Friday, January 29, 2016

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I'm not personally concerned about eating gluten free -- it's never been a problem. But I have a close friend who is gluten intolerant and she was coming for tea. The day before I had made a lemon poppyseed cake (with gluten) to use up some of the lemons I'd grown on my indoor Meyer lemon plant. I offered the cake to a painter who was working at my house, but later found out he was gluten intolerant too (although he ate a small sliver).

 After finding out that the best chocolate chip cookie I'd ever eaten was made with "Cup for Cup," a gluten-free flour alternative, I rushed to Williams Sonoma to buy a package two months ago. I'm still trying to get my hands on the recipe for those chocolate chip cookies I ate months ago at Untitled, the cafe at New York City's Whitney Museum. 

Meanwhile, it was time to use that flour before it went stale or worse yet, little moths found their way inside.

I searched the internet for a lemon poppyseed cake recipe and found just what I was looking for on the "Cup for Cup" website. If you've got someone who can't tolerate gluten, check out the website for a host of different recipes.

The painter was back the next day and loved the cake. So did my friend. They each took some home.

And I have to admit the cake was so delicious with such a good flavor and tender crumb, that I'll be baking it again -- even if no one who's gluten intolerant is coming to visit!

By the way, if you've been used to buying your poppy seeds in bulk in the past, you may not be able to do so any longer. Here's the sign I found at the Savory Spice store here in Princeton, NJ. Who knew?

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Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

(From Cup For Cup website)

printable recipe here

For the Cake:

1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

Zest of 2 large lemons

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla extract

2 cups (280 g) Cup4Cup flour

2 ½ tablespoons (20 g) poppy seeds

2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 g) kosher salt

1/4 cup (66g) buttermilk or milk

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar

1 -2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

To Garnish:

Fresh lemon zest, grated

Poppy seeds


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 9”x5” loaf pan.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter until soft, about 1 minute.

3. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Add the sugar to the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and beat for 1 minute between each addition.  Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  The batter may look curdled.

5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Beat on low speed until almost incorporated.  Add the buttermilk and beat on low until everything is combined.

6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

7. For the lemon glaze, mix together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl. Add more lemon juice to thin the consistency, if desired.

8. Pour the glaze over the cooled loaf. Top with grated lemon zest and poppy seeds. Let the glaze set up before slicing.

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