Lemon and poppyseed cake

lemon and poppyseed cake

The idea to make this particular cake came while I was in Scotland just after Easter. We rented a remote cottage for a week in the middle of nowhere and had a fabulous time walking, thanks to the glorious weather (yes, occasionally the sun shines here too!). To replenish the lost calories every day, after each walk, we treated ourselves to a slice of cake in some lovely tea room or other in the area. One of the cakes I had while I was there was one made with lemon and poppyseeds. I had never had one before but it was absolutely gorgeous.  What I particularly liked about it was the tanginess of the lemon combined with the interesting, crunchy texture from the poppy seeds. When I came back I went hunting for a recipe to try and found one by Jill Dupleix which sounded good. My guinea pigs were the bunch of Italian ladies who have the misfortune (or is it a fortune? The jury is still out on that one) to live here in the UK in my same area. I invited them for lunch and presented them with this cake explaining I needed to try it out before it went on the blog  (between you and me I think they are getting sick of me and my blog! :-)). Well….they loved it , and so did my husband who had what was left, so here it is. It is lovely and moist inside but it  has a delicious crunchy lemon and sugar topping . Mind you: be careful to check your teeth in the mirror for any errand seeds after you have eaten it  or  they might think you are in need of dental treatment!


100ml milk
3tbsp poppyseeds
150g butter
150g caster sugar
½tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (60g), separated
150g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Small pinch salt
1tbsp finely grated lemon zest (I used the zest of two untreated lemons)

Topping: 70g caster sugar
30ml lemon juice


Bring the milk to the boil, add the poppy seeds and set aside to cool. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well.

Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt , then fold in the lemon zest, milk and poppy seeds. Beat the egg whites until peaky, and fold through the mixture. Pour into a buttered and floured 20cm diameter high-sided cake tin and bake for 40 mins at 180 degree.

To make the topping, stir the sugar and lemon juice into a paste. While still hot, brush the cake with the sugar paste, then leave in the tin to cool.

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3 Responses to “Lemon and poppyseed cake”

  • Ebbene si’ lo confesso : sono una delle cavie del gruppo. Felicissima e sempre disponibile a nuovi esperimenti.
    La torta al limone e semi di papavero, ahime’, e’ un attentato alla linea ma altamente goduriosa…….
    Pronta all’ appello per la prossima chiamata. :-)

  • Now and again we have to forget our expanding waists, don’t you think? Or how dull would we be? :-)

  • Devo dire che provo invidia per le lady-guinea pigs. In italiano cavia si è ormai desemantizzato e quando lo usi non senti squittire ma se lo leggi in inglese è tutto diverso. La torta è da fare subito, proprio oggi sono a casa finalmente, vado dal dottore e poi di corsa a comprare gli ingredienti. Luigi e Matteo ti saranno grati.

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