Lemony-Poppy Seed Cake + Great Celebratory Spring Recipes

Memorial Day picnics, graduation parties, weddings, showers and anniversaries. In the coming weeks you may be called upon to create a celebratory dish or two.

 The center hole creates the perfect little vase.

Drizzling lemon glaze over the finished cake. The center hole creates the perfect little vase.

Pound cakes are wonderful spring and summer desserts as the center hole of a bundt or fluted cake pan creates an ideal “vase” to insert fresh seasonal flowers or herbs.

This cake (which feeds a crowd of twenty or so) would be a fine conclusion to any of the following recipes below. If you want to go all out on dessert, I’d recommend making the last recipe in the slide show: Annamarie’s  Chocolate Poppyseed Cake. Obviously, I’m a fan of poppyseed cakes–I love the added dimension of little dots and crunch in yellow cake batter.

Greek Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Basil Ribbons

Greek Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Basil Ribbons

Pesto Pasta & Chicken Salad

Pesto Pasta & Chicken Salad

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

Crock Pot Barbecue Sliders

Crock Pot Barbecue Sliders

Beefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese

Beefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese

No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs

No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs

Grilled Flank Steak Fajita Bar

Grilled Flank Steak Fajita Bar

Chocolate-Poppyseed Cake

Chocolate-Poppyseed Cake

Greek Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Basil Ribbons thumbnailPesto Pasta & Chicken Salad thumbnailChopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing thumbnailBow Tie Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing thumbnailCrock Pot Barbecue Sliders thumbnailBeefy Super Bowl Sliders with Pimento Cheese thumbnail
No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs thumbnailGrilled Flank Steak Fajita Bar thumbnailChocolate-Poppyseed Cake thumbnail

Greek Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Basil Ribbons • Pesto Pasta & Chicken Salad • Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Corn Dressing • Sun-Dried Tomato Bow Tie Pasta Salad • Crock-Pot Barbecue Sliders • Beefy Sliders with Pimento Cheese •  No-Fuss Barbecue Ribs • Grilled Flank Steak Fajita Bar  • Annamarie’s Chocolate Poppyseed Cake

Pound cakes are simple to make, but use the best ingredients your purse can afford.

Pound cakes are simple to make, but use the best ingredients your purse can afford.

Pound cakes are easy to make but don’t save dimes on the ingredients by purchasing generic brands–quality ingredients will carry your cake. Use the best butter, best flour,  best (full-fat) buttermilk and the best vanilla your purse can afford.

A good pound cake should be moist, flavorful and dense. Rich from the butter and eggs loaded into the batter, the crust should yield a slight crunch–my favorite bite of the cake. The heavy, non-stick bundt pan I used is a dark cocoa color which influenced the dark color of the crust. For a crust with a light golden shade, choose a pan with a lighter shade.

Lemony-Poppy Seed Pound Cake would be delicious served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Wrapped in saran, the cake will keep up two days at room temperature, up to to one week refrigerated, and up two months frozen, with an additional wrap of aluminum foil.

Recipe:Lemony-Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 6 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups unbleached cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons best-quality vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups whole milk buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • Powdered sugar for dusting cake
  • Fresh seasonal flowers, mint leaves or berries, optional garnish
  • Lemon Drizzle (yield: ¾ cup)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust rack to middle of oven.
  2. In a large bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat the butter until very light. At medium speed, slowly beat in the sugar and then add the eggs, two at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to insure all ingredients are incorporated into the mixture. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the vanilla, buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest. (Clare prefers the cake extra lemony so uses 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.)
  5. Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat to combine after each addition but do not overmix the batter, which would toughen the cake.
  6. Thoroughly grease a 6-cup bundt or fluted tube pan.
  7. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Meanwhile, while the cake is baking, make the lemon drizzle: In a small pan over low heat, stir the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved.
  10. When cake is baked, remove from oven, With a wire tester, skewer or the sharp tip of a cooking thermometer, poke the cake completely through in 16-20 places so that the drizzle can soak through the cake. Pour half of the drizzle onto cake. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a spatula and invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Pour remaining drizzle over cake and let rest 30 minutes.
  11. At this point, the cake may be served warm or at room temperature. Before serving, place the on a cake pedestal or large dish, dust with powdered sugar, and fill the hole in the center with fresh flowers or berries, if desired.

Active time: 35 minutes

Baking time: 55-65 minutes

Rest time: 45 minutes

Number of servings (yield): # 18-22

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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