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lemon poppy seed loaf cake

Poppy seeds remind me of bagels after Saturday soccer games in the suburbs of Philadelphia! The poppy seeds would get all over everything, but I did not mind because they were the perfect addition to the warm bagels, which I slathered with strawberry cream cheese. Since moving to Charleston, I discovered that poppy seeds are EXTRA yummy with lemon. Meet lemon poppy seed cake loaf cake, your new favorite dessert...or breakfast. I enjoy making this cake in the morning because it makes the whole house smell good all day! I use Olinda olive oil in this cake along with an equal measurement of neutral vegetable oil to balance out the flavor.

Butter and flour, for greasing pan (I use baking spray, it is so easy)

1¾ cup all-purpose flour, more for pan

Zest of 2 lemons

1 cup sugar

½ cup buttermilk ( or 1½ teaspoons white vinegar combined with enough whole milk to make ½ cup- stir the mixture and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to separate, or curdle)

3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 large eggs

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, such as Olinda olive oil

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan. In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until the sugar starts to have a yellow tint. It will feel pretty moist and smell lemony. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and eggs. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients into the batter, followed by the oils and poppy seeds. Make sure there are no lumps, but do not mix too much, or else the cake can be tough! Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the confectioners’ sugar. Poke cake with a toothpick, about 10 times, so that the glaze can be absorbed well. While the cake is still on the rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, spread glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Cool completely before slicing.


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