Friday, December 5, 2014

French Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake

I was thinking of lemon poppy seed cake for the last two weeks! Haha! Not just any lemon-poppy seed cake, but this cake, French Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake from "Flour" cookbook. I finally made the cake last week, so I can stop thinking about it, for now! :) Why THIS cake? Because I made it the first time a couple of months ago, and really liked it. And I am so craving for it again, with a warm cup of my favourite tea!

This cake uses a different method of mixing the batter, instead of the usual way of making pound cakes. Firstly, eggs and sugar are whipped together until really light and fluffy and gently fold in the flour. In another bowl, whisk melted butter, cream, lemon zest and juice, and poppy seeds together to combine. These are then quickly and gently mix into the mixture. 
I have reduced the sugar to 180gm (from original 250gm), and the reduced sugar works out fine, the sweetness was just right. Recipe mentioned that to bake the cake at a preheated oven at 350F, about 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes. However I have checked the cake at 50 minutes of baking time, and the cake was already done. Take note of the baking time depending on your oven.

There's a lemon glaze to drizzle over the warm cake, but I have omitted that. I like eating pound cakes without any glazes. 

The cake has a tight, light dense but soft, moist crumbs. Taste really good! Lemony and buttery cake, with the nutty, cracking bite from the poppy seeds. I really enjoyed this cake, so perfect with a cup of warm tea. Fearing that I'll eat most of it (like the first time when I made it!), I packed some slices for hubby to bring to work. Thumbs up from his colleagues and they are expecting more slices the next time round. OK. Got it! Will bake a whole cake for them soon!

If you are hosting a Christmas party, this cake would be lovely to serve, cut into small slices. Or if you are invited to one, it would make a lovely gift. Make the lemony glaze to drizzle over the cake for a more festive treat! Enjoy!

French Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake
(adapted from "Flour", Joanne Chang)
2 cups (240gm) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 kosher kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (1-3/8 sticks/156gms) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to slightly warm
1/4 cup (60 gms) heavy cream, at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
4 eggs
1-1/4 cups (250gms) granulated sugar (I use 180gm)

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup (70 gms) confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 to 1 lemon)
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, or line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick liquid. If the butter hardens into little lumps, heat the mixture gently until the butter melts again. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a hand-held mixer), beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and lemon coloured. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 8 to 10 minutes).
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture just until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
  7. To make the lemon glaze : While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and enough of the lemon juice to make an easily spreadable, smooth glaze.
  8. When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spread or spoon the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, letting the glaze dribble down the sides.
  9. The cake can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 I'm linking this post to :
Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014 hosted by Bake For Happy KidsEat Your Heart Out and Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

I'm sharing this post with :


  1. Very moist cake with lemony flavour. Yum!

  2. Joyce, this looks and sounds great! And the batter method is interesting. I'd take a lemon cake over chocolate any day, and with poppy seeds---only makes it better! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Joyce , I think the whisking of eggs and sugar together in this recipe is the same way with her banana bread as well :D I've just checked our local lib online catalog if there's a listing of Flour sadly , no :P Love the look of your pound cake , it looks very tempting , makes me salivate ! I haven't tried using poppy seeds yet , will have to check it at some baking supplies here tomorrow .

  4. I am licking my lips it looks so good. I cn see just see the lemon flavor oozing out of the cake. Yum!

  5. The cake looks really moist and beautiful. Citrus and poppy are the best together.

  6. Look delicious Joyce!
    I love poppy seds in cakes:)

  7. I wonder why this is labeled "French" -- poppy seeds are unusual in French baking, and they don't often make this type of baking powder loaf cakes. I love the combination of lemon and poppy seeds, though, and it sounds like a good recipe.

  8. Hi Joyce, I like tangy lemony cake.
    Oh .. you like eating pound cakes without any glazes ... me too.
    With some glaze over the top of the cake surely look snow covering ... so Christmasy. Thanks for sharing ^-^!

  9. I know you had to send it with your husband Joyce but please remember this...anytime you're worried about eating the whole cake, any kind of goodies that is, just "throw" it in a mail box and send it my way, lol...your Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake sounds oh so yummy!!! Very interesting method too:)

    Thanks for sharing, Joyce...

    P.S. I'm just curious but, why wouldn't you freeze it for the next craving???

  10. That looks so yummy, long time I didn't use poppy seeds in my cakes already, must try again.

  11. Joyce, I know that a lemony buttery cake is very delicious. Yes, can eat almost a whole cake too hah..hah.. I have bookmarked this recipe :)

  12. I haven't had a lemony poppyseed cake in years. Delish!

  13. Hello Joyce! This looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Hi Joyce,

    Totally agree that this cake is good enough on its own... Hope that you enjoy your me time with a slice of this cake and a cup of tea :D


  15. I love the crunchy poppyseeds in this! It looks so good! :)

  16. Hi Joyce I would definitely want lemon icing on this! YUM!