Lemon–Poppy Seed Cake
© Quentin Bacon

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes one 9-inch cake

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

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  1. 2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1/2 cup milk
  10. Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  11. 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  12. 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  13. 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  14. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  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.