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Kitchen Mailbox: Poppy seed cakes sport delicious toppings, fillings

Thursday, June 08, 2000

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

It's been more than a year since we featured recipes for poppy seed cake. Since then, Rachel Martin of Moon has requested a recipe for a poppy seed cake that sounded different from the cakes we've tested in the past. This moist, dense cake has a streusel topping -- cinnamon, brown sugar and nuts -- that takes this cake from ordinary to extraordinary.

If you're looking for a cake that shouts spring, you might want to try our next poppy seed cake. It's made with a cake mix -- a plus for speeding preparation time. But it's the lemon curd filling and the cream cheese and butter icing that makes this cake stand out.

These cakes make great picnic desserts. They're easy to transport and they can be made a day ahead.

This recipe was sent in by Joan Kamzelsi of Harmony Township.

Poppy Seed Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups salad oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (10-ounce) jar poppy seed filling

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup ground nuts

Generously grease bundt or angel food pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together batter ingredients and pour into bundt (we used bundt) or angel food pan.

Mix together topping ingredients until crumbly. Spoon half of the streusel mixture over batter.

Bake cake for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven. Sprinkle remaining topping on cake. Continue baking for about 30 minutes or until cake tests done.

This recipe comes from Hershey Dugan of Monroeville.

Poppy Seed Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
5 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1/4 cup flour
Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
Zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Juice of 1/2 orange, strained
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 jar lemon curd, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease two 8-inch cake pans.

Blend cake ingredients until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes; don't overbeat. Pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake 30 minutes or until tested done. Cool. Remove cakes from pans. Very gently, slice cakes horizontally. Chill.

For icing, cream butter and cheese. Blend in remaining ingredients until smooth. Spread thin (about 2 tablespoons more if you like lemon) layers of curd on base layer of cake. Spread generous layer of icing next and repeat with each layer of cake.

Top with edible flowers, optional.

Chill before serving.


Gloria Fader of Shadyside hopes someone has a recipe for roasted vegetables similar to the Express Gourmet at the Giant Eagle at the Waterworks Mall.

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence. All recipes are kitchen-tested by the Post-Gazette.

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