It’s sweet, dreamy, and delicate. And there is something about the preparation that makes it quite therapeutic to work with. Lovely scents of fresh vanilla, soft lemon, and a hint of coconut make this cake a true pleasure to make. The flavors are exquisite with smooth and melt in your mouth cream cheese, chewy and nutty poppy seeds that partner perfectly with a subtle lemon, and a luscious frosting that brings all of the cake’s flavors together. I am welcoming spring early, all while sharing my love with my favorite people in form of a most wonderful bonne bouche.
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES ABOUT 12 SLICES
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups (300 gr.) all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups (400 gr.) sugar
1 pack cream cheese (8 oz/ 226 gr.), room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract or seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
For the cream cheese drizzle:
1/2 pack cream cheese (4 oz/ 226 gr.), room temperature
1 cup (120 gr.) icing sugar
dash of vanilla extract (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
6 tablespoons (50 gr.) melted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) and line the bottom of a greased 25 cm. (10 in.) springform cake pan with parchment paper. Sift and combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in poppy seeds and mix the dry ingredients together.
2. Cream together the coconut oil, butter, and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Stir the cream cheese into the sugar mixture until smooth. If you don’t have a stand mixer, this is best done with a wooden spoon or baking paddle. Then, whisk in your eggs, 1 at a time, into the cream cheese mixture, until well combined and smooth. I find it easier to stir in the eggs by hand to avoid over mixing the batter. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined.
3. Fold in 1/2 of the flour mixture and then half of the milk. Repeat. Fold the batter until there are no more visible lumps. You should have quite a thick cake mixture. Spoon it into the cake pan and smooth out the surface with a baking paddle.
4. Bake for about 50 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. It should be a rich golden color. Don’t be alarmed if a small crack forms over the surface of the cake while baking. It will come together once cooled. Leave to sit at least 30 minutes before removing from the cake pan.
5. For the cream cheese frosting, cream together the cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar until well combined. Add the vanilla, poppy seeds, butter, and lemon juice and continue mixing. Then, whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the drizzle right onto the center of the cake and then use an offset spatula to spread it outwards so that it slightly falls down the sides. Top with dried rose petals and chopped pistachios for a simple yet elegant finishing touch.