ell. This isn’t very festive, is it? There’s no way to make a lemon cake seem of the season, but it’s too good to hide away until the sun comes back.
There’s something inherently terrifying about making a layer cake – for me, knowing that a bake has a purpose and so has to be really good almost always means I mess it up.
There was the salted caramel crumble bars for dessert after a roast at a friend’s which turned out to be appley shortbready mush. The cookies that I tweaked, which resulted in a too-gooey dough. Before that, the chocolate birthday cake that was so loaded down with ganache that it could have been used as a weapon.
So when making this for my best friend’s birthday, working roughly off a loaf recipe and making the rest up as I went along, there were a lot of nervous frowns and shaky hands. I knew what I wanted it to be: a strong lemon flavour but not overridden by too-sweet curd; a creamy frosting that would be rich enough to be satisfying but still light.
And by some miracle, I made it.
Lemon and poppy seed cake with mascarpone frosting
Adapted from Good Food. Could easily feed 16.
Notes: For this cake I used Lurpak baking spread, which I was sent to experiment with, and it worked beautifully in this cake. You could also use normal butter.The cake happily lasted five days in an airtight container.
50g poppy seeds
|* It’s worth using a good quality lemon curd here, as it significantly contributes to flavour and cheaper lemon curds tend to be cloyingly sweet.** I used two 8 inch sandwich tins, and, obviously, baked the cake in two batches. Leaving cake mixture to sit is somewhat controversial but it worked absolutely fine. Turning them out should be easy, if you turn them upside down and give them a tap on the bottom.|