Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tucson lemon poppyseed cake

Another of those recipes that arrived by mail from my yahoo groups - I printed it off ages back but didnt get around to trying it. Eventually I DID try it out (or this post could never have been, could it?) but it's been a few weeks since that event as well.

It's a nice lemony cake, but I dont really understand why it needed the poppyseeds. I've never used poppy seeds in a cake before and I'm not sure I will again, because there wasnt any value addition to the end product, in my opinion.

(Do I sound like an economist - or something like - or what! Mr P Ganesh, if ever you read this, you'll know that one of your ex-economics students has managed to remember a vaguely economical(!) phrase. Never think your efforts were entirely in vain!)

Basically I felt the poppy seeds gave the cake a gritty sort of texture when eating it, but that's only my opinion. Our friends decimated it quite quickly and even took some home - oh yeah, it's a large cake! And I didnt use a tube bundt pan because I dont have one. I used a large rectangular daisy-mould baking pan that I got along with my
sunflower pan. Oddly enough, this cake, like the sunflower-shaped sponge, is a lemony one as well!

Baking artists like Archana of
Spicyana would certainly have made better use of the daisies by colouring them with icing and making the cake look stunning... but I dont have the expertise (or the urge to learn, much as I'd like all the admiration and oohing and aahing from readers!), so I just poured the lemon glaze on top and decided that was enough.

One last thing - I dont know why it's called Tucson lemon poppyseed cake, unless it originated in Tucson or something.

Recipe for:
Tucson lemon poppyseed cake


2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 tbsp grated lemon peel
4 tbsp lemon juice

For the lemon glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and beat for 5 minutes. (The original recipe said to use 1/4 cup margarine but I omitted it. This is a simple glaze!)


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 10" baking pan.

2. Beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

3. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Beat into sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk until well blended.

4. Stir in the poppyseeds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Spread in cake pan.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

6. Immediately poke holes in the cake with a skewer. Pour 2/3 of the lemon glaze over the top and let the cake cool for 20 minutes in the pan.

7. Remove the cake from the pan and pour over the remaining icing on top.


Rajesh &Shankari said...

You are right ..poppy seeds, I think I will omit that when I make this recipe.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Are those the poppy seeds in that cup? I've never seen light colored poppy seeds. They've always been black.

Lemon-poppy seed is a familiar pairing. I'm not exactly sure why either but I like it.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I looked this up - the poppy seeds I'm used to seeing are blue, not black and are different from the lighter colored ones. This recipe probably should have had the blue poppy seeds. Maybe then it would have made sense but then again, maybe not. They're very subtle.

Anonymous said...

great to see a cake post after a long time! I think if it's a european recipe, they probably meant black poppy seed(??), I have seen lemon cake slices with poppy seeds (it's the black ones) in various shops here, mostly quick snacks, upper crust, rest of the railway station cafes around the south. Doesn't do much taste wise, but definitely gives an added visual appeal with those tiny black specks.
Oh and I sooo love the size of your portions!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry cookbook junkie...i posted my comment and only then read yours.
Indian cooking has lots of recipes with white poppy seeds. But yes u are right I think in the west, lemon-poppy seed combo probably calls for a black (or blue!!) one.

Anonymous said...

Cookbook Junkie, S: Says a lot about my sometimes blinkered vision that the thought of black/blue poppyseeds didnt even enter my head! :) Ofc I've seen the little black poppyseeds on specialty bread in bakeries... I DO know about them, I just didnt associate myself cooking with them. Plus I havent seen them in the Indian store where I buy my supplies. Gotta look out for them in regular markets, methinks.

Thanks for the research and info, guys!

Lakshmi said...

cake looks yummy friend.

Shammi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lakshmi! :)

Lakshmik said...

Yummy. Will try it out.

Anonymous said...

I have eaten the lemon poppyseed muffins in the US. They usually mean the black tiny poppyseed and not the Indian KhusKhus. Maybe that is why you found that the texture was not to your liking (as others have already posted before). Hope you make this again with the black poppyseeds and post the pictures again for us readers living vicariously through your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shammi,
Thanks to you ! Intha vaaaram Shammi cooking vaaram. Yep. I found your blog when I was googling and I found that all my favourite vegetarian south india food was here. So on Mon it was Kathirikka Satham, Tues- Aloo-Mutar Kuram, Wed-masala chapati and kojju,
Thu- Veg Pulao, and on Fri- Dal Dhokli (from Lav's page). It is amazing. All the recipes came out wonderful. Am planning on some extra veggie shopping this week :)
I think it will be a good idea to have a rating for each recipe in your blog. I found this HTML code which you can include in your blog and we can rate your wonderful recipes. Here is the link if you want to use it.

Thanks for the lovely recipes and sorry abt the Xtra long comment.

Anonymous said...

Anon: Point noted :) I'll be looking out for the little black/blue poppy seeds and give the cake another go!

Kaskuss: Glad you found the recipes useful! :) and thank you very much for the link to the rating code too.