bits and pieces

Monday, April 18, 2011

Citrus Poppyseed Pound Cake

tasty, citrus-y pound cake.
Being the most reasonable of provinces to have moved to, Saskatchewan decided to reward me by dumping 3 inches of snow on me this weekend. In fact, it's morning and (I am drinking coffee in bed and typing this) as I glance out the window it appears to be snowing again. Hurrah! April!!

So due to the weather, I was sad and blue and decided that a sunny citrus-y cake would cheer me up. This cake is pretty serious. I fall in and out of baking.. once in awhile it seems like I have a week where just NOTHING I bake works out. I baked my fav earl grey tea cupcakes a few weeks back (cupcakes I have made DOZENS of times), and they didn't work. Didn't rise, tasted like flour, icing was bad. And I have no idea why! Maybe the baking gods just punish me from time to time.

sunny ingredients for a sunshiney cake.
That said this cake was suuuuper easy. It's not a fast recipe (takes an hour to cook) but it's mad easy yo. The cake is cakey.. it's a pound cake so you know it's going to be dense. But the citrus lightens the flavour which I like - and I looove the crunch of poppyseeds. This is not necessarily your fluffy dessert cake, BUT it is a lovely cake to have with tea or for breakfast (shh). A cake that you feel OK snacking on, if you will.. I know I do.

I adapted this recipe from a standard sour cream pound cake recipe. And my adapted I mean I added orange + lemon. You could probably make this cake with ANY additions. Add some cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg + walnuts and you have yourself a spice cake. Add some chopped apples + pears and you have a tasty fruity cake. Add some maple + pecans and you have yourself some other kind of delicious cake. You get the idea. Just always make sure to add a bit more flour if you're adding additional liquids.

1 1/2 cups of flour (plus 1 tbsp or so for any additional liquid.. I used about 1.5-2 more tbsp of flour)
1 cup of white sugar
half a cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
half a cup sour cream
a pinch of baking soda
the zest of half an orange + the juice of half an orange
the zest of half a lemon + the juice of half a lemon
1.5 tbsp poppy seeds
a half tbsp of oil
dash of vanilla (optional)
dash of cinnamon (optional)

other things you will need: 
a mixing bowl + wooden spoon/spatula
a pan to bake your cake in - I used a bunt pan
a little butter to grease your pan with
  1. First preheat your over to 375 and grease your pan. I floured mine afterwards as well (put flour in the pan AFTER you have greased it and shake it around to coat then dump out the excess). 
  2. In a large bowl, cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then add your eggs + sour cream. Mix only until blended. 
  3. Add poppyseeds, lemon zest, orange zest, and juice. I also added the cinnamon and vanilla here. Mix. 
  4. Add flour and pinch of baking soda. Mix. Stir in your oil. 
  5. Pour your cake batter into your pan and stick it in the preheated oven. Set your timer for one glorious hour. 
And now onwards to the icing! This is a buttercream icing. It is exactly what it sounds like PLUS a whole punch of sugary sweetness. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so I can't layer this on like a crazy person, but it's the perfect compliment to this cakey cake.

half a cup of butter (soft butter - but not melted)
2-3 cups of icing sugar (don't worry, you might not use it all)
the remaining zest from your lemon + orange
a couple tbsp of the lemon + orange juice

other things you will need: 
a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon/spatula
a sweet tooth
  1. In your mixin' bowl cream your butter and zest until light and fluffy, slowly adding your sugar as needed. If there is NOT enough sugar your icing will look all separated and weird. Once you have the optimum amount of sugar it should be creamy and glossy. Basically it should look like icing. 
  2. Slowly dribble in and blend your lemon and orange juice. Add more sugar if needed. Once your cake is totally cooled ICE THAT BITCH. This recipe makes a bit more buttercream than necessary, so feel free to cut your cake in half (horizontally) and add an inner layer of icing-y sin before icing the outside.
  3. Eat your cake with a cup of tea and glare at the April snow.

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