It had a light, fluffy texture with zesty lemon flavor and a slight crunch from the poppy seeds. The raspberry filling complemented it well in flavor and provided a pretty contrast of pink color. I chose to use a lemon cream cheese frosting rather than the lemon buttercream. While I can't compare the two, I was happy with the way the cream cheese frosting turned out so I would stick with that in the future too!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (adapted from Annie's Eats)
For the cake:
- 2 1/3 cups cake flour
- 2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 12 tsbp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 8 oz package reduced fat cream cheese, thawed
- 1 stick butter
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 5 cups powdered sugar
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray 3 8" round cake pans with cooking spray with flour
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, poppy seed, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
5. Place butter in a clean bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.
6. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Mix in the lemon zest. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
7. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just blended.
8. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter. Be careful not to deflate the mixture! Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites and gently fold in until well combined.
9. Divide batter evenly between the three cake pans.
10. Bake for 18-20 or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
11. Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes and then flip them out onto a cooling rack or wax/parchment paper to cool completely.
For the raspberry filling:
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries. Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.