Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Whipped Cream Cake

I was once conned into eating what I now know as the 'Whipped Cream Cake' by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

You see, there was this time a few years ago when I decided to go on a diet - nothing too drastic, all I was trying to do was stay away from desserts. 

"Come off your diet nonsense and have a small slice," my friend ordered at a coffee morning she was hosting. The cake looked very moist and had a tender crumb and my no dessert resolve was getting a little weak. "Oh and by the way, it doesn't have any oil or butter," she added. That clinched it. I happily dug into the cake.

"How did you manage such a moist cake without using any oil or butter?" I asked her, my curiosity thoroughly piqued.

"Oh, sweetie, but this cake uses fresh cream. 40% fat," she said very nonchalantly.

I could have strangled her, but settled for the recipe instead. Months passed and I eventually forgot about the cake till recently when I started seeing this cake all over my FB wall.

High time I made it myself, I thought. So, I pulled out the recipe and set to work.

But how does the 'lemon poppy seed' part come into the picture, you might wonder. It might sound a little silly but after having lived the past almost 9 years in countries that have banned poppy seeds, I had made up my mind that whenever I moved to a country where poppy seeds where sold in grocery stores, the first cake I would bake would have poppy seeds in it. (In fact, a packet of poppy seeds was one of the first things I purchased when we moved to Johannesburg). 

So that is how the Lemon Poppy Seed Whipped Cream Cake happened. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Whipped Cream Cake


Heavy Cream : 1 ½ cups

(Rose recommends 40% fat for a more tender crumb, this cream is not readily available off supermarket shelves and needs to be procured from speciality stores/restaurants or bakeries; mine had 34%)

Eggs: 3 (150 gms)
Superfine sugar: 1 cup + 2 tbsps
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp

Cake flour:  2 ¼ cups (or 2 cups All purpose flour)
Baking powder: 2 tsps
Salt: ¾ tsp
Poppy seeds: 2 tbsps
Lemon zest: 1 tbsp

Oil: 1 1/2 tbsp, optional (I used oil to compensate for the lower fat % in the cream )
Lemon juice: 2 tsps


Pre-heat the oven at 375 deg F or 190 deg C ( 350 deg F or 150 deg C if using a dark pan) for 20 minutes.

Grease and dust a 10 cup metal fluted pan (I don't have one and used a bundt pan instead).

Whisk together the eggs and the vanilla essence until combined. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the poppy seeds and the lemon zest into the sifted flour, set aside.

Whip the cream till it thickens and forms stiff peaks.
With the beaters still running, pour the eggs mixture into the cream. The mixture will emulsify into a mayonnaise like consistency.

Next, beat the sugar into the mixture.

Fold the flour in 2 batches. Mix well until no streaks of flour are visible.

Finally, mix the oil and the lemon juice.

Bake for about 25-30 or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. (It took me about 40 minutes to bake the cake, but that could well be my oven).

For the lemon glaze:

Icing sugar: 1 ¼ cup
Lemon juice: 2 tbsps
Water: ½ tbsp

Mix together the icing sugar, lemon juice and water till smooth. Pour it over the cooled cake and let it rest until it sets, about 10 minutes.

Soft and moist, a slight crunch from the poppy seeds and a delicate lemony fragrance and taste, this is the perfect slice to have with your evening cup of tea. Enjoy!


  1. lovely and tempting lip smacking creamy cake.

  2. Perfect! Just as one was really getting away from desserts! :-)

  3. Wonderful cake, looks perfect,loved the clicks!

  4. Too good.. now who can resist a slice of this cake for dessert..:) The first pic is lovely with the icing design and the blown out background , the cake really stands out..:)
    Awesome job girl..

  5. Would love to have a slice rite now,beautiful cake..

  6. I love lemon and poppy seeds together! This looks fab!

  7. I love your tall bundt. Looks fabulous and love the addition of poppy and lime.

  8. I love lemon poppy seed anything. This looks so delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

  9. Looks very good.... I can imagine how happy you must have felt when ur friend said no oil and butter :) A funny incident :)
    Lovely pics!!

  10. Very tempting. Feels like eating it up.

    Do participate in the Desserts with Coconuts event and giveaway on my blog.

  11. That is one of my favorite cakes! Beautiful.



  12. A lovely cake. I love this combination :-)

  13. Aqua,

    What a lovely cake. I need some baking tips. I tried a few eggless cakes couple of times but each time it came out as hard as a brick. Whats the trick to mix the flour and butter? Can I use a hand blender? I used a mixer grinder once and it was the hardest cake ever!

    Plz suggest.

    Also, I am hosting a giveaway on my blog. I would be delighted if you participate in it and let your readers know about it too. Thanks a lot. Heres the link

  14. wow ! the cake looks stunning...happy baking :-)

  15. Wish you and yours a very happy new year Aqua..and the cake looks so delicious..never tried poppy seeds in cakes ..a new thing for me..hugs and smiles

  16. the black poppy seeds give a lovely texture to this cake. I like this recipe. maybe someday I will find black poppy seeds in mumbai. Till then I can use khus-khus :-)


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