Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

You can never go wrong with a classic layer cake! This rich lemon poppy seed cake served as the perfect base for practicing my decorating skills. # 126: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This post is truly an ode to freeze-dried raspberries. Where have they been my whole life? They provide a gorgeous color and a yummy zing of berry flavor without adding in unnecessary liquid to a frosting. It can go hang out with beetroot powder on my list of recent ingredient discoveries that I’m in love with.

Berry season is making my smile about a mile wide! I love the mix of tart and sweet that you get from a fresh basket of strawberries from the farmers’ market. There’s truly nothing like it. I can’t wait to try out a strawberry rhubarb recipe next week! It’ll be my first time baking with rhubarb – wish me luck.

What do you think of when someone says cake? Here’s the official definition I found from Merriam-Webster:

“a sweet baked food made from a dough or thick batter usually containing flour and sugar and often shortening, eggs, and a raising agent”

While technically accurate, I feel like it’s missing an important aspect – frosting! I know you don’t need frosting for a cake to be spectacular (I’m a huge advocate of glazes, drizzles and cake soaks) but it truly is fun to make and eat. I recently had a classic buttercream come out with meh results, so I decided to dive back into Swiss meringue buttercream for this cake.

But first, the cake! I love a good lemon poppy seed dessert. Especially when there are Meyer lemons around. The extra sweet lemon-y flavor is the perfect compliment to the nuttiness of the poppy seeds.

Hot tip: always make mini versions, so you can mess up on a few cakes and still have one that’s a success.

As with any cake, you want to trim the top off so you have a flat surface to frost. Pro tip: spread a healthy amount of frosting between two of the cake tops and you have a sort of whoopee pie!

I went ahead and used the same cocoa mascarpone whipped cream recipe that I listed in my Strawberry Shortbread Stack post. It’s just too delicious – it deserves to be a regular guest star on this blog!

I love how shiny the meringue gets in this frosting! You cook egg whites and sugar in a bain-marie or double boiler until the sugar dissolves. Then you whip them into soft peaks and begin to add the butter in small chunks.

Then for the grand finale: add in your flavorings. For this version, I added a tiny bit of vanilla and a handful of powdered freeze-dried raspberries.

I used an offset spatula and a spinning marble stand to frost the cakes. So fun to spin the stand and magically have the frosting smooth out. Crumb coat first, then thin second coat on top. Some people drown their cakes in frosting so they can have the perfect finish, but I’d rather be able to find some cake in each slice, ya know?

Allllll the freeze-dried raspberries.

It’s invitation to the Met Gala was lost in the mail, but it got dressed up anyway.

I sat with the taller one for a while trying to decide how to decorate it. No surprises, I decided it needed a raspberry jacket.

Aww yeahh.

Happy munching!

Cake recipe from:

3 thoughts on “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

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