Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

This is a recipe that I think everyone must have. I honestly don't know anyone who does not like this cake. I make it all year round but I make a LOT of it around the holidays and give it away as gifts. I came across this recipe about 18 years ago from a coworker and have been making it ever since. It's definitely one of my favorite recipes and I've given it away dozens of times. It's actually a cake but I pretty much always make it in my mini loaf pans, except this time because my mini loaf pans were still dirty from making my apple cake a couple of days ago. (I know, that's just bad & lazy). So you can make this cake recipe in whatever form will suit your needs. It can be considered a quick bread too. It requires no butter and it's so quick & easy to throw together. You can just mix it all up in one bowl! Watch out for lumps though. I have better luck adding the dry ingredients, slowly, into the wet ingredients. When I put all the dry ingredients into the bowl first, then add the wet ingredients on top - that's when I develop lumps. I use a wisk to thoroughly combine it. No mixer needed. You can also do some fine tuning to this recipe to meet your personal taste. The cake part calls for vanilla & almond extract but you can also add or substitute lemon or orange extract or any combination of them. I only like a light touch of almond so I add more vanilla than called for. I also grated some lemon zest into these muffins I just made. I figured if I need some lemon juice for the glaze part, why not make use of the zest? So play around with this recipe a bit and see what works for you. Be sure NOT to overmix this batter when blending. It's easy to keep mixing to get out the lumps but it will make your cake a bit tougher. It's easier to just keep the lumps out in the first place. When I do see a noticable lump in my batter, I just scoop it out.
As for the taste and texture of this cake - it's wonderful! It's fine without the glaze but the glaze just makes it out of this world. It's a really tart and lemony glaze on top of a sweet almond bread and that combination is perfect. The cake part is definitely sweet. I've never tried cutting back on the sugar, I happen to like really sweet. If you do try adding less sugar, let me know. I'd be curious to see what happens & how it tastes. The texture is not dense or heavy but it's not super light & fluffy either. It's moist and "quick bread" like in texture. Butter always adds taste to cakes but oil gives cakes such a nice smooth moistness that butter can't match and it blends so well. As for the glaze, you can make a nice thin transparent glaze that can be applied to a warm or cooled cake or like me, you can add more powdered sugar to your glaze to make it thicker and more like icing. For the glaze, you can also substitute orange juice for lemon juice if you don't want the tartness or use a combination of both. It's very versitile.

I used my standard size muffin tins but also my mini muffin tins which I hardly ever use! I feel like the contents of a mini muffin or cupcake is just not satisfying. By the time you peel off the paper lining, you have a single bite of cake! Not enough.

I made my glaze pretty thick. I glazed all of my muffins, had some glaze left, so I glazed them again.

Mini muffin!

I also used my muffin tin that produces a nice muffin top. Now that's a muffin!

After the glaze has cooled and set, it has a nice texture. Smooth on top but still moist & sticky underneath. And a wonderful tartness!

Poppy Seed Cake

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your pans with spray.

Mix all ingredients in large bowl just until blended. Do not overmix. Pour into pan of your choice and bake until top springs back when lightly touched.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Pop out of pan and glaze either when warm or cooled.


Powdered Sugar

Fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice

(I start out with about 3 cups powdered sugar & adjust the liquid till I get the correct consistancy that I'm looking for).

1 comment:

♥Rosie♥ said...

A muffin of beauty - I love the citrus and little crunch from the seeds of these muffins and the grand finally a lovely thick glaze. Oh my just fantastic.