A wonderfully moist loaf cake bursting with tons of lemon flavor and poppy seeds, and with a crunchy sugar topping.
I have always been a little gun shy when it comes to lemon-flavored desserts and baked goods. I would take pretty much anything else before choosing a citrus dessert, but I’ve slowly started to come around. I’ve found that I love the combination of lemon and berries, and of course lemon meringue pie because, well, pie crust and meringue! I decided to venture beyond my comfort zone and make this lemon and poppy seed drizzle loaf after seeing it in an issue of Delicious Magazine. It was met with rave reviews at Sunday dinner, so I had to share it with you!
There are a lot of lemon drizzle cake recipes out there, and most of them seem to originate in the UK. For as many recipes as there are, there is an equal number of varieties when it comes to the batter and the glaze. I was drawn to this particular recipe because of the poppy seeds and also because of the incredible sugar crunch crust.
The cake has a huge pop of lemon flavor and, oh, that crust. I might just have to do this for all of my muffin recipes from now on and just use a simple syrup instead of a lemon syrup. SO GOOD.
I am in love with the idea of drizzle cakes – very similar to poke cakes, but done with loaves and syrup or thin icing instead of a sheet cake. I can’t wait to do more experimenting!
Make the Loaf: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a pinch of the flour with each egg, beating well after each addition.
Sift the remaining flour, baking powder and baking soda into the batter. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour mixture into the batter. Add the hot water, ground almonds and poppy seeds and gently stir together with the spatula. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
Make the Drizzle: In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the superfine sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn the cake out of the pan and poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer. Slowly spoon over about three-quarters of the lemon syrup. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Once cool, sprinkle the granulated sugar all over the top of the cake. Reheat the remaining syrup, if necessary, then drizzle over the sugar. Serve at room temperature. The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 4 days.