I am always trying to think of new dessert recipes for easy entertaining – recipes that are fresh, simple and allow me to spend time with my guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen.
While this cake isn’t dripping in caramel or encrusted with sprinkles, the flavors are pure and nothing short of delicious. The rich ricotta adds depth, and the fresh lemon zest creates vibrancy. A slice of this Bundt cake would be great on its own with a cup of coffee, but it is even better with a simple vanilla bean glaze and slivered almonds.
For easy entertaining, this moist cake can be made ahead of time and dressed just before serving. If covered well in plastic wrap, it will stay fresh for a couple of days in the refrigerator and up to a few weeks in the freezer. The vanilla bean glaze whips up in just seconds and can be drizzled on the cake before your guests arrive or you head out to your next event.
Skip the slicing, filling and frosting required for other layer cakes, and get straight to enjoying this flavorful Bundt cake.
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▪ Be sure to thoroughly grease and flour every nook and cranny of your Bundt pan.
▪ Grate the zest from the lemons before you cut the lemons to juice them.
▪ If the cake feels stuck in the pan when you try to invert it, turn the cake back right-side up. Soak a clean kitchen towel with hot water and drape over the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes. The hot towel will create steam and help release the cake from the pan.
▪ Avoid using a knife to release the cake. Since most Bundt pans are oddly shaped, a knife may cut into the sides of the cake.
▪ If you want the glaze to be thicker or runnier, adjust the milk quantity to get the consistency that you like.
Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup ricotta
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
For the glaze:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk (use less or more depending on the consistency you want)
Sliced almonds, to top
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease and flour a Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
BEAT butter with an electric mixer on high until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. With the mixer on medium-low, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, followed by the ricotta.
STOP mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and fold in the poppy seeds.
POUR the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
COOL the cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you can comfortably touch the pan. Use a flexible rubber spatula to release the edges of the cake from the pan, then invert the cake onto a large plate or cooling rack. Cool completely.
MAKE AHEAD: Once the cake has completely cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for several weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator before glazing.
GLAZE: Combine the vanilla bean seeds with the powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the cooled cake with the glaze and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Yield: 10 to 12 slices.