This cake was my contribution to the pot luck at book club this month. We read “People Of The Book” by Geraldine Brooks. I really enjoyed this book! It was a fictional history of the Sarajevo Haggadah from the 15th century to present day. The main character, Hannah Heath, a rare book expert is contracted to restore the Haggadah. Her analysis of the book and the tiny artifacts contained in it, leads you on an interesting journey through many countries and centuries. Containing many true historical references, it elaborated on the tale to create a compelling mystery.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a Haggadah is a Jewish prayer book that is used during the Passover celebration. As a special treat we had our own Passover celebration complete with matzoh, bitter herbs, and boiled eggs. It was an interesting and enlightening meeting!
Because Poppy Seed Cake was mentioned in the book, of course that is what I decided to make. I researched the net for a recipe that was traditional, but then I added my own twist to it. The recipe created a light textured cake with a slight crunch from the poppy seeds, a hint of lemon in the batter, and a tangy lemon glaze on top. Really good!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Active prep time; 18 minutes Total time; 1 hour 40 minutes Yield; 1 cake
1 cup poppy seeds
1/3 Cup honey
1/4 Cup water
4 eggs, separated
1 Cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1-1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2-1/2 Cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine poppy seeds, honey, and water in small saucepan and heat on low for 5-7minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
Separate eggs placing the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until stiff peaks form then transfer to another bowl.
Prepare bundt pan by spraying with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
Place butter in stand mixer bowl and beat at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat an additional 1-2 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla continue beating until well combined.
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture with mixer on low alternating with the poppy seed mixture. Mix until just combined.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and using a rubber spatula fold in the egg whites gently. I usually do this one third of the egg whites at a time to keep the air in them.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test for doneness using a toothpick.
1 Cup icing sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
Combine and drizzle on cake using a spoon.
I hope you’ll enjoy this cake as much as we did at book club today! You know it’s good when people ask to take home pieces!