old friends – honey lemon poppyseed cake

old friends – honey lemon poppyseed cake

Honey, an organic natural sweetener, was highly prized by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans as not only an important food source but as a gift to the Gods. Honey continued its popularity until the Renaissance when sugar started to replace it as a sweetener.

Since the taste of honey is influenced by the type of nectar that the bees have gathered, there are as many flavors as there are flowers. Honey also comes in a wide range of color. Lighter honey is milder, while the darker product has a more robust taste and contains more minerals

Poppy seeds are another ancient food produced in many countries today, but those from Holland are considered the finest in both flavor and quality. Close to a million slate-blue seeds are found in one pound.

Many cultures haves recipes using these ingredients. This Honey Poppyseed Lemon Cake has the health benefits of honey and the unique taste and texture of poppyseeds–while the zesty lemon filling complements this ancient combination.


Honey Lemon Poppyseed Cake


Poppyseed Cake
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups (7 ounces) cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseed
Lemon Curd Filling
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Honey Cream Frosting
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Honey Lemon Poppyseed Cake layers (3)
  • Lemon Curd Filling
  • Honey Cream Frosting
  • 1 quart fresh figs or berries (optional)
  • Honey for drizzle (optional)


Poppyseed Cake

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans.

2. Whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla in measuring cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, mix until mixture are pea-size pieces, about 2 minute.

3. Add half of egg mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining egg mixture and poppyseed, beat until just incorporated, another 45-60 seconds Give batter a final stir by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake until tops are light golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes , rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack, about 1 hour.

Lemon Curd Filling

1. Heat lemon juice in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolk in medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in honey. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon juice into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until mixture thickens, enough to cling to a spoon, about 3 minutes.

2. Remove pan from heat and stir in cold butter until incorporated; stir in cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into small nonreactive bowl. Cover surface of curd directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed.

Honey Cream Frosting

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and salt on low medium-low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until fully combined.

2.. Reduce speed to medium-low and add heavy cream, vanilla and honey. Increase speed back to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.


1. Place one cake round on a cake stand or large plate, spread half of lemon curd filling on top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread evenly to edge. Place second layer on top and spread remaining filling on top, spread evenly. Place third layer, bottom side up, on top, press lightly on top of cake to level.

2. Spread frosting on top and side of cake, decorate with figs or berries (if use) and drizzle with honey (if use). Refrigerate cake to set, about 20-30 minutes, before serving.