Friday, April 15, 2011

French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


Here is a recipe from the Joanne Chang's baking cookbook Flour from the bakery of the same name in Boston. I have always loved lemon poppy seed cakes and muffins and this one sounded just a little different in the ingredients and preparation. All ingredients are brought to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe - even melted butter and cream.

This cake has a light texture most likely due to how the eggs and sugar are whipped until light and fluffy before the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. It's also not overly sweet-tasting which I liked.


It was perfect with a cup of tea while enjoying a few cut daffodils from the garden. 


French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
Printable Recipe

2 cups cake flour (such as Swans Down)
(such as Swans Down) 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from approx 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 b 5 inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds. If the butter starts to harden, heat the mixture gently until the butter is melted again. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a hand mixer), beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until light, fluffy and lemon colored. With a hand mixer this will take twice as long.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg and flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 1 hour  or until the top of the cake is golden and springs back when you press the middle. Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. I suggest you start testing the cake with a toothpick after 40-45 minutes as my cake was finished before the 1 hour suggested time. 

Make the lemon glaze while the cake is cooling by adding just enough lemon juice to the confectioners' sugar to make an easily spreadable consistency.

When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, remove it from the pan and place it on the rack. Spoon or spread the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, allowing the glaze to dribble down the sides of the cake.

The cake may be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

40 comments:

  1. Poppu seed cake has always been one of my favourites since I volunteered when my daughter was in pre-school.

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  2. Looks delicious! And so pretty with the Daff's! Wish I had a slice right now!

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  3. Susan, poppy seed cake is really one of my favorites. My oven, or the fact that we are 5700 feet up, cooks quickly too. Such pretty photos and I love the bunny napkin on your sidebar. Joni

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  4. Lemony poppy seed cake and lemony daffs-life is good! The cake looks great Susan-Happy Weekend:@)

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  5. If I could only have one sweet treat, I think lemon poppy seed cake would be that treat. This recipe sounds delicious. I may have to add that cookbook to my vast collection. Oh well, I don't smoke, drink to excess or gamble so how bad can another cookbook be?

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  6. I just had a chocolate chip cookie mishap... the oven temp was off suddenly by 20º... goodness how black they got and so disappointing with all that great chocolate. I try to remember to check early when making something new, but don't always remember. Your cake looks gorgeous Susan, not the least bit black around the edges! I do love lemon cakes..especially those with lemony glazes... wonderful photo, as always.

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  7. WOW, this looks fabulous. Have made a copy and will make this soon. I also posted a cake recipe today, simple but delicious.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  8. So many mistakes with ovens and baking tomes..I agree..I appreciate your honesty..
    The photos make me want to savor a bite right now..

    Lemon..always on my top 5 list.

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  9. As I have a pkg of poppy seed muffin mix on my counter to make up, your cake puts me to shame!!
    Looks delicious, and the light glaze tops it off beautifully...

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  10. Mmmmm. I have a recipe from my mom that reminds me of this one. I love lemon poppy seed cake.

    I'd like to invite you to share this recipe on my linky, Sweet Tooth Friday. I hope to see you there. http://alli-n-son.com/2011/04/14/chocolate-birds-nests/

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  11. The cake looks pretty and sounds good! Love lemon and poppy seeds :) Beautiful daffodils! Ah, springtime!

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  12. I love lemon-poppyseed cake, and I know I would absolutely love yours! This looks delicious, Susan. Great job on it! Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great weekend!

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  13. What a great cake, it's looks and sounds perfect. It amazes me how different the baking times can be sometimes. YUM!!!

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  14. I am definitely trying this recipe! It sounds perfect for Easter, besides, I love anything lemon. I always have to check my cakes before the allotted time. I have a gas oven, I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

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  15. Now this looks absolutely fantastic. Perfect spring cake!

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  16. Your lemon poppy seed cake looks delicious

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  17. Beautiful. I love all things lemon! Baking times are so hard to get perfect.

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  18. I love lemon poppyseed cake- I love the little crunch of the seeds in every bite. :) This is a beautiful way to welcome your daffodils!

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  19. this looks fabulous Susan!Have a lovely weekend, a warm hug...

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  20. Poppy seed an lemon; what a tasty combination! yours looks like it would melt in your mouth. Lovely presentaion with the daffodils; picture perfect aagin.

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  21. I love lemon poppyseed anything! So nice to see daffodils Susan. Spring is finally here!!

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  22. I like lemon poppy seed cake and next time I make a cake I will definitely bake this one. I've not heard of the bakery or the cookbook but I must check it out. I, too, like the European and French bakery treats -- richer but less sweet.

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  23. The addition of cream in this cake reminds me of some of Rose Beranbaum's cakes from the cake bible. Love poppy seed cake it is a big hit around here, will make it soon; perfect for Easter too.

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  24. what a beautiful little cake! perfect for a spring tea on the patio :)

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  25. Beautiful food! Beautiful blog!
    I am your newest follower!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Susan!

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  26. I've always loved the taste of tangy lemon in cake. This one looks very scrumptious!
    have a lovely week-end!

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  27. This looks like a bright and sunny cake to serve for a wonderful afternoon tea. I've been seeing lots of Joanne Chang's recipes on the blogosphere, all with rave reviews. This one is definitely one that I would attempt.

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  28. That looks as yummy as anything I have seen in a long time....craving it now.....
    Happy Sunday

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  29. That is a beautiful looking cake. Would really love to take a peep at this book. Thank you for sharing!

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  30. So I always really kind of THOUGHT I needed this cookbook...but apparently I really REALLY need it! Lemon poppy seed cake is my favorite and this one looks PERFECT.

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  31. Someone just gave me this cookbook a few weeks ago, Susan, and I have loved reading it. This looks like an excellent recipe...your cake doesn't look dry around the edges at all, but I will make a note in the book. Such a perfect cake with tea or the mid-afternoon hungries!

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  32. I love lemon poppyseed cake and muffins. This recipe looks wonderful!

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  33. My husband will love this! The texture of the cake is smooth, moist and soft, Perfect!

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  34. I don'tlike my sweets overly sweet too. Also, I like my cakes more fluffy than dense. This one is sure a winner!

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  35. You know, it is impossible not to love this combination of lemon and poppy seeds in a cake!

    And the daffodils are such a beautiful sign of Spring. I wish I had some, of all three. The Cake, the Daffodils and the Spring weather.

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  36. Thank you, each and every one of you sweet people!

    I did find that the cake dried out rather quickly, sad to say. Again, that was likely due to being over-baked. The recipe stated bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. WAY too long!

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  37. I am hosting a linky party at my blog called A Themed Baker's Sunday! Where the theme is LEMONS!!! I would love it if you linked either this recipe or a different lemony deliciousness!! I'm uber excited to see what you have in store!!
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/04/themed-bakers-sunday-2.html
    Alyssa

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  38. This really isn't a recipe I should be reading at this hour... I'm tempted to head into the kitchen instead of getting ready to call it a night. Saving this recipe for another time, though.

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  39. totally bookmarking this to try! shared it via pinterest, FB,twitter and my blog, too!

    http://tocookwithlove.com/2012/05/06/the-pantry-feature-french-lemon-poppy-seed-cake/

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