A simple raspberry lemon poppy seed cake, filled with fragrant citrus, vanilla, and almonds, and dotted with jammy berries – it’s the perfect sweet afternoon treat.
Let’s talk cake.
Are you a fan of gloriously stacked and filled and frosted beauties? Or do you fall into the humble single layer cake camp, served simply with a dusting of sugar, a casual dollop of fresh whipped cream, and maybe a scattering of fresh berries?
While I do love layer cakes, simpler versions make their way into my oven much more often. What these uncomplicated cakes may lack in spectacle, they more than make up for in flavor – and ease. Minimal fuss, but maximum results thanks to good ingredients.
In the case of this raspberry lemon poppy seed cake, fragrant vanilla bean, ground almonds, olive oil, and fresh citrus elevate ordinary sugar, flour, and eggs. It may be rustic, but the resultant golden, berry-studded cake shines.
About this raspberry lemon poppy seed cake
This raspberry lemon poppy seed cake comes from Julia Turshen’s lovely cookbook, Small Victories. Turshen calls her original an “Afternoon Cake,” as it’s a not-too-sweet, simple to throw together treat that makes for an excellent late afternoon pick me up (especially paired with a cup of something cozy).
I added poppy seeds and a handful of plump raspberries to the batter right before baking – because, of course I did. A tablespoon or so of coarse sugar sprinkled over top renders them ever so jammy as they bake and sink gently into the cake.
Strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries, or any number of stone fruit varieties, sliced thinly and layered on top, would likely be delightful here as well.
You can make your own almond meal/flour by grinding up whole almonds in a food processor (just stop blending before they become almond butter!). Using blanched almonds will result in a finer, more delicate crumb, similar to store bought options.
OR, the almond flour may be omitted completely (subbed for equal amounts all-purpose flour). Either way, know that it enhances the other flavors in the cake to a wonderful degree, and if it’s an ingredient you keep on hand, I’d encourage you to include it.
Oh, and while regular lemons will more than do, if you can find them, sweeter, more complex Meyer lemons, freshly juiced and zested, truly make this already sublime cake sing.Print