Fan of poppy seeds? Here’s another winner to add to your collection. French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake has got the perfect balance of lemon and sweet – even without the icing! Have a slice for your next snack or dessert!
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Poppy seeds, they’re not just good for bread, as you can see in my Danish Breakfast Buns (Rundstykker).
They’re also great for cakes. They provide a delightful contrast in texture – slight crunch of the poppy seeds, with the softness of the cake.
For this particular one, you also get the refreshing lemon flavor in every bite.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT SIZE OF PAN FOR THIS POPPY SEED CAKE RECIPE?
You can use a normal round cake pan or even a bundt cake form. Both 8-inch and 9-inch pans would work.
The only thing you have to watch out for is the baking time if you are using anything bigger than an 8-inch pan — since the cake would be thinner.
CAN I REPLACE HONEY WITH SOMETHING ELSE FOR THIS LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE RECIPE?
I have used molasses a couple of times, and I have no complaints about the result.
IS IT OK IF I SKIP THE ICING ALTOGETHER?
I have to say, I often do this when it’s just for me and my husband.
I love pairing it with a glass of wine, so I prefer to skip the icing to make it less sweet. The cake itself is already perfectly balanced (at least for my taste).
If you love having your cakes with wine, I urge you to try it without the icing!
TIPS ON MAKING LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE FROM SCRATCH:
- Do not forget to sift the flour.
- If you can, use sugar that have finer granules. Otherwise, run them through a food processor once. (I don’t use caster sugar for this recipe, but the regular sugar in Sweden have smaller granules, than say, the ones in Frankfurt).
- Use only 3/4 cup of sugar with the cake mixture, if you are making the icing. Otherwise, the entire cup is fine.
- If you are using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
- Slowly add lemon juice for the icing, make sure it’s quite creamy and not too watery.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH FRENCH LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE?
I normally serve this cake with either coffee or tea – for both snack and dessert.
But as I said earlier, I also love having it with a glass of wine.
Try it with your favorite beverage, quite difficult to go wrong with this one. Enjoy!
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MORE FRENCH RECIPES, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS-
OR IF YOU WANT MORE CAKE IDEAS, THEN CHECK OUT MY CAKES COLLECTION!
French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 125 grams butter, softened (about 1/2 cup & 1 tbsp)
- 1 pc lemon, grated zest
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 & 2/3 cups flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup poppy seed
- 4 medium egg whites
FOR LEMON ICING
- 1 & 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 lemon, juice
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Add egg yolk and milk. Continue using a mixer to combine.
- Add flour, baking powder and poppy seeds (but leave about 1 tbsp for later). Mix.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until it becomes stiff.
- Fold (gently) the egg whites into the cake mixture.
- Pour the cake mixture into a cake pan.
- Place cake pan in the lower half of the oven, for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Set aside to cool before adding the icing.
- In a bowl, start preparing the icing by slowly adding the lemon juice and mixing. It should be creamy, not watery. Taste to make sure that the sweet and lemon flavors are balanced.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, pour the icing on top of the cake. Use an icing spatula to spread the icing evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining poppy seeds on top.
- Slice into squares.
- Feel free to use any 8-inch or 9-inch type and shape of cake pan.
- Sift the flour.
- If you have unsalted butter, then make sure you add a pinch of salt to the cake mixture.
- If you are making the icing, use only 3/4 cup of sugar for the cake mixture.
- For the icing, do not add all the lemon juice at once. Do it slowly to make sure that it’s not too watery.