The third recipe from “Julie & Julia Project” aka baking through the “Dessert Person” cookbook. I am speechless about this one. It was great and made me think that if I am ever going to open my own coffee shop, this poppy seed almond cake will be a staple there. The tender and moist texture, prominent flavor, and almond aroma, and a nice addition of poppy seeds.
Growing up I was obsessed with traditional Russian pastry, called bulka s makom. It is a bun with a filling made with poppy seeds, butter, and sugar. I ate it almost every day, and this poppy seed almond cake brought those childhood memories and did it in such a great way. I guess the main reason was the almond extract.
Apart from that one, the ingredients for this cake are basic. Nothing extraordinary or hard to find. The recipe calls for a lot of sugar and oil. Make sure you are using a neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable one. I loved this cake, and it was an easy one to make. You need a stand mixer, though. If you don’t have one use a hand mixer and a couple of mixing bowls and a good 12-cup bundt pan. I’ve used this one from the Nordic Ware.
Here is the recipe. I hope you’re going to enjoy this one the same way I did. If you’re interested to know more about how I am dealing with this “Julie & Julia Project” mentally, scroll down till the end of the recipe.
Poppy Seed Almond Cake
The tender and moist poppy seed almond cake with the prominent flavor of almond extract. An easy one to make. Just put everything into the bowl and mix.
- 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar (465g)
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (390g)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (360g)
- 1 1/3 cups neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed (288g)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (90g)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (57g)
- 2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously brush the bundt pan with neutral oil and dust with the flour. That way the cake won't stick to the pan. Set the pan aside.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix together granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt, and flour.
- Add the wet ingredients and beat. Add the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts to the bowl and beat at a low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the batter is smooth and thick about 2 minutes.
- Fill the bundt pan and bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top rises and it's a deep golden brown color for 80-90 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Invert the cake and poke holes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack. Remove the pan and poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer or a toothpick. Set the rack over the baking sheet or a large plate to catch the drips of glaze and set the cake aside.
- Prepare the glaze and finish the cake. In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice, vanilla, and almond extracts, and melted butter until smooth. Brush all of the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to absorb. Let cool completely.
- Enjoy and let me know what you think.
- The cake can be stored for up to 5 days at room temperature if properly wrapped.
A note on feelings
Now let’s talk a bit more about my mental state, and how I’m dealing with this project of mine. So far so good. In the beginning, I was quite skeptical but today I’m finishing this post and I start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m proud of the photos I’ve made. It makes me feel that I belong here, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I still tend to compare my work to the work of other bloggers but I always remind myself that I’m looking at someone’s midway, and I’m only at the beginning of the journey. Does that make sense to you?
Also, I’ve decided to change my tactic towards the way I’m baking through the book. Before I wanted to be straightforward and bake all the recipes one by one, chapter by chapter. That means it was going to be 15 recipes of loaf cakes followed by 15 recipes of tarts, cookies, and so on. I realized it’s going to be intense, and I won’t enjoy it. Also, Claire puts it clear at the beginning of the book that baking should be about sustainability and seasonality. This being said, I simply can’t bake a spiced persimmon cake or cranberry-pomegranate mousse pie as persimmons and cranberries are fall produce.
Therefore I’ve decided to jump between chapters and bake whatever recipe is in season right now. Living in Florida makes it weird, as there is only one season but I’m sure I will make it happen. As for the next recipes I’m thinking of making Marcona almond cookies and a classic birthday cake to celebrate my 27th birthday at the end of this month. I feel excited about these recipes, but let me just say something. Baking is expensive. Hopefully, after this project, I won’t be needing to invest in any other baking equipment, though.