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Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf

by | Sep 6, 2011

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Here’s a lovely little Lemon and Poppyseed Cake recipe, based on a pound cake by the venerable Rose Levy Beranbaum. A deep lemon flavour is achieved by using lemon zest in the batter itself, then poking lots of holes in the cake and drenching it with fresh lemon syrup. Ideally, the cake is soaked in the syrup overnight for the greatest flavour.

Here’s a lovely little Lemon and Poppyseed Cake recipe, based on a pound cake by the venerable Rose Levy Beranbaum. A deep lemon flavour is achieved by using lemon zest in the batter itself, then poking lots of holes in the cake and drenching it with fresh lemon syrup. Ideally, the cake is soaked in the syrup overnight for the greatest flavour.

LEMON AND POPPYSEED LOAF 

Makes: one medium loaf, serves 8-10 depending on thickness of the slices

Difficulty: Easy

EQUIPMENT:

Medium loaf tin (21cm x 11cm x 6cm)

INGREDIENTS:

Cake

185g Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
45ml Whole Milk, at room temperature
3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
100g Plain Flour
50g Cornflour
150g Caster Sugar
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 teaspoon Salt
Zest of ½ a Lemon
30g Poppy Seeds

Syrup

75g Caster Sugar
¼ cup fresh Lemon Juice approximately (1-2 lemons)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350 F). Grease the loaf tin with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl stir together the milk, eggs and vanilla.

To the bowl of a stand mixer add the plain flour, cornflour, caster sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds.

On low-speed beat in the softened butter. Pour in half of the egg mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula.

On medium speed pour in half of the remaining egg mixture. Beat for 20 seconds. Add the remainder and beat for another 20 seconds.

Check oven has reached the correct temperature. Set kitchen timer for 50 minutes. Scrape the cake batter into the greased loaf tin and smooth the top with the spatula.

Place cake tin on the middle rack of the oven. Cake is done when the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If not ready, add another 5 minutes to the timer and repeat process until done.

Remove cake from the oven. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then place it right side up on a cooling rack.

While the cake is still hot prepare the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan add the caster sugar and lemon juice. Stir on medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved.

Use a skewer to poke many deep holes in the warm cake. Brush all of the warm lemon syrup over the top, sides, and base of the cake. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to seal in the syrup. Store the cake in an airtight container for 24 hours before serving.

BAKING TIPS:

  • If you can’t possibly wait 24 hours for the syrup to soak in that’s fine. The syrup won’t have made it deeper through the cake, but it will still taste great.
  • Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf
Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf
This Lemon and Poppyseed Cake has lots of lemon zest and is soaked in sweet lemon syrup.
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Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
12slices 25mins 50mins 24hrs (optional)
Servings Prep Time
12slices 25mins
Cook Time Passive Time
50mins 24hrs (optional)
Ingredients
  • Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf
  • 185 g Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 45 ml Full Cream Milk
  • 3 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 150 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Lemon finely zested
  • 30 g Poppy Seeds
  • Lemon Syrup
  • 75 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice 1-2 Lemons
Servings: slices
Units:
Ingredients
  • Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf
  • 185 g Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 45 ml Full Cream Milk
  • 3 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 150 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Lemon finely zested
  • 30 g Poppy Seeds
  • Lemon Syrup
  • 75 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice 1-2 Lemons
Servings: slices
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350 F). Grease a medium loaf tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer add the plain flour, cornflour, caster sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  4. On low speed, beat in the softened butter. Pour in half of the egg mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  5. On medium speed pour in half of the remaining egg mixture. Beat for 20 seconds. Add the remainder and beat for another 20 seconds.
  6. Scrape the cake batter into the greased loaf tin and smooth the top with the spatula. Check oven has reached the correct temperature, then place the cake tin on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the oven. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then place it right side up on a cooling rack.
  8. While the cake is still hot prepare the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan add the caster sugar and lemon juice. Stir on medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  9. Use a skewer to poke many deep holes in the warm cake. Brush all of the warm lemon syrup over the top, sides, and base of the cake. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to seal in the syrup. Store the cake in an airtight container for 24 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes
  • If you can’t possibly wait 24 hours for the syrup to soak in before eating the cake, that’s fine. The syrup won’t have made it deeper through the cake, but it will still taste great
  • Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container
Nutrition Facts
Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Potassium 39mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 20g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 9%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 5%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Lemon and poppy seed pound cake brushed with sweet lemon syrup.
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