Lemon Poppyseed Cake

This weekend I found myself going on autopilot while doing my food shopping. Not really paying attention to what I might have at home, I picked up another one of those big bags of lemons from Costco. I’m always amazed at how quickly we go through lemons, simply as a function of Middle Eastern cooking rituals – even if you’re not flavoring your chicken with lemon, you better be using lemon to ‘clean’ that chicken before you even start thinking about how you’re going to cook it.

The process of cleaning chicken is a complicated one, involving first trimming off all the excess yuckiness (not a fan of chicken so if it has to be me cleaning the chicken that’s a lot of stuff being trimmed off), then dousing the chicken with lemon juice, generous amounts of salt, and flour. You mix them all up and allow the mixture to basically kill off any and all olfactory proof that the meat you’re handling ever came from a chicken. Wash it off with water, pat the chicken dry, then do your magic.

I digress so freaking easily these days.

Back to the lemons. So, since I had too many lemons, and very few tricks to pull out of my hat in the culinary department to impress my visiting in-laws with, I decided to whip up this pretty little thing.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake recipe (Adapted from Cooking Light’s Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake)

Cooking spray or butter for pan
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or 2/3 cup if you like yours a little sweeter – the original recipe used 1 cup sugar)
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (Note: An easy substitute is to mix 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice to 3/4 cup low-fat milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. The resulting mixture can be used in place of buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter; dust with 1 teaspoon flour. Set aside.

Beat granulated sugar and butter at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add egg whites and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon rind and vanilla. Lightly spoon 1 2/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 2/3 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan.
The original recipe adds a syrup on top that’s made of powdered sugar and lemon juice – I omitted this part since the cake is already sweet and tart.

Easy, refreshing, and Yum!


4 Responses to Lemon Poppyseed Cake

  1. rodney says:

    Please FedEx overnight the leftovers of the lemon poppyseed cake. Pretty please.

  2. glo says:

    Hala! I feel the same way about chicken! nobody understands! so happy you do. It just smells foul!!

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