Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Overload Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Overload Cake - ButterYum
I had 8 egg yolks left over from a recent baking project so I searched the internet for a recipe to use them and I came up with this rather unusual lemon poppy seed cake.  The recipe is adapted from 3-star Michelin Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner.  The high ratio of poppy seeds lends a pleasantly nutty flavor and somewhat crunchy pop in every bite which leaves you wanting more and more.  On the flip side, the original recipe called for only enough lemon zest to lightly perfume the cake so I bumped up the lemon flavor with the addition of pure lemon oil.  All in all, the cake is dense yet light, dry yet rich, crunchy yet tender, not too sweet yet satisfying.  Quirky, unique, and quite definitely, utterly spectacular.

Don't be alarmed when you read the list of ingredients - they are correct.  Be sure to cover the cake pan with foil as directed, and don't over bake the cake - remove it from the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   If you like your cakes a little sweeter, feel free to add the optional glaze I've included below. One word of caution - the cake wants to stick to the pan badly and I have found Baker's Joy works perfectly, allowing the cake to release cleanly from the pan.

beat egg, yolks, and sugar together until light and fluffy

the mixture will look like this after 8 minutes

now the flour and cornstarch are sifted into the bowl

fold them in by hand

using a spatula, go down through the middle

carefully sweep up the side of the bowl and over

repeat, turning the bowl 1/4 turn each time, until all the flour is incorporated

 now fold in the lemon oil, melted butter, and lemon zest

lastly, sprinkle the poppy seeds over the batter, being careful not to deflate the batter

put the bowl back on the stand mixer and let the whip distribute the seeds

look at all those seeds!  They must be called poppy seeds because they pop in your mouth :)

now we use this magic stuff to coat the cake pan

spray every nook - we don't want any cake disasters

don't be alarmed that the batter doesn't fill the pan... this is a short cake

cover the cake pan well with nonstick foil or buttered foil

the cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean and the cake starts to shrink away from the edges of the pan (note the cake doesn't rise much in the oven)

wait 15 minutes before turning the cake out of the pan

the finished cake is pretty small - only 7 inches wide and 2 inches tall
small in size, but big in flavor

Mmmm.  Snack time!

Lemon Poppy Seed Overload Cake
Printable Recipe
makes one short 7 to 8-inch diameter cake (baked in a tube or bundt pan)

2/3 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoon lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
2 teaspoon pure lemon oil
1/2 cup poppy seeds

optional lemon glaze:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

optional garnish:
confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325F.  Prepare an 8-inch tube or bundt pan with Baker's Joy or other flour/oil baking spray (I used this silicone cake pan).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks, whole egg, and sugar at medium high speed for about 8 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy.  Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the mixer (you'll need the whisk attachment again in a few minutes).  Gently sift the flour and cornstarch over the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them in.  Fold in the melted butter, pure lemon oil, and poppy seeds too.  Return the bowl to the stand mixer and incorporate the poppy seeds.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Cover pan tightly with non-stick foil (or buttered foil).  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Remove foil from pan and cool for 15 minutes before unmolding.  Make glaze by heating the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar dissolves (without allowing the mixture to boil); brush over top and sides of unmolded cake.  Cool completely on a cooling rack.  If desired, sprinkle with confectioners sugar after glaze dries.  Wrap leftovers well in plastic wrap and serve within 3 days.


  1. I love a good poppy seed cake, and this has a lot of them in it! Yummy! Your photo is so beautiful also! Joni

  2. These are so irresistible...lovely clicks as well.

  3. Looks DELISH!! Can't wait to try it :)

  4. Ooh, Aah! I am loving the overload of the poppy seeds! This is just gorgeous!

    You oh so have to put your first cake on your blog! I think it would be so fabulous! I laughed about you dropping the roast beef! It brought back more disaster memories. My mother used to make a beautiful whipped cream cake and she had us store it downstairs in the freezer when it was done. It was a layer cake and I was to take it downstairs. As I hit the floor from the last step the cake slid right off the pedestal and ended up on the basement floor! There was no saving that one!

    1. OH NO!!! I bet you felt as helpless as could be when that happened :(. I had one of my children carry a 1-gallon container of homemade apple sauce and guess what happened to it. Yep... it was dropped and it spilled everywhere. What a sticky mess.

  5. This looks so delicious and I'm all for the overloaded poppy seeds.

  6. Now this is a cake fit for Christmas day!!! I have been looking for a cake to make for Christmas supper. We have a cozy meal of stew or something like that. And a birthday cake for Jesus! This is a cake fit for a King!!!!

  7. My mind is going into overload just looking at this wonderful cake! Good idea to ramp up the lemon flavor. I need to make this ASAP.

  8. don't take a drug test after eating this!

  9. I wish I had a few slices of that gorgeous cake to go with my tea this morning! I love poppy seeds crunch and this sounds delicious, especially with the added lemon oil. Downright delicious.

  10. I just found your recipe page today while looking for a strawberry jam recipe. You've done a beautiful job!! I will be checking back often!!

  11. i would like to eat a piece of because each time i see it each time i'm crazy about

  12. Patricia we must have very similar taste buds, i find everything you make so tempting. I love using lots and lots of poppy seeds in cakes and cookies, I love the crunch and the taste!


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