Lemon & Poppyseed Syrup Cake

I hope you’re having a good weekend, lovers! It’s a grey and dreary day today, it’s disappointing that winter is officially here at last… But the good thing about winter? Boots, winter coats, hot chocolate and baking! Now that’s got to perk up any cold rainy day 🙂

I actually made macarons today, which turned out surprisingly well despite the humidity in the air, but as I’m waiting for them to set in the fridge before I photograph them, I thought I’d post up the recipe for this gorgeous cake I made last weekend but didn’t have the time to blog about.

I love citrus fruits – oranges are tasty, lemons amazing, limes heavenly. The other members of my family have a low acidity tolerance, and whenever I make lemon curd or anything lemon-ey they’re always screwing their faces up and  pursing their lips when they taste it. Aside from perfecting my lemon curd when making my Lemon ‘Ménage à trois’ Cupcakes, I haven’t really bothered making anything else out of citrus fruits.

However last week one of my sister’s colleagues at work brought in a whole bag full of organic lemons from their tree at home, and with them being so sunny in their yellow splendor, I HAD to make something out of them! Mum’s been wanting me to make a cake, so I had a flick through my cookbooks and saw a recipe for Lime & Poppyseed Syrup Cake in my Australian Women’s Weekly Afternoon Tea Collection book, and I decided to adapt it by using lemons insted of lime.

This cake turned out MASSIVE. I decided to pull out the bundt pan out of the cupboard as mum bought it ages ago and we’ve never used it, and it seriously took us a whole week to finish this cake, even with my sister’s boyfriend taking home a massive 1/4 of this doughnut lol. I reckon 3/4 of the recipe would make a nice, standard-sized cake, but I cbb to do the measurements for you… hey, more cake = more love, right?

You will need:

  • 1/4C (40g) poppy seeds
  • 1/2C (125ml) milk
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1+ 1/4C (275g) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2+ 1/4C (335g) self-raising flour
  • 3/4C (110g) plain flour
  • 1C (240g) sour cream

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease your bundt pan well, or grease and line a normal cake pan with baking paper.

The recipe says at this stage to combine the poppy seeds and milk in a small jug and soak for 10 minutes, but I completely forgot about it and skipped it, and it turned out fine.

  1. Make sure your butter is softened. Place it in a large bowl with the rind and sugar
  2. Beat it with an electric mixer until light and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions
  4. Stir in the sifted flours, sour cream and poppy seed mixture (milk & seeds), in two batches.

The mixture was DENSE, due to the sour cream. It gave me a serious arm workout to stir everything in at the end, as I was using this pathetic plastic spatula I got from Hot Dollar ages ago. Really should invest in a more sturdy one.

Anyway, spread your mixture into your pan.

The recipe says to bake your cake for about an hour, but because I thought mine would cook faster due to the massive hole in the middle of it, I checked on it after about 40 minutes and it had cooked through when tested with a skewer. I left it in the turned off oven to keep it warm while I made the syrup.

To make your citrus syrup, you will need:

  • 1/2C (125ml) lemon juice
  • 1C (250ml) water
  • 1C (220g) caster sugar

Stir these ingredients in a small saucepan over heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 minutes. It won’t thicken to the consistency of, say, honey, but you’re not looking for that.

Turn your cake out.

My beautiful bundt! From looking at it, it was clear that it wasn’t going to all get eaten immediately, so I didn’t follow the recipe in simply pouring the syrup all over the cake, as it would go soggy and yuck. So I cut a slice, then poured the hot syrup over the warm cake. Absolutely delicious.

I was really pleased with how the cake turned out – fluffy, with the poppyseeds providing a delectable crunch, the lemon zest subtle, the syrup adding quite a bit of moisture and a lovely zing. As the days progressed and the cake got a little drier, I found the syrup an even better addition. Definitely a keeper, this recipe!

12 Comments Add yours

    1. Cath Chen says:

      Thanks, starscraper! 🙂

  1. I purchased a bundt tin a few weeks ago and am a little nervous about using it. This cake looks fantastic and I think it is time to take the plunge and dig it out of the cupboard… 🙂

    1. Cath Chen says:

      Do it! 😀 Just grease it VERY well. I was holding my breath when I flipped it over…and the moment it came out was simply divine!

      1. Good advice, I will let you know how I get on 🙂 x

  2. liannelow says:

    this looks amazing and the cake looks deliciously moist! Thanks for sharing the recipe! So gonna make this soon! (: loving your blog btw!

    1. Cath Chen says:

      Thank you!! 🙂 It’s an amazing recipe, although the cake is HUGE. Let me know how it turns out!

      1. liannelow says:

        I think I might cut the recipe because it’s just me and the mr! (: Will do! hehe

  3. Susan says:

    butter your bundt pan well – and then flour it. Put in a little flour (even 1/4 cup) and turn the pan in every direction so that you can see that it is entirely coated with flour. Then turn your pan upside down over the sink and hit the sides of the pan quite hard so that there is only a very thin layer of flour left on the pan. MAKE SURE YOUR COOL YOUR CAKE COMPLETELY. I have been anxious many times to see my beautiful cake – only to have half of it remain in the pan. Good Luck!

    1. Cath says:

      What a great tip! Thanks so much for sharing, Susan 🙂

  4. Robyn Watson says:

    I made this last night as abirthday cake for my sister-in-law.I used limes. Instead of the syrup I made a spreadable icing, using icing sugar mixture, soft butter and the juice of two limes. I only covered the top of the cake in a ‘textured way’. I then grated lime rind to give it some colour. A lovely purple hydrangea was put into a liqueur glass of water in the centre and green ribbons around the edge. Anne loved it and it served 18 people!

    1. Cath says:

      That sounds absolutely amazing, Robyn! Did you take a photo by any chance? If you did, please send it through, I’d love to see it! 🙂

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