Happy Valentine’s everyone! ❤
At the moment, this is a good day to spread some more love around the world, as unfortunately we really need that extra love! However, today, even though it is Valentine’s Day and the norm calls that food has to be either something with chocolate, strawberries or it is in a heart shape, I will be telling you about a cake which is one of my favourites. Lemon poppy seed cake! Which I keep making for any occasion that I might have as it is really moist and fresh, and for which I know it will go down well. Until now, every time I have made this cake it was a big success.
The recipe of the cake, I got it first from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook which I got some years ago. A couple of years ago there was this big craze about cupcakes, and while looking at some books online I stumbled upon this one and as it wasn’t that expensive and as it had a variety of different baking options, I bought it. As soon as I got it, I fell in love with it and after trying some recipes it became one of my favourite cook books as it gives you a number of good basic recipes which eventually you can build up from. This book actually is a collection of recipes from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery’ found in London which is popular for its American-style treats, unfortunately I still wasn’t able to visit this bakery while in London, yet I intend to go there soon, in order to see whether the recipes I’m doing from the book are actually similar to what they really sell.
I first made this cake in June for my birthday. I opted for this cake because I wanted to bake something, but at the same I didn’t want something heavy since it was already really hot. I also didn’t want a cheesecake or a tart. This cake was perfect for the occasion, as it is has a fresh lemony taste, with the egg whites giving the cake a good amount of fluffiness that makes it irresistible and to be honest poppy seeds make everything much more fun! Here, I will not give you the exact recipe from the book as I modified it a bit to my taste and tried to make it accustom my own tastes! Yet, the changes aren’t that big, so in essence it is still the same. Although, I will be giving the recipe with the glaze, in the photos there will also be two other options which I made. One with white chocolate and berries and the other with dark chocolate and berries. Personally, I enjoyed more the one with the white chocolate and berries as both ingredients complemented perfectly with the citrusy taste found in the cake. The one with dark chocolate still came out pretty good, and was devoured in few seconds. However, I would suggest to omit the berries here and just leave the chocolate, as here the chocolate alone has quite an empowering taste.
For the cake
- 80 gr unsalted softened butter
- 250 gr caster sugar
- grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 15 gr poppy seeds (extra to decorate)
- 165 ml whole milk
- 230 gr plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 egg whites
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 50 gr caster sugar
- 100ml water
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 250 gr icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C.
- In a large bowl mix well together the butter, sugar, poppy seeds and lemon zest.
- Slowly start adding the milk and continue to mix until everything is combined.
- In a separate bowl, put together the flour, baking powder and salt. Important to sieve everthing. Mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the buttery mixture in 3 stages, beating well after each time you add the flour mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Be patient this may take some time.
- After, gently using a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the mixture.
- Important to not overmix or beat the mixture now, or else the cake won’t come out as fluffy and light as you want it to be!
- Pour the mixture into a mould (24cm Ring mould) and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and the sponge bounces back when gently pressed.
- In the meantime, while the cake is baking, prepare the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan put the juice and zest of a lemon, sugar and water.
- Bring to a boil over low heat. Once it starts boiling raise the heat and let the syrup reduce by half, or until a thin syrup has formed.
- When the hot cake comes out of the oven, before placing on the cooling rack. Pour the syrup almost all over the top and let it in the mould until cool so that the cake absorbs all of the syrup.
- Place on the cool rack, and put the leftover syrup and let it cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling you can prepare the lemon glaze. In a bowl mix together the lemon juice and sifted icing sugar. The texture we are looking for here is a thick smooth and glossy glaze, which is also pourable. If the glaze is still a bit thick add some water and if it is still thin, slowly add some more sugar.
- When the cake is cold, pour the glaze over the cake and decorate with poppy seeds or as you desire.
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Thank you for your constant support and comments! Looking forward to hear your opinion about this one!