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Spring is finally in the air and Gourmet Creative is finally back up and running! I am celebrating in true sugar junkie fashion with a glorious new cake recipe. Lemon cakes are so light and refreshing for the start of warmer weather. This 3-layer version with poppyseed sponge and lemon buttercream icing is a sweet-tart treat that you will want to repeat this spring and summer. “Naked” cake icing is a lot easier to achieve than complicated smooth fondant or fussy royal icing. Top with some fresh flowers, and you’re all set.
After many weeks of changing web hosting services, redesigning my website and blog from top to bottom, I am ready to bring you some fresh new content. Also coming very soon will be my first GIVEAWAY! I had the honor of doing the food styling for a newly released book, Ballerina Body by superstar ballerina Misty Copeland. As a way to say thanks to my supporters, I will be giving away a hardcover copy of the book. Info on how to enter coming soon.
For now, I leave you with this lovely recipe and some drool-worthy photos (shot by Amy Roth).
Lemon Poppyseed Naked Cake
A light lemon sponge cake with poppyseeds, frosted with lemony buttercream- perfect for any celebration!
For the Cake
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
For the Lemon Soaking Syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- juice of two lemons
For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- water as needed
Set all ingredients out on the counter for at least 1 hour to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray three 6″ cake pans with cooking spray then line with parchment paper which has been cut to fit the pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a bowl. In a measuring cup, measure out the milk and pour in the lemon juice. Allow to sit for a few minutes. (The mixture will curdle slightly- don’t panic, this is normal.)
Beat the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture, mixing until fully combined.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Ensure that each is filled the same amount and spread the batter evenly in each pan with a spatula. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the finished cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully turn out the cakes onto the wire rack and remove the parchment paper.
For the soaking syrup, in a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside to cool slightly.
While the cake is still slightly warm, poke holes about 1/2 inch apart over the surface of each cake using a toothpick. Brush the surface of the cakes with the lemon syrup, then allow the cakes to cool fully before frosting.
Cream butter and shortening together in an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Gradually mix in the lemon juice. Add water about 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the frosting is fluffy and easily spreadable. Spread the icing evenly over the top of 2 layers, then stack the 3 cakes. Spread frosting on the top layer and sides. Use a long bench scraper or icing smoother to decorate around the sides of the cake, allowing some of the "naked" cake to show through.