This recipe is a delight in spring time. If you want your home to smell like a bakery and a fancy spa at the same time, you should definitely bake this cake. And I particularly love this for a birthday breakfast celebration.
You can bake this as a loaf or in a bundt pan because it looks fancy but is wicked easy to execute. Oh and this is definitely one of those cakes that I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, both cold and warm.
Serves: 6 - 8
Total time: 1 1/2 hours (plus soaking time over night if you opt into that)
Difficulty level: easy
For the lemon poppy seed cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 packed tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For the lavender-lemon syrup:
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lavender buds
3 tablespoons water
For the lavender- lemon icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1- 2 tablespoons lavender-lemon syrup
1 teaspoon milk
Let's do it!
Preheat oven to 350° and grease a bundt pan or loaf pan.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a regular mixing bowl with some elbow grease), beat the butter for a minute or so until lighter in color and slightly fluffy. Then add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix on low speed briefly to combine, then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes to aerate the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again briefly to fully incorporate.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350° then cover with buttered foil and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes or until the edges start to move away from the pan and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup: bring all the ingredients to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes to be sure sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 30 minutes, then pour through sieve to remove buds. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the syrup for the icing.
After removing the cake from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Poke the cake all over with a wire skewer or a fork and then brush or spoon the syrup over the surface of the cake.
Allow to cool completely. To get the most lemony/lavender flavor, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and store overnight to allow the syrup to distribute fully.
To finish the cake, make the lavender-lemon icing. Whisk all ingredients together and then drizzle over the cake. Enjoy with coffee, tea or a mimosa!