Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free
When I went to flip over this lemon poppy seed cake this morning, I knew something was wrong as soon as the bundt tin was facing upside down. Me and bundts have quite a long and emotional history. The pattern usually follows that I make a cake, decide a bundt would be fun! Pour it in to the tin, bake it, pull it out, flip it over, flop out hunks of cake all over the bench, swear and throw the bundt tin in the sink.
But bundts are so pretty! And the word bundt is so fun to say. “What’s that?” Someone asks? That cake-looking object that’s somehow more than a cake could ever be? “It’s a bundt!” Booom. Instant popularity and high status as cake baking master. This is why I persevere with bundts. This morning, after tapping ominously on the tin with a wooden spoon, half the cake very slowly and pathetically detached from the pan and cracked on the plate. At first I didn’t really react. I just said, oh there it is, and walked upstairs. I could hear my mum and cousin whispering over it trying to poke it back together. And then I lost my mind, and told the bundt pan that whatever we had, it was over.
I was going to leave the cake forever and forget about it even though it’s been a whole week since I last posted! But that was until I tried it. As you can probably tell I’m pretty new to gluten and dairy-free baking, especially with full-sized cakes, so when I tasted this cake this morning I was literally wowed by how nice it was.
The recipe for this came from a blog that’s one of the most helpful, informing and inspiring gluten-free blogs I read, Green Kitchen Stories. You’ve probably heard of it before, and if not get your butt over there and prepare to be wowed. The only changes I made to the recipe was I increased the berries and mixed them up a bit, increased the honey and poppy seeds, and tried olive oil instead of ghee. If you like the sound of a yogurt topping and glaze check out their recipe as well, although the cake is so nice on its own it doesn’t really need it.
So because of the cracking disaster I didn’t have a whole cake to photograph, only the few pieces I could salvage and cut in to relatively normal slices. I’m sorry! If the photos are a little bit funky blame the bundt! No to be honest I did find it quite hard to make this cake not look like pieces of bleeding brown rocks. Luckily my neighbour is away and therefore doesn’t mind that I stole some of her flowers to make it a little prettier.
If it isn’t clear by my own failures I wouldn’t recommend using a bundt tin here. I reaaallly buttered my pan, I mean really buttered it. Like it was slicked on, and it still stuck. There just isn’t that much fat in the cake itself so it isn’t really ideal for a tin without baking paper. I think it would make really delicious muffins though, especially if you juice another lemon and reduced it with some honey and glazed them, or even used some marmalade as a glaze like apricot or cumquat. I wanted to make mini cupcakes and put a dollop of strawberry jam in the centre but maybe that’s the worst idea anyone has ever had, and complete sacrilege to lemon poppyseed cake. It’s very sweet and dense, and crunchy on the top. It would taste good with oranges instead of lemons too.
Lemon Berry Poppy Seed Cake: Adapted from here:
400g (4 cups) almond flour
35g (2 tbsp) poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
Zest of 1 large lemon or two small ones, unwaxed
Juice of 2 lemons
120 g (1 cup) runny honey
110ml (1/2 cup) olive oil or melted butter
320g (2 cups) mixed berries, frozen or fresh (don’t defrost before adding)
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin (or 10-12 muffin tins). Whisk together almond flour, rising agents, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Combine the oil, honey, and lemon juice and mix together. Lightly beat the eggs together. Mix in the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Stir in the berries and pour into cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and cracked and the centre is dry when skewered.
For optional glaze: Juice half a large lemon or 1 small one and mix with a tablespoon or two of honey. Mix well and skewer the cake a few times. Pour over the glaze whilst the cake is still warm and leave to soak in. (This will mean the top won’t be crunchy any more). Cake will last for about 5 days in an airtight container, and serves 8-10 people.