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My friend Ginny lives in Montana and we tend to like many of the same foods – Cuban food, roasted veggies with Tahini, roasted garlic, etc. When she mentioned she had a recipe for a great poppyseed cake my ears perked up.
She sent the recipe to me, which was from the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in 1994. Being a Midwest girl, it is no secret that the center of the country has some mighty fine cooks. I asked her what she changed… because instinctively I thought about adding some lemon zest and lemon juice and eliminating the almond extract, replacing it with lemon extract. BUT Ginny said no, make this the way it is written.
I gulped and followed her directions to a “T”. And you know what? It is a perfect coffee cake to have as dessert or with coffee or tea. It turned out beautifully, partly due to the fancy bundt pan my brother Kal gifted me several years ago. Presentation is key. I also like that this uses oil (mine was avocado oil) rather than butter so it is not too rich.
I was underwhelmed reading the ingredients and directions, but I stand corrected. MAKE THIS. You don’t need to dirty your electric mixer, and it is satisfying to create something beautiful with your own two hands.
Makes 16 thin slices
- 2 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup neutral oil (I had avocado oil on hand)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds (OK, I heaped the tablespoons a little)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack mid oven. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan. NOTE: I only had this fancy 10 cup bundt pan and I used my handy dandy homemade “Pam”. I brushed this on liberally with a pastry brush, getting into the nooks and crannies. It paid off, the cake looked amazing. Cakes with lots of sugar like this stick to the pan so be careful to prep yours!
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts.
Pour ⅓ of the flour mix alternating with ⅓ of the milk into the large bowl containing the sugar/oil mix. Mix well with a spatula so everything is combined.
Pour into the prepared cake pan evenly-the batter is fairly liquidy. Bake for 45-50 minutes (Mine took 55 minutes but my 10 cup cake pan was really full) until a cake tester indicates the batter is thoroughly done. Let the pan rest on a rack for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the glaze ingredients together. When the 10 minutes are up, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, place some parchment or foil under the rack and brush every nook and cranny (use a pastry brush) with the glaze while the cake is still warm. Allow the cake to cool before slicing.
I cut half the cake when it cooked and carefully wrapped and froze it. 2 weeks later, it is still superb.
PS: I have made this more times than I care to tell you , and the last time I caved and put in the grated zest of 1 lemon. I loved this addition and will do it going forward.`I also put a little lemon juice with the orange juice to have a total of 1/4 cup since my orange was small.