Toss out any lemon poppy seed cake recipes you have right now because this Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake (National Trust Version) from Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook Sweet is the only one you’ll ever need. It is light and airy, satisfyingly sweet without being too sweet, and coated with the loveliest lemony glaze on top. The toasted edges that turn a delicious, crispy golden brown are my favourite part. This humble loaf may be simple but it is utterly divine.
My brother Mark got his hands on a copy of the cookbook recently and as soon as he made this recipe he sent me a photo of his freshly made loaves to drool over and the following messages:
Recipe is SO GOOD.
It’s so good OMG.
You need to make it.
I decided to make it for our Thanksgiving dessert the other night (yes, Canada has it’s own Thanksgiving) and OMG indeed. It is SO GOOD. You absolutely NEED to make this. Now pass this recipe on and spread a little sunshine.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake (National Trust Version)
Makes 1 standard loaf or 9 minis
What you need:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
5 T (70 grams) unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
1 T poppy seeds
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (1 tablespoon)
1 1/3 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp saltGLAZE
3/4 cup (90 grams) icing sugar, sifted
2 T lemon juice
What to do:
1. Heat the oven to 350° (180° C). Grease the loaf pan(s) and line with parchment paper, then set aside.
2. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and frothy. Add the cream and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture has combined, thickened a little, and turned pale.
3. In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest, and set aside.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl, then use a rubber spatula to fold this into the egg mixture before folding in the butter, poppy seeds, and zest.
5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan(s) so that it rises three-quarters of the way up the sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Make the glaze by whisking the icing sugar with the lemon juice in a bowl. Pour this over the top of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, spreading it over the top so that it sinks in and creates a nice glaze. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Leave to come to room temperature before serving. This will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.