With a bright lemon flavor, this classic Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake is a tasty treat for warm spring and summer days!
Once you leave college, meeting friends and new people is a downright pain. Do you go to a bar to meet new friends? “Hey. My name is David. What do you like to do for fun?” I’m pretty sure the police would be on the way to have a chat with me. On the flip side, maybe I could make friends with the officer! In all seriousness, meeting friends as an adult isn’t easy. For us, the Schenectady Curling Club changed everything. I met a group of guys there, and we’ve become good friends. We curl together, we drink together, we help each other move furniture, they eat my extra desserts. That’s how we roll.
Over the past couple of years, our friend group has expanded to include other parents from Robbie’s preschool class. The conversations might be more centered around our kids, but that’s ok. We still enjoy hanging out for play dates. After all, play dates mean the kids get tired…and that leads to easy bedtimes later that night. Bonus!
We’ve become good friends with the parents of one of Robbie’s friends. Naturally, when we first met, the conversation turned to what we do for work. Laura explained how she turns coal into diamonds. I explained how I take pictures of food. (As many times as I’ve heard Laura describe her job, I still barely understand it. It involves metals and alloys and powders and other fancy scientist stuff. I’m pretty sure I would blow something up if I ever switched roles with her for a day.)
Food is a universal language, and the conversation soon turned to baking. Our new friend had been stalking some of my cakes, and she commented that they looked delicious but she could never make them. I immediately objected. If I can do it, then you can do it! This led to us having a dinner play date with the kids where I taught her how to bake a cake. In turn, I’ve asked her to teach me how to make some of her incredibly tasty Indian recipes.
As I was chatting with her, I realized there are a handful of helpful baking tips that I’ve picked up over the years. These tips don’t always make it into each recipe. Instead, they fall into the ‘general kitchen knowledge’ department…but they aren’t necessarily common sense. In fact, I didn’t know these tips and tricks when I first started baking. I’ve learned ’em over time. So here are a couple:
- I bake cheesecakes at least one day before I want to serve them. Once baked, I wrap the cheesecake (pan and all) in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer. The next day, I rotate the frozen cheesecake over a gas burner on the stove for about 30 seconds. This loosens the edges enough to pop open the springform pan. Nice and easy way to get the cheesecake out of the pan!
- The oven makes a great proofing box for bread. Sure, it’s not a real proofing box, but it’s a nice confined spot with no drafts. I typically heat the oven to just 100°F or so and then turn the oven light on. It’s a great place to let bread dough rise.
- Magnetic nesting measuring cups. This has seriously saved me so much time over the years. I don’t have to go digging through the drawer looking for whatever size I need. It’s right there nested with its friends.
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
Another tip I picked up years ago actually came from this very recipe. I made this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake for my coworkers back when I worked in college athletics. It was a random Friday, and I felt like bringing something in. My Mom used to make this pound cake when I was a kid, so I decided to try my hand at it. It turned out great…except the bottom of the cake was super salty. Huh? I couldn’t figure this one out. Then it hit me that perhaps the kosher salt I used in the recipe sunk to the bottom of the pan while it baked. I’m not sure if that was the problem, but I only use table salt when baking now. Kosher salt for cooking. Table salt for baking.
With that, I leave you with this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake. It’s a tried and true recipe that’s been a family favorite for as long as I can remember! Happy baking, my friends, and feel free to share your baking tips and tricks in the comments below.
Did you make this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more pound cake recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
For the Glaze
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ Tbsp poppy seeds
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a standard bundt pan with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.
- Using a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds; stir until well combined. Set flour mixture aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out mostly clean.
- Let cake cool for 30 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
For the Glaze
- Using a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
- Drizzle glaze on top of cooled cake. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle poppy seeds on top.