It's Cake Slice time again, and May's cake choice was Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Almond Frosting from Sky High Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. I was so glad to get the chance to bake from this book again since it is one of my favorites. Only instead of making a triple layer cake I decided to make these into cupcakes.
I did make a few adaptations but they were minor and didn't really change the recipe. Firstly I halved this recipe and ended up with 15 cupcakes. I did this because I thought it would be better for portion control. Secondly, I only used half the amount of poppyseeds the recipe called for because I used them all in/on my Everything No-Knead Bread. And lastly, instead of adding almond extract to the cream cheese frosting, I added lemon zest because there are nut allergies in my family.
These cupcakes were different than any other lemon poppyseed cake I've had. Mostly because it was a white cake used for the base. There are no egg yolks in this recipe so the texture is very light and fluffy, but still firm. They're tender but not terribly moist. Luckily they're brushed with a lemon syrup that sweetens and moistens them up.
I think an almond flavoring in the frosting would have been delicious but the lemon was refreshing and bright and complimented the cupcakes perfectly. It also piped really well, thanks to the boatload of powdered sugar :-) I baked them in these Spring-y liners and picks from the Martha collection that I found last year. I had been waiting for the perfect occasion to use them and this Mother's Day was it. I then garnished them with more sugared lemon zest. I hope you like 'em!
Lemon Poppyseed Cake from Sky High
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- 5 egg whites
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 5 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp almond extract or finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease three 8 inch cake pans and line the bases with parchment paper. Combine the flour, 1¾ cups sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix gently to combine.
Add the butter, lemon zest and 1 cup of buttermilk to the flour. Beat on low until completely mixed. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk, whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the egg white mixture to the batter in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only enough to incorporate the mix. Divide the batter between the three pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the centre, and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out.
While the cake layers are cooling, make a lemon syrup.
Syrup: In a small pan combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Generously brush the cakes with the lemon syrup while they are still warm. Then allow the cakes to cool completely.
Frosting: In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the almond extract or lemon zest and then continue to beat well for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
To complete the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a cake plate and spread about a fifth of the frosting over the cake to cover evenly. Repeat with the second layer and place the third layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
Makes 1 x 8inch triple layer cake or 30 cupcakes.
NOTE: I added lemon zest to the cream cheese frosting instead of the almond extract.
I halved the recipe and made 15 cupcakes.
WAIT! I have a giveaway for you!
You have a chance to win ANY cookbook your little heart desires. Yes, it's true! This giveaway is sponsored by Snubbr and all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post telling me what cookbook you'd like to win and why. Be sure to answer both questions! That's it, just make sure it's a cookbook still in print so they can send it to you :-)
A winner will be chosen in one week by the folks at Snubbr. Be sure I have a way of contacting you if you win.
At the request of Snubbr, this giveaway is only open to US residents.
Best of luck to you all!