Lemon & Poppyseed Cake
For the sponge:
325g plain flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
112g unsalted butter, room temperature
120ml vegetable oil
310g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
120ml fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
2 tbsp poppy seeds
For the cream cheese frosting:
150g/5½oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
45g/3 tbsp caster sugar
300g/10½oz full fat cream cheese
What to do:
1. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 165°C.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in colour and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time. I use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
6. Combine the milk and lemon juice, then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.
7. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
8. Add the lemon zest and poppy seeds and gently stir to combine.
9. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then gently remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
11. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
12. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
13. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix until well combined.
14. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add more or less powdered sugar, as desired for consistency purposes.
15. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat, if needed. Then, slice the two cakes into halves so that you have four layers to build the cake with.
16. Spoon some frosting onto the serving plate, then place the first cake layer on top. This will help it stay in place.
17. Spread about 2 large spoonfuls of frosting evenly on top of the cake.
18. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting. Then repeat with the last.
19. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. I use a palette knife and spin the cake around to get a smooth and even finish.
20. Finish off the cake as you like. I tend to decorate simply with grated lemon zest!