Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake


Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake

Photographs by Erik Putz.

This adaptation of Camilla Wynne's celebratory wedding cake skips the fondant and comes in a manageable, 8-inch size. You don’t need to wait for a wedding to make a delicious cake for the people you love, though. This is a standout dessert for any occasion such as a birthday party or even a weekend gathering. Decorate with handcrafted marzipan figures, raspberries or fresh flowers.


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, (233 g)

  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 1/4 cups 35% cream

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, (250 g)

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, (125 g)

  • 2 egg whites

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup lemon curd, such as PC Black Label Lemon Curd

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Pinch salt


  • 1 cup raspberry jam


  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line an 8 ˣ 8-in. baking pan (at least 2-in. high) with parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt. In a measuring cup, combine cream and lemon juice.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 ¼ cups sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds. Rub with fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Fit mixer with whisk attachment and add eggs; whisk on medium-high for 3 to 5 min, until mixture is light, fluffy and thickened.

  • Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream mixture in 2 additions. Increase speed to medium-high to blend, 10 sec. Fold in poppy seeds.

  • Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, 50 min to 1 hr. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Transfer bowl to mixer. Using whisk attachment, beat on high until cool, 5 to 10 min. Reduce speed to medium and add butter, 1 tbsp at a time, until incorporated. Add lemon curd, vanilla and pinch salt. Beat on high until mixture is silky and smooth, 2 to 3 min.

  • Assembly: Use a serrated knife to cut cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place bottom layer on a serving platter and spread with half of jam. Top with a third of buttercream. Repeat with middle layer of cake, using the remaining half of jam and another third of buttercream. Top with final cake layer and remaining buttercream. Decorate as desired.