Lemon poppy seed cake has always been one of my favorites. There is something about the slightly tart, rich buttery cake with the nutty crunch of poppy seeds that is so comforting together with a cup of tea. So when I spotted some blue poppy seeds in a street market in Paris early last Summer, I bought several packs and this is how I used one of the packs. Unfortunately, I don’t even recall what original lemon poppy seed recipe I used when I baked these several months ago, but there are many good ones on the net. But I publish this because of the slight variations I made to the recipe, with great results…
First, I used these blue-grey poppy seeds instead of the black ones. I am not sure if most folks can tell the difference if they were blindfolded, but I like the lightness and flavor of the blue ones.
The next change to the classic recipe that I tried was using three kinds of citrus fruits instead of just lemons. So I replaced the lemon juice with some orange juice, dayap juice and lemon juice. Next, I added the zest of all three. I think this gave the cake a more aromatic and slightly less tart flavor. But the complexity of the citrus component made this a very intriguing and unusual version.
I mixed the blue poppy seeds into the batter, making sure there were a LOT of poppy seeds spread out throughout the dough.
The cake was also drizzled generously with a mixture of the three citrus juices and confectioner’s sugar for a glaze that added sweetness and tartness at the same time.
The cakes were superb. And each slice was chock full of poppy seeds and the various citrus zests that were included in the batter.
So the next time you try a lemon poppy seed cake, try altering the types of citrus zest/juice that you use, and see if you find a combination that you like even better than the original. I will have to make these again soon so I can nail down a recipe and record it. In the meantime, enjoy the photos. :)