This weekend I made lemon poppy seed pound cake. The recipe calls for a kugelhopf pan, which is similar to a bundt pan. The mini bundt pan we have makes six mini bundt cakes — perfecting for creating little cakes to gives as gifts. Since I wanted to cook all the batter at once and the mini bundt pan only used half the batter, I also used a medium-sized bundt pan and a tart pan, yielding little cakes of all shapes and sizes. The hardest part of the recipe was greasing and flouring the pans, but don’t skimp on this step because the success of the final cake depends on being able to come out of its pan.
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely grated lemon zest
2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
a 2-quart kugelhopf pan
Make the Cake
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325*F. Butter and flour kugelhopf pan, knocking out excess flour.
Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt and zest in a bowl. Beat together butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture, then milk and lemon juice, alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.
Make the Glaze while the Cake Cools
Gradually whisk confectioners’ sugar into lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and thick.
When cake is cool, set rack over a baking sheet. Drizzle glaze over cake, letting it drip down sides.
Serve cake with strawberries, if desired.