Hi there! It’s been a busy week, but I’m popping in to share this quick cake recipe. Being that we’re almost at Passover (it’s next Friday night!) I thought I’d save this for after the holidays, but the truth is, it’s just too good to push off. So I hope you’ll forgive me for tempting you with a floury delight when it’s probably the last thing you want to see- I promise, this is absolutely worth it!
This is a classic lemon and poppy seed cake, which has always been one of my favorite combinations, made even better with the addition of gloriously juicy blueberries. Starting to come into season now, they liven things up in a way that lemon alone never could, and they stud the plush interiors of the cake like purple jewels. The blueberries and the nutty poppy seeds stay evenly dispersed in the thick batter, which is made moist by butter and sour cream, and leavened entirely by eggs, and as the cake bakes, it crackles and forms sugary shards on top. Those cracks are the perfect thing to drizzle with glaze, especially when that glaze is made tart with lemons and textured with more poppy seeds.
This cake is endlessly adaptable: swap the berries, bake it in different shapes, or split the batter between a few different pans. I made two small five inch cakes, and we tucked into one of them right away. The other, we put away for weekend breakfast, and all I can say is: is it the weekend yet?
Yield: two 5″ cakes (shown here) 1 round 9″ cake, or four 2″ mini cakes
Adapted from Seven Spoons Cookbook
Why I love this recipe: seasonal blueberries add juiciness to the classic combination of lemon and poppy seed, and eggs, sour cream and butter make these cakes pleasantly dense and moist. The thick batter ensures the blueberries don’t sink to the bottom, and a sweet/tart lemon glaze makes these perfect for Spring picnics, Shabbos mornings, or brunch.
Notes: depending on what size you decide to bake the cakes in, they’ll need to bake anywhere from 1 hour to 2. Keep checking periodically after an hour; the cakes should spring back when touched and pull away from the sides of the pan/s. If you’d like to make these cakes ahead, they keep in the freezer for up to a month. Let them come to room temperature then glaze them.
For the cakes:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups blueberries
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease your desired cake pan/s (I used two 5″ inch round pans) and set aside until needed.
- Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes on medium high, scraping down the bowl and beater regularly.
- Decrease the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and he beater after each egg, and beating well.
- Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, beat in half the flour mixture, the the sour cream, lemon juice and zest and then the last of the flour. Do not overmix- this will make a tough cake.
- Fold in the blueberries by hand, making sure they are well dispersed.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan/s and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Sprinkle the tops with an even layer of granulated sugar.
- Bake for around 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pan/s halfway through, until the batter is firm, risen, and pulling away from the sides of the pan/s.
- While the cakes bake, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, poppy seeds and milk until smooth.
- Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes when done. Unmold from the pan/s, then glaze with the lemon juice icing. The cakes keep, loosely covered, for 4 days at room temperature.