For me, there’s something extremely comforting about lemon poppy seed cake. I’m not talking about the over-flavoured curry-coloured versions you get in stores. The made-with-butter-and-love version that my mother introduced me to when I was little and begged to bake something “all by myself”. I had a bit of a morbid Monday and missed my mom, so I decided to revisit this old favourite and see how I could zoosh it up a bit.
Instead of just butter, I reduced it slightly and added a bit of oil to make it stay moister for longer than just the first day. The sour cream also assists with added moisture and accentuates that sour zestiness. For the simply syrup, I decided to roast the lemons first before squeezing out the juice, which actually brings out the sweetness and flavor of the lemons – truly worth it! Turn that frown upside down and bake yourself one J
2 cups flour
10ml baking powder
¾ cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
30g poppy seeds
10ml vanilla extract
125ml lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
¼ cup sunflower oil
250ml sour cream
100ml lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 175C.
2. Using a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment or hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated before adding the next one. Now add the vanilla and slowly add the lemon zest, lemon juice and oil.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add the poppy seeds
5. Alternate mixing the flour mixture and the sour cream into the wet ingredients, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined
6. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan well with Spray&Cook. Pour the batter evenly around pan.
7. Bake at 175C for 45mins or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
To make the syrup :
Heat up a saucepan
Cut about 4 lemons in half. Place flat side down onto the pan and allow to heat until the sugar of the lemon starts to caramelize and it becomes a golden toffee colour. This releases the juices of the lemon and enhances the flavor.
Using a fork, squeeze out the lemon juice. Strain, and pour back into the pan with the water and sugar.
Reduce slightly until sugar has melted.
Once cake is out of the oven, pour it over the hot cake while still in the bundt pan. Allow it so soak up the syrup for a few minutes before turning it out of the pan on the serving plate.
Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!