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27 Dec 2020
Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake


for the cake

  • 95g flour (the original recipe calls for cake flour, but all-purpose works fine)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g almond paste (43-50% almonds by weight), at room temperature and cut into small chunks (this is not the same as marzipan, but it’s sold in similar packaging)
  • 200g sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

for the glaze

  • 45g lemon juice
  • 45g orange juice
  • 150g sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set up two 8x3” or one 9x5” loaf pan, by spraying and lining it with parchment cut to fit.

  2. In one small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla just to combine.

  4. In a stand mixer, beat the almond paste on low speed until broken down, then add the sugar gradually while still mixing and beat until well-combined. Get this as evenly textures and broken down as you can, it may affect the texture of the cake.

  5. Cut the butter up into smallish pieces and add them slowly to the mixer while it’s running. Beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy.

  6. Add the eggs slowly to the mixer while it’s running.

  7. Again, stop to scrape as needed, then add the zests and beat for another 30 seconds or so.

  8. Add the flour mixture and stir briefly, just until incorporated.

  9. Add poppy seeds and again, just fold in until they’re reasonably well distributed.

  10. Pour into the prepared pans and smooth the surface(s).

  11. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes while you make the glaze. NOTE: The cake has to be glazed while still warm.

  12. Make the glaze by stirring all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. It doesn’t really have to perfectly dissolved, it’ll be okay.

  13. Carefully lift the cakes out of the pans using the parchment (they will be very delicate and might break, so take care), and put them on a wire rack over something to catch the drips of the glaze.

  14. Brush the cakes with the glaze, paying attention to the sides and edges as well as the center. Use all the glaze. It will seem sopping-wet, and that’s okay. If it seems too wet to take any more, just pause for a moment and then resume. It’ll be fine once it cools.

  15. When the cakes have cooled, you can lift them back into the pans again using the parchment and store in the fridge well-wrapped. I like eating slices cold.


Mostly from here, which in turn got it from the Tartine cookbook. I just use all-purpose flour if it’s what I have around. I’ve made this a zillion times and it’s always a hit.