Two Tier Lemon & Poppyseed Cake
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
This one is a crowd pleaser thats for sure! Beautifully moist cake, candied lemons and oranges, sour and sweet buttercream - what's not to like? It looks impressive, but it's actually deceptively simple to make! Please read ahead and let me know what you think!
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1/2 cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon rind/ zest
2 tbsp poppy seeds
Prepare two cake pans with baking paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 155°C fan forced or 175°C / 350°F .
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in colour, creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Combine the milk and lemon juice, then slowly add to the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
Add the remaining dry ingredients, lemon zest and poppyseeds and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE CANDIED LEMONS AND ORANGES:
2 small lemons and 2 oranges
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup of water
Cut lemons and oranges into 5 cm thick rounds; and carefully remove the seeds.
Stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
Add lemon slices, and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, 14 to 16 minutes or until slightly translucent and rinds are softened. Remove from heat. Place slices in a single layer on baking paper and baking tray using tongs. Cool completely (about 1 hour).
Cover and chill 2 hours to 2 days.
Remaining syrup can be reserved for other uses (for example in soda water, or on top of yoghurt and granola instead of honey.
TO MAKE THE LEMON BUTTERCREAM:
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
4 – 5 cups (480-600g) icing sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large pinches of lemon zest, or to taste
salt, to taste (I use about a tsp, Maldon)
With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar, lemon zest, salt, the heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed for another minute or so.
Add up to 1/2 cup more icing sugar if buttercream is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if buttercream is too thick.
To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat, if needed.
Place the first cake on a serving plate or cake stand.
Spread about 1 cup of buttercream evenly on top of the cake.
Top the cake with the 2nd layer and ice the outside of the cake.
Finish off the cake as you like. I smoothed and swirled the butter cream on top with a offset spatula, then added the lemon and orange slices as well as some more lemon rind.
The cake can be made ahead, tightly wrapped in cling wrap and iced up to 3 days later. Once made, consume within a week.
Instead of a buttercream cream cheese also make a delicious topping!
Time saving options that are equally as impressive (or if you want to try your hand at building a decorating a cake without making the complete cake); lots of grocery stores have packet mix lemon and poppyseed cake available.