Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon Poppyseed Cake // The Merrythought
Another lemon dessert for you today – a delicious lemon cake. The first time I was going to make this was for a birthday party we were throwing for my mom and my aunt. Except I had gotten as far as making the cake layers when we had to postpone the party due to illness. So I threw the layers in the freezer and waited to get the go ahead that the party was back on. After a few days, we realized we had too many other birthdays coming up and would need to postpone the “sister” party, and party on with the other celebrations. I was very anxious to finish the cake and try it, so I decided that we could use it for Lincoln’s birthday.  I was hoping my vanilla loving boy wouldn’t mind a little something different.

The cake turned out to be everything I was anticipating.  The cake is moist and fluffy.  The filling is light and smooth.  And the frosting, oh this frosting.  It’s dreamy.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this frosting.

This would make a perfect addition to your Easter dinner menu!  Just in case you’re looking for an excuse to make it…
Lemon Poppyseed Cake // The Merrythought
Lemon Poppyseed Cake // The Merrythought
And as you can see, the birthday boy thought this cake was pretty tasty!



3 cups cake flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2-3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
zest of 1 large lemon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
5 egg whites
½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, lemon zest, and one cup of the buttermilk, beat for 2-3 minutes, until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla.
Gradually add the egg white mixture to the batter and beat for another 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Make sure everything is thoroughly combined, but do not overbeat your batter. Pour into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.

For the filling:
4 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese, cold
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. lemon extract
zest of ½ a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

To make the filling, combine the mascarpone and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined. Mix in the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Blend in the lemon extract and lemon zest. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and fit with the whisk attachment.
Add the heavy cream to the bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.
Mix about a third of the whipped cream into the lemon-mascarpone mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain and the mixture is evenly blended.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6-8 cups powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream cheese and mix for another 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar (a little at a time), lemon zest, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. Add fresh lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, till lemon flavor is to your liking. If mixture seems to thick, add milk, 2 tablespoons at a time to reach desired consistency. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

To assemble the cake, level cakes if necessary and slice each cake horizontally (a cake leveler is a great tool to have) to make 4 layers total.  Place one of the layers on a serving platter. Top with a third of the lemon-mascarpone mixture and smooth in an even layer.  Repeat process with remaining cake layes and filling.  Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the lemon cream cheese frosting.  If desired, apply poppy seeds to the sides of the cake and sliced lemons on top of cake for garnish.  (To apply poppy seeds, I placed some seeds in a small bowl, dipped my finger in water, and then gently picked up the seeds and pressed onto cake.)
Lemon Poppyseed Cake // The Merrythought
(Cake & Frosting: adapted from Always With Butter; Filling: Annie’s Eats)


Happy Monday friends!  Manda

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