Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


Jun 07

Tender and light lemon poppy seed cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting and fresh raspberries.

Hi! I’m back home for a couple days before I have to head out for another work trip (this month has been crazy, you guys! Can’t wait for things to settle down a little in March). The night I got back, I was able to join some of our family and closest friends to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of my baby sister. Kenzie is ten years younger than me, so the fact that she’s getting married is a little surreal and is making me feel far older than I feel comfortable with. We’re so excited for Kenzie and Stephen, and I’m particularly eager about their wedding cakes… because I’ll be making them! Stayed tuned for all of that!

 

The Perfect Shower Cake

For Kenzie’s wedding shower cake, I went with the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Technicolor Kitchen). This is my go-to wedding shower or baby shower cake. It’s light and fluffy and tastes so fresh. The ladies love it and there’s never a single crumb leftover.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

With a little lemon simple syrup soaked onto each cake layer, the flavor in this cake is unreal. I also love that the possible flavor combinations in this cake are so versatile. Instead of raspberries, you could use blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. You could also use a compote filling or even preserves.

I think once you try this cake, it will be on your list of go-to’s as well!

Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield One 3-layer 8-inch round cake

Lemon poppy seed cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting and fresh raspberries.

Ingredients

For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (recipe adapted from: Technicolor Kitchen)

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds, soaked in water for about an hour before hand*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, coarsely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 5 large egg whites

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe adapted from: Technicolor Kitchen)

  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Filling and garnish: fresh raspberries

Instructions

For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, 1 3/4 of the sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed to blend the ingredients and break up any lumps, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the butter, lemon zest and 1 cup of the buttermilk to the flour mixture. Beat on low until completely mixed, then raise the speed to medium and beat for two minutes to lighten and aerate the batter.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and whisk to blend thoroughly. Add this mixture to the batter in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only enough to incorporate. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine were done at 24 minutes, so keep an eye on them around 20 minutes - remember, you want a few moist crumbs to come out on the toothpick when you check the center of the cakes). Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  6. While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon syrup: in a small saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  7. Turn the cake layers onto wire racks and gently poke holes on the top of each cake layer with a toothpick. Generously brush each cake layer with the lemon syrup. Let cool completely.

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Continue to beat until very fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla and lemon extract extract and beat well.
  5. Before using on your cake, mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.

Assembly

  1. Place one cake layer, bottom side down, on a cake plate or cardboard cake board. Spread about 1 cup of frosting across the top of the cake layer. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure the frosting is even. Cover with fresh raspberries.
  2. Place the next cake layer on top of the raspberries. Gently spread about 1 cup of the lemon cream cheese frosting over it.
  3. Repeat steps one and two for the second cake layer. 
  4. Place the final cake layer, top side down, on top. Give the cake a quick crumb coat and chill for 10 to 15 minutes in the freezer before frosting the entire cake.

Notes

*Poppy seeds absorb moisture. Make sure to soak the seeds to help keep the cake from becoming dry.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Cake

15 thoughts on “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hi there. This is gorgeous. May I ask what colours you used to get that effect with the icing?
    Thanks so much, Louise

  2. Hello! I really want to make this cake for a baby shower for one of my best friends this weekend but I am wondering if this will be enough cake. There will be about 20-25 people, do you think this is enough cake for everyone? Thanks!

  3. Hi Courtney! I know this is an old recipe but I’m looking up ideas for Easter dessert. Do you think it would be ok to skip the poppy seeds? We have kids who won’t touch seeds. Would it affect the texture to leave them out, and if so, what should I replace them with? Thanks!!

  4. I was just wondering if I can freeze the cakes ahead of time. I wasn’t sure with this cake since you poke holes and let the syrup sink in. Have you froze this cake before? I am wanting to decorate it and everything a couple days before a party I am having . Thanks advance for your advice