Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes with Raspberry Curd Filling

Happy Birthday to everyone born in January!  

Like ME!

Here is my birthday cake this year.  It is a lemon poppy seed cake with a raspberry curd filling and almond cream cheese frosting.

I thought the flavors were interesting and enjoyed this cake, but there were a few things that bothered me.  First, due to the cream cheese frosting, I needed to refrigerate the cake and I didn't like it as much after it was cold (even if it had come back to room temp).  Second, frosting is lame and I can never find one that I like.  I am sure the one I will like is one that takes about 10 hours to make.  Annie originally made these as mini cakes.  So, she had recommended doubling the cake batter to make two 9 inch round cakes.  Doubling the batter made way too much cake.  I think you could probably make two thin layers using the recipe below.  I also think two thin round cakes would be better than what I had.

The raspberry curd is delicious.  And I like it with the lemon poppy seed cake.  Annie originally made this with a lemon buttercream, but said she would have preferred a lemon cream cheese frosting.  I thought there was plenty of lemon, so I went with an almond cream cheese frosting.  I liked the almond flavor in the frosting but just thought it was too sweet.  

Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes with Raspberry Curd Filling
adapted from Annie’s Eats

For the cake:
2 1/3 cups cake flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
12 tsbp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk

For the raspberry curd:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or
1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnish:
fresh raspberries (optional)

To make the cake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9Å~13″ cake pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a bowl; set aside. In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl, clean the mixer bowl and reattach it with the paddle attachment.

Add the butter to the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Mix in the lemon zest. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat until just blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites and gently fold in until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 24-26 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the outside of pan and gently turn the cake out. Allow to cool completely.

To make the raspberry curd, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries. Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut the cake into rounds as desired. Layer the rounds with the cooled raspberry curd. Once layered, allow the assembled cakes to cool in the refrigerator to help them set.

In the meantime, make the frosting. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the chilled cakes with the frosting. Garnish with fresh raspberries as desired.

(Servings: 8-10, Time: about 4 hours, Difficulty: Intermediate)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  6/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  5/5
Dishwashing Effort:  5/5


  1. I wish that could have been my birthday cake last year. It looks absolutely yummy. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog right now and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

  2. whoa. i want to make this. and i dont really get excited about desserts. mostly bc i also never like frosting. BUT i love cream cheese frostings so i guess im going to have to make this one. rules are rules.