Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

This tender lemon cake was inspired by one favored by Manhattan socialites of the '70s.

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  • Servings: Makes one 9-inch cake

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  • 2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with the bread crumbs; tap out any excess crumbs. In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour and cake flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions. At low speed, in 2 alternating batches, beat in the dry ingredients and the milk. With a rubber spatula, fold in the lemon zest, lemon extract and poppy seeds.

  2. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

  3. Carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.

  4. In a medium bowl, stir the confectioners' sugar with the lemon juice to make a runny glaze. Using a spatula, spread the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides. Cut into wedges and serve.

Make Ahead

The cake can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published December 2009

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