Recipe – Lemon PoppySeed Cake

Yield:  Serves 8
Lemon cakes are my particular favorites because their flavors complement the fine teas. This cake, as easy to prepare as it is satisfying to the appetite.
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons poppyseeds
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9×4-inch loaf pan.
Place the butter in a bowl and, using a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very pale–almost white–and has doubled in volume, 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the flour and salt into a bowl, then sift together again into another bowl. Add the poppy seeds. Gradually add the sifted mixture to the butter mixture, beating until smooth. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a rack, lift off the pan and let cool completely. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top.
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