Monday, June 8, 2009

Charleston Poppy Seed Cake

Remember to keep poppy seeds refrigerated, as they go rancid quickly. Always smell for off odors before adding poppy seeds to anything.

Makes 10 servings

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix

1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix

1/3 cup poppy seeds

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup dry sherry

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour.

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. Batter should look well combined and thickened and the poppy seeds should be well distributed. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula.

Bake cake until it's golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and sides are pulling away from pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack, then invert it onto another rack so that the cake is right side up. Allow the cake to cool completely, 30 minutes or more.

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