As described in the book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum, this cake can be baked with or without poppy seed and I'm curious to try out the differences. I'm baking this cake using three of my miniature Bundt cake tins and made three different versions of this cake. One has all ingredients in this recipe, another has all except the poppy seeds and the third one has all but using the poppy seed only as the cake topping.
These cake are very moist and delicious to eat but I reckon they are all too crumbly on their surfaces. Seeing that this recipe contains a large amount of butter and sour cream, I would assume that this cake would has a buttery and compact texture but I was wrong seeing that the cake is quite fluffy instead. As described in the book, the cakes did shrunk from the sides of the pan after removal from the oven, and I reckon this is causing the cakes to be quite crumbly on their surfaces as they withdrew themselves from their pan surfaces.
For this reason, I reckon the cake that has the poppy seed topping has worked the best for me! Surprisingly, the poppy seed topping has make this crumbly cake easier to un-mold and it looks neater than the other two cakes. Despite all imperfect looks, all three different versions are all nice and buttery-yummy and the one with poppy seed incorporated is slightly different from others with its extra nutty texture.
The each of us had a go to vote and choose to eat the cake that we prefer the most with our name tags. Not surprising, my son chose the best looking one and it's always mum and dad get the uglier-looking cakes! LOL!
I am baking these mini Lemon cakes for our bake-along with my two baking buddies, Lena, from Frozen wings and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.
Here's the recipe from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
(with my minor modifications and notes in blue)
Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
200g sour cream
1 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
250g cake flour or all purpose flour (I used cake flour which has 8% protein content)
250g superfine sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (replace by baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1/3 cup poppy seeds
200g unsalted butter
one 10-cup metal fluted tube pan coated with baking spray and with flour
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C and set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
In a medium bowl, whisk the whole eggs, yolk, 1/4 cup sour cream and vanilla, just until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda (I didn't add this), salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds (See my note) on low speed for 30 sec. Add the butter and remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 min. The mixture will lighten in colour and texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 sec after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Using a silicon spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
Bake for 45-55 min or until a wire cake tester inserted between the tube and the side comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
Shortly before the cake is finished, make the lemon syrup.
Makes 2/3 cup or 200g
Lemon juice 6 tbsp
In a large microwavable glass measure, heat sugar and lemon juice, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved. Do not allow it to boil. Cover it tightly to prevent evaporation.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a wire rack, poke the cake all over with thin skewer, and brush it with one-third of the syrup. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 min. Invert it onto a serving plate. Brush the top and sides of the cake with remaining syrup. Cool completely and wrap tightly.
Using 1/3 of the recipe, I've divided the cake batter into 3 portions. I've incorporate 5g of poppy seed in one portion, sprinkled 2g of poppy seed into another cake tin as cake toppings and kept the last third of cake batter with no poppy seeds. I've baked 3 mini Bundt cakes (each with 1 cup capacity) at 150°C fan forced for 30 min.
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.