I really like this recipe. There are a few more steps than the usual, combine the ingredients and throw it in the oven technique. It is quite dense, as this IS a pound cake, but I found the syrup pronouncing the lemon flavor even more. I think, letting the cake sit for day and let the syrup make its way into the middle of the cake would be best. So I wrapped it in saran wrap and let the syrup saturate itself overnight before I cut it into slices.
3 tbsp. milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups cake flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. loosely packed grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
13 tbsp. (12 tbsp. is ¾ cup) unsalted butter (must be softened)
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Grease and flour 2 ½ inch loaf pan (4 cups) or fluted tube pan.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Mix until blended. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure.
Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating well after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.
Smooth the batter into the prepared pan with a spatula. The batter will be almost ½ inch from the top of the 4 cup loaf pan. Bake 45-55 minutes (35 to 45 minutes in a fluted tube pan) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Be sure to watch it closely, almost to the end of the baking time, as each oven is different.
Shortly before the cake is done, prepare the lemon syrup. In a small pan over medium heat, stir the sugar and lemon juice until dissolved. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wire tester, brush it with ½ the syrup. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, Loosed the sides with a spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Poke the bottom of the cake with the wire tester, brush it with some syrup, and reinvert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the sides with the remaining syrup and allow to cool before wrapping airtight. Store 24 hours before eating to give the syrup a chance to distribute evenly. The syrup will keep the cake fresh a few days longer than a cake without syrup.