Sunday, 15 May 2011

Cheer Up Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

I've had a dreadful last couple of days.  You know the one's I mean, when everything that can go wrong does go wrong...and in spectacular fashion!  I needed cheering up and there's a famous saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I do love lemonade, but I say, make this luscious lemon and poppy seed cake instead! It’s sweet, extremely moist, utterly delicious and guaranteed to brighten up even the most dreary day.

Cheer Up Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake


175g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, reserve the juice
3 large eggs
250g self raising flour
50g poppy seeds
4tbsp milk

For the icing

100g icing sugar
Juice from the zested lemons

Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan and grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
In a large bowl beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until very pale. Add the lemon zest and mix until combined.

Beat in one egg and a heaped tablespoon of the flour, repeat until all the eggs have been used. Sift the remaining flour into the mixture and beat until there are no traces of flour left.
Put a half a tablespoon of the poppy seeds to one side and pour the remaining seeds into the mixture along with the milk, mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. You will find that the mixture is quite thick so use a spatula to spread into the tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for about an 1 hour and 10mins. Insert a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean it is ready.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Whilst cooling make the icing; sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add just enough of the reserved lemon juice to make a thick icing.

When the cake is completely cold use a spoon to cover the top of the cake completely, allowing it to drip down the sides. When the top is covered sprinkle the reserved poppy seeds liberally over the top and serve.

Belle’s Top Tip
This cake is freezable (before iced) so pop in the freezer and defrost when friends are visiting, particularly if they're in need of cheering up too!
You can also make this cake using oranges or limes in replace of the lemons if you fancy something different…still delicious!