Thursday 20 May 2010

The Cake Slice May 2010: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Frosting

This month, The Cake Slice group decided we wanted a tall and exciting cake to welcome the start of the warmer weather and voted to bake a cake from last years cake book: Sky High Triple Layer Cakes. The cake in question was a delicious sounding three layers of lemon poppy seed cake, soaked in lemon syrup and frosted with almond infused cream cheese icing. As a lemon and almond lover, I knew before I even heated the oven that this cake was going to be a winner.

The cake was very quick to put together and produced a wonderfully light and creamy batter thanks to it being made solely with egg whites and lots of buttermilk. The poppy seeds looked very pretty scattered throughout the cake layers and added a little texture without being obviously crunchy or full of ‘bits’ as they are so teeny tiny.

The lemon syrup kept the layers lovely and moist and added a real lemon zing. Don’t be tempted to leave this stage out as it’s the syrup that adds most of the lemon flavour, the cake itself is quite subtlety lemony. The lemon syrup really brings it alive.

Almond cream cheese frosting. Mmmmmm it really was as good as it sounds. This was the best bit of the cake for me, normally I’m not a big frosting fan but this smooth and creamy frosting packed a real punch of almond flavour and worked so well with the zingy lemon and slight tanginess of the cream cheese. Just divine. I even kept the leftover frosting and ate it on bread – it really was that good!

I was also thrilled at how thick and creamy the frosting was, I’ve often attempted to make creamy cheese frosting in the past and had it collapse into a liquidly mess, but not this time – it was just perfect.

My only criticism of the cake is that because it was an egg white cake the layers were a very pale white colour and the poppy seeds gave it a bit of a grey appearance, but I’m nitpicking. I decorated the cake with a ring of toasted flaked almonds around the top edge. Simple yet effective.

Overall I loved the combination of lemon and poppy seed, but it is the almond cream cheese frosting that made this cake for me. Click here to see my fellow Cake Slice bakers and their cakes.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Frosting
(Recipe from Sky High Irresistible Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne)
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
360g plain flour
300g caster sugar (I only used 200g)
4½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp poppy seeds
200g unsalted butter
1 large lemon, zest only
275ml buttermilk
5 egg whites
Poppy seeds or flaked almonds to decorate

Lemon Syrup
100g caster sugar
75ml water
1 lemon, juice only

Almond Frosting (I only used two-thirds of this)
225g cream cheese
200g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1 tbsp almond extract

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Heat the oven to 180C. Grease three 8 inch cake pans and line the bases with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix gently to combine.
Add the butter, lemon zest and 200ml 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 colour.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining 75ml 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 the lemon syrup.

Lemon Syrup
In a small pan combine the 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 before frosting.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, about a quarter at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the almond extract 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. Garnish with your choice of flaked almonds or poppy seeds.
Makes 1 x 8inch triple layer cake. Serves 12-16


Leslie Harris said...

What a beautiful cake! And it looks delicious! I think I'm going to have to bake it after all. (But without the poppy seeds!)

Monica H said...

Your cake is really quire perfect Katie. It really is beautiful. I, unfortunately, had to leave the almond out of the frosting because of allergies in the family, but I'm sure I would have loved it.

I'm so excited about this cake and I can't wait to see all the other cakes!

Choclette said...

This is one gorgeous looking cake. I really like the whiteness of it, it looks very refined and elegant - not grey at all. And the flavour combinations are quite unusual.

Baking Addict said...

Wow absolutely stunning cake. Love your swirl and flaked almond decorations. Lemon and poppy seed is one of my favourite.

Mima said...

For sure you are the best slice cake maker.
Looks beautiful and delicious.
Ummmm You can bet that I wish to have a piece of it :O

Meeta K. Wolff said...

looks delicious and extravagant!

Maria♥ said...

Hi Katie

Unfortunately I have some very sad news about Rosie from Baking Cakes Galore, she has passed away. Could you please pass by my blog. I have written up a tribute for her on my blog and would like everyone who knew her to leave a comment as I will be printing out all the comments to send onto her husband.


M D said...

Gorgeous looking cake! Can I have a bite pleaaaase!!!! It looks so fresh and yummy, loved the way u've frosted it.

Hilary said...

This looks absolutely fabulous! Lemon and poppyseed is one of my favourite combos.

Johanna GGG said...

wow that looks amazing - and I love hearing you eat leftover frosting on bread - makes me get ideas about leftover buttercream frosting in my fridge - you are a bad influence

Jo said...

Katie, your cake looks gorgeous. How I wish I could have gotten my hands on poppy seed. Sigh!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

what a beautiful cake! and every bit as delicious as i hoped it would be. this was a winner!

Rachel said...

The lemon syrup worked magic on the extent I forewent the frosting.. Very pretty sky high cake!

natalia said...

Mamma mia this is a capolavoro !!!! Really wonderful !!

Donna (Texas) said...

Oh, This looks Wonderful!! 'Gonna try this one!

OvenDelights said...

I sure missed out this month!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow - that's a stunner.
The frosting looks amazing. i love how your layers are all so even and level

Smitten Sugar said...

I am so sad I had to skip this months cake! But wow your cake turned out beautiful! I love the look of the poppy seeds scattered throughout!

Chele said...

Wow does that look good!

Anita said...

You've really made the icing sound fantastic. I'll have to try it. I love your three layers it is perfectly decorated too.

Allison said...

Looking at the pictures of your cake makes me want to make this one again! The swirl design in your frosting is beautiful.

Brandy L said...

MMMMM that looks so good! Thanks for sharing. :D

Made With Pink said...

OMG, this looks LUSH!! I HAVE to try this. When I was a kid and living in Canada my mom used to make the most amazing lemon poppyseed cake, and I've been craving it for ages. This might just do the trick!

Unknown said...

Your cake looks great, Katie!

Valérie I♥Cakes said...

I discovered your blog thanks to this cake that I made this weekend and I absolutely love both (your blog and the cake) !! Thanks !

Anonymous said...

umpjscudugufsjfibkuh, Yahoo scanner, BubPvYm.

cheap viagra online said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

Unknown said...

This looks so delicious and I really want to try to make one - but I can't get over the conversion to english measurements! I gave up!

Unknown said...

Posted this recipe with a link on my blog today! it looks so good! cant wait to try
here is the post if you would like to see


Pebbles said...

I’m impressed. Very informative and trustworthy blog does exactly what it sets out to do. I’ll bookmark your weblog for future use.


Unknown said...

OMG i just made this last night and it was AMAZING! My turned out looking awful because I wanted to eat it so bad I did not wait for the cakes to cool, but that did not change the taste. I took it to work today and got rave reviews!! YUM-O!

Unknown said...

I made this for a church function & not a bit was left! I had a slight difficulty with the conversions as well & used too much butter but it still baked up nicely & for the frosting I just added more confectioner's sugar to make up for the excess butter. It was delicious & impressive!

Sam said...

what is icing sugar? is that powered sugar?

Katie said...

Hi Sam,

Icing sugar is what we call confectioners / powdered sugar here in the UK.