time.

Delicious and awesome cake. Thanks again! Ellen