Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti

A Dense & Delicious Poppyseed Cake

6 Comments

Every so many years, my birthday coincides with Father’s Day; such was the case this year.  Sadly, my father passed away in 2008 and my husband’s father in 1985.  We celebrated our fathers along with my birthday.  Also, yesterday Maui Girl Cooks turned one year old!  On Sunday, in honor of all of these events,  I made a cake {it really was just my birthday cake}.  Lest you think one should not bake one’s own birthday cake, it is no problem at all; I do not mind.  Many foodies have been known to make their own birthday cakes.  All kinds of possibilities tumbled around in my head.  What should I make?  I thought a lot about what kind of cake I wanted–chocolate cake with mocha frosting, Boston Cream Pie, chocolate rum cake, apple galette, this strawberry cheesecake and poppyseed cake were all in the running for the occasion {yes, I know those are not all cakes}.  I finally decided on poppyseed cake with this lemon curd.  Time did not allow for the lemon curd, but I will make it soon, and you will be among the first to know how it goes; I have no doubt that it will be delightful.  My ideas for variations on this poppyseed cake are many and I will share the results with you when I make them.  I baked this cake once before, sometime within the last year I think {last year’s birthday cake too maybe??}.  It was excellent, but I tweaked it just a bit this time, reducing the sugar a tad and adding lemon zest.  Next time I will add more lemon zest.  It was a fine birthday cake! Slice of Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Lemon Poppyseed Cake
adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone {Deborah Madison}

1 cup poppyseeds stirred into 1/2 cup hot milk {when ready to use, drain off any unabsorbed milk}
2 cups {10 oz.} whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced and softened
1 cup sugar minus about 1 tbsp {5 3/4 oz}
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream or buttermilk {I had neither, so I used 1 tbsp white vinegar with milk to make 1 cup}
Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic {next time I will use 2 lemons}

Set the poppy seeds aside to soak in the milk until needed {if you have time, soak the seeds for a couple hours}.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter and flour {or spray} a 9-inch springform pan.  Mix the dry ingredients together and set them aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they form firm but moist peaks and set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla, then beat in the yolks one at a time until smooth.  Scrape down the bowl, then stir in the sour cream or buttermilk, drained poppy seeds and lemon zest.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds.  If using a mixer, this can be done on low speed.  Scrape up the batter from the bottom of the bowl to make sure it’s well mixed, then stir in a quarter of the beaten egg whites before folding in the rest.  Smooth the batter into the pan, then bake until golden, firm. and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven, set the cake on a rack, and gently remove the rim so that the cake can cool. We have always enjoyed this cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, but it would be delicious with fresh strawberries and softly whipped cream, as Madison suggests. Makes 1 9-inch cake, serving 10-12.

Bon appétit!

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6 thoughts on “A Dense & Delicious Poppyseed Cake

  1. This looks totally delicious! Will definitely have to keep checking out your recipes! I have a foodie blog too but have been a bit stuck for ideas to use up all the rest of my poppy seeds! x

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog & choosing to follow me, and hope you find some recipes that you will enjoy. I will send you a recipe for a poppyseed dressing that is great over greens and sliced oranges. I think you are in New Zealand. Are you in the earthquake zone?

      • Oh wow that sounds fantastic! I’m in New Zealand but thankfully I’m not in the earthquake zone (christchurch) but all my family are 😦 It’s pretty scary!

  2. Hope everyone is safe & sound! Here is the poppyseed dressing recipe-enjoy!

    Poppy Seed Dressing
    2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 T wine vinegar {or cider vinegar}
1 T Dijon mustard
3/4 canola oil
1 T finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 T poppy seeds

Combine honey, salt, vinegar and mustard; gradually add the canola oil, beating until mixture is well-blended. Add the onion, garlic & poppy seed {for a fruit salad, you may prefer to omit the onion}. Cover and chill several hours before serving, to allow flavors to blend. Makes about 1 c dressing.

Recipe from Gourmet Cooking for Two

  3. Hi Sharon! I love poppy seeds and lemon too. I have Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and love this cookbook. Every recipe I’ve tried turned out well. I haven’t made this one yet but will give it a try.

    • I don’t think you can go too far wrong with a Deborah Madison recipe. I want to try her olive oil cake, but want to make sure I find just the right olive oil for it. Have you made it?

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