Posted on

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

The white chocolate ganache makes this cake decadent!

200 ml poppy seeds
400 ml milk
275 g butter, at room temperature
400 ml white or brown sugar
1 extra large egg
3 extra large egg yolks
3 extra large egg whites plus 80 ml white or brown sugar
60 ml lemon rind, finely chopped
5 ml vanilla extract
750 ml (420 g) cake flour
15 ml baking powder
2.5 ml salt

300 g white chocolate
125 ml milk

30 to 60 ml poppy seeds (optional)
fresh fruit, e.g. cherries, strawberries

  1. Soak the poppy seeds in the milk for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 º C and grease a ring form cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cream the butter and the first quantity of sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the whole egg and the egg yolks and mix well.
  5. Add the lemon rind and vanilla extract en mix well.
  6. Combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a 2nd mixing bowl.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.
  8. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak stage with an electric hand mixer. Add the sugar and mix well.
  9. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter and mix well.
  10. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  
  11. To make the ganache, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  12. Stir in the cream and mix well.
  13. Set the ganache aside to cool.
  14. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack to cool.
  15. To assemble the cake, place one of the cakes on a cake board and spread a layer of ganache on it.
  16. Place the 2nd cake on top and spread or pour the ganach over the top.
  17. Sprinkle with poppy seeds (optional).
  18. Decorate the cake with fresh fruit like cherries.


  • the cake call also be baked in 2 x 25 cm cake pans
  • leftover lemon zest can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag.
  • after the zest has been removed from the lemon, juice the lemon and pour the lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, transfer the lemon ice cubes to a ziplock bag and return to the freezer. Use the lemon ice cubes when you make cold drink or cocktails.
  • Substitute the ganache with cream cheese frosting. Just cream 200 g room temperature butter with 200 g cream cheese and add 500 gram sifted icing sugar. Add a little cream or milk if the frosting is too thick.