Friday, August 31, 2007

Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake

Serves: 16
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Baking Time: 45 - 50 Minutes

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan (or whatever works for you)
Flour for dusting the pan

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix (we have substituted yellow and it is yummy)
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 cup low-fat vanilla or lemon yogurt (we use vanilla)
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, poppy seeds, yogurt, oil, buttermilk, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute (we use a KitchenAid mixer and can actually make a double recipe in the standard bowl). Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the side down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended and the poppy seeds should be evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack, then invert it again onto another rack so that the cake it right side up. Allow the cake to cool completely, 30 minutes or more.

4. Place the cake on a serving platter and serve.

** Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.