The days are getting longer, the flowers are starting to bloom, and that means that spring is just around the corner.
But right now we’re stuck between seasons where winter produce is still stocked in markets with the occasional spring treats like peas starting to pop up. We’re in the culinary no man's land. So it’s time for a recipe to get you through these seasonal transitions: enter our Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake. It uses Meyer lemons and almond flour to make a light, bright cake that’s as at-home on a spring picnic as it is eaten standing next to the floor heater on a particularly cold March morning.
We baked up this classic cake in a bundt pan because they’re cheap and make any cake look gorgeous with minimal effort, plus frosting isn’t needed. Some people think bundt pans are a little outdated but those are what we call “bad opinions”. If bundt pans are good enough for grandma then goddamnit it’s good enough for us.
Despite seeming as old as time itself, bundt pans were actually designed in Minneapolis in 1949. David Dalquist started casting aluminum into consumer goods like cake pans and selling them through the mail with his wife Dotty, an avid baker, as his partner.
One day a group of older women from the local Hadassah chapter of Minneapolis asked him to recreate an old ceramic, fluted pan one of the women had inherited from her grandmother. The pan was used to bake bundkuchens, party or "gathering" cakes traditional in Germany and many parts of eastern Europe. The Dalquist’s company, Nordic Ware, quickly created the pan and launched it with their line of cookware. They even trademarked the shape and added the t to the end of bund to secure their claim on the uniqueness of their pan.
Millions of pans later, Nordic is still made in America, the king of the bundt pan, and owners of that trademark and the random t. So yeah, the word is confusing but the cakes it bakes up are legit. Grab one from your local thrift store or kitchen supply shop and get baking.
Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake
Makes one large cake
2 ¼ cups almond milk
Juice from 1 meyer or regular lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup almond meal/flour (same thing)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Zest from 1 lemon
½ cup cane sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Warm up your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a bundt pan.
Whisk the lemon juice into the almond milk and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugars with the zest. Kinda rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until there aren’t any clumps of zest floating around. Add the oil, poppy seeds, extracts, and almond milk mixture to the sugar and stir until it’s all combined. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the sugar milk mixture. Stir until just combined and only a few clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the edges brown and pull away from the pan and a toothpick stuck inside comes out clean.
Let sit for about 10 minutes before flipping the pan over, taking the cake out, and letting it cool down completely on a wire rack. Once it’s cooled all the way to room temp, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and serve that shit up. It’s great as is, with fresh fruit and whipped cream, or alongside coffee in the morning.
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Thanks again for joining us here in The Broiler Room. Leave your dishes in the sink, we’ll clean up. Same time next week?
Michelle and Matt