Light and lemony squares of poppy seed sponge are a must for any bake sale. This easy lemon and poppy seed traybake is a cut above your average as it has a few ground oats for added flavour and texture.
Liskeard, amazingly, has an annual arts festival, the Vital Spark. The driving force behind this festival is Lois Taylor, a very talented local dance artist. I say it is an annual festival, but 2012 was only it’s 2nd year and a very successful one it proved to be.
Liskeard’s Vital Spark
One of the many events was an afternoon book swap organised by our excellent local bookshop. To make it even more convivial, I was asked to provide cake. Cake and books combined? It doesn’t get much better than that and I was easily persuaded.
Of course the big questions were what to bake and how much to make? I had no idea how many people might turn up to this event. It might be two (my wonderful mother and lovely friend who very kindly came along to make tea) or twenty or a lot more.
The turn out was somewhere between thirty and forty people in the end. It was a hugely enjoyable experience and most of the cake disappeared, which was highly gratifying. In fact I was beginning to worry that CT wasn’t going to benefit at all. But with five pieces left, my pride was in tact and CTs belly assuaged. It was lovely to get such good feedback from the participants who all seemed to have a very enjoyable time of it.
After much dithering, I went for six bakes. I wanted to get a good contrast in flavour, size, colour and texture as well as a gluten-free offering just in case. As it turned out, it very much was the case and my gluten-free cake was really appreciated.
Coffee and Walnut Cake
Jean had a good tip on her blog Baking in Franglais; in her experience, Coffee & Walnut was always the most popular cake for this type of thing. So, I made a large coffee & walnut cake using my go to recipe from Gaia’s Kitchen by Julia Ponsonby. Jean was absolutely right, this was the first one that people went for and the first one to disappear. I was told by a reputed coffee & walnut cake aficionado that it was a very “good” one.
Matcha and White Chocolate Cupcakes
Next in popularity were the Matcha & White Chocolate Cupcakes that I’ve already posted about. I wanted something unusual that might become a talking point. I managed it with these: what is matcha? What is the green colour? Green tea in a cake? Luckily, people were not only intrigued enough to try them but thought they were delicious too – phew!
Chocolate and Raspberry Polenta Cake
The gluten free contribution was a chocolate & raspberry polenta cake and I shall be posting about this at a later date. I am so glad I made it as there was indeed someone there who was gluten intolerant and she was absolutely thrilled to be catered for, stating that she normally just had to watch others eat cake and there was never anything for her.
French honey & marmalade cakes also made an appearance. I’ve become a real fan of these Nonnettes, since I first made them at the end of last year. They are egg free and totally delicious. This time I omitted the white chocolate, as I did feel some sort of chocolate balance was in order! And they were still delicious.
Peanut Butter Brownies
Brownies just had to make an appearance. As my all time chocolate cake favourite, no cake event is complete without them. This time it was peanut butter brownies and I shall be posting about them at a later date.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake
Lastly, but by no means least, were these lemon and poppy seed cake slices. The very same lemon and poppy seed traybake that I made back in October last year for the very same friend who runs the bookshop. The original recipe comes from the fabulous Dan Lepard and can be found in his book Short and Sweet. I’ve adapted it to suit both my baking style and penchant for healthy ingredients.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this lemon and poppy seed traybake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Traybake. PIN IT.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Traybake – The Recipe
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 400 g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
- 125 g unsalted butter - softened
- 100 ml rapeseed oil
- 3 lemons - unwaxed and preferably organic
- 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 125 g wholemeal flour
- 100 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75 g rolled oats - finely ground (or try fine oatmeal)
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
- Cream the butter and 250g of the sugar together until well combined. Add the oil and finely grated lemon zest from all three lemons and beat until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a little of the flour.
- Sift in the the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and discard any particularly large peices of bran. Fold in, together with the ground oats, until just combined. Carefully stir in 75ml hot water followed by the poppy seeds.
- Scrape into a 22cm (9") square silicone cake mould or lined tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 150g sugar with the juice from two of the lemons until just dissolved. Make a few holes in the hot cake with a skewer then pour the syrup over the top.
- Leave to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.