comments 12
Dessert / Sweet

Dear Dzadzi, Last week, we said goodbye to an incredible man. Thomas R, we shall love and have you in our hearts forever. Thank you for giving us a beautiful family and for sharing your precious smile.
Miss you.

LEMON POPPYSEED LAYER CAKE // Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Kurt Gutenbrunner via Food & Wine

2/3 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1 1/2 tb finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup poppy seeds, used for half of batter (Smitten used 1/2 cup for entire cake)
Pinch of poppy seeds
Mini flower buds

Preheat the oven to 325°F Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans generously. Butter the dull side of two 8-inch pieces of foil.

  • I only had one 8-inch pan, so I divided the batter, one with poppyseeds and one without, and baked each cake separately.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the sugar with the egg yolks and whole egg at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy, about 8 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch over the egg mixture and fold in along with the pinch of salt with a rubber spatula. At medium speed, beat in the butter. Once incorporated, divide the batter into separate containers, then pour and fold in the poppyseeds into either of the batters.

Pour each batter into the prepared pans and cover tightly with the buttered foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the foil and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely before serving, at least 30 minutes.

Take a serrated knife and slice each cake in half to make two even cake layers with each baked cake. There will be a total of four layers.The cake can be wrapped in plastic and foil and left at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Note: recipe will make 4 layers of cake, not 5 as shown above. (I experimented with different sized pans and made five layers)

Vanilla Buttercream *Makes enough to spread between layers of cake. If frosting entire cake, double recipe.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered confectioners’ sugar
3 tb whipping cream
1 tb water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the whipping cream, water, vanilla, and salt and whip on medium speed until smooth and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Spread between the layers of cake. This frosting is best used immediately.


  1. This is the most beautiful, grown-up cake I have ever seen! I can’t stop staring at it. Truly beautiful post.

  2. Miss Sarah B, you have turned Deb’s humble-looking cake into a masterpiece. Marvelous work! And a bittersweet celebration of life well lived.

    • Aww Kate!! You’ve been writing the sweetest comments over here lately, and you’re truly capturing the essence of the thoughts and words that are sometimes so hard for me to express. You’re sweet and lovely my lady.. Thank you. I appreciate your kindness so so much. xx <3

  3. I’m reading this recipe that has moved me to tears. I couldn’t stop thinking of this one particular soldier that I lost in Iraq while treating him. This cake has to be incredible to take me to a memory I have kept far away from my mind.You have a forever fan in me… Thank you.


  4. Pingback: Wrap It Up Pretty Little Black Book! : Wedding Favors

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s