Thursday, August 23, 2012

Even-on-a-Deadline Lemon Poppyseed Cake

My mother is an excellent cook.  Today, she uses high end ingredients and posh cookbooks to create gourmet masterpieces.  In fact, she just recently sent me a copy of a cookbook she bought ... trust me when I say it's on the high end of degree of difficulty.  I'm not sure how often I'll use this beautiful masterpiece of a cookbook, but I know my mother will use it often and with great success.

But when I was a kid, money and time were usually tight.  We ate a lot of casseroles.  In face, we used to joke that my mom could make a casserole out of any combination of meat and snack chip out there.  The food was still delicious, but a little more humble.

My mother happens to share my love of treats, and so we always had some sort of snack at night (a sweet or popcorn or potato chips).  And a snack after school.  And, on weekends, a snack in the middle of the morning.

One of my favorite snacks was a poppyseed "bread" my mom made with yellow cake mix and instant coconut pudding.

This is my variation on that theme, adding a lemony twist to that moist, delicious cake of my youth.  I've also made the cake in a bundt pan instead of two loaf pans, just to make it a smidge prettier.

Yes, it's made with packaged food.  No, it's not gourmet.  But it's dang tasty . . . and it's so fast and easy to prepare that it's one of my go-to desserts when I'm particularly pressed for time (like when I'm on a deadline!).

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
juice of one lemon
hot water
3 Tbs. poppyseeds

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.*

Juice the lemon, straining seeds and pulp.  Add hot water to the lemon juice until you have 1 c. of liquid.  Combine that cup of liquid with all the other ingredients, beating with a hand mixer until batter is smooth.  Pour batter into bundt pan and tap to distribute evenly.

Bake 45-50 minutes (or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean).

Cool completely before glazing with the Lemon Glaze

Lemon Glaze

juice of one lemon
powdered sugar

Strain the lemon juice.  Add enough powdered to make a glaze (usually about 1 cup).  Drizzle over cooled cake.

* Note that I do not have a pretty picture of my cake, all glazed and delicious-looking.  That is because I got lazy on this step and simply used a little cooking spray, which didn't get into the nooks and crannies.  The result is the cake did not release.  Oy.  It still tasted great, but was much more difficult to serve.  So please don't skip this step!!


  1. I always have difficulty with bundt pan releases, too, Wendy. I have a nonstick (hah!) pan, and I always grease it well, but bundt cakes seem to have a very hard time releasing. Anyone know the secret?

    ~ Krista

  2. Eagerly awaiting the secret to bundt release ....

  3. I've been wondering if this recipe would show up on the blog. You made these loaves in grad school and I loved them. I still have the directions you wrote out for me. No fresh lemon in the grad school version, though ;-).

  4. Ah yes ... I've dressed them up a bit over the years, Ro. :)