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Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This solid, satisfying cake was typical of a hearty Victorian tea. Fresh lavender makes a pretty and aromatic garnish
- 1⁄2 cup poppy seed
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 3⁄4 lb unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons lime zest, grated
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
- 8 eggs, separated
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1⁄3 cup superfine sugar
- Soak poppy seeds in milk for 4 hours (or over-night) then rinse under cold running water; drain well.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan.
- Cream the butter and gradually add 1 1/4 cups of the sugar.
- Beat in the zests and the poppy seeds.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Continue beating for about 5 minutes, until the mixture if very light and creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until peaks are stiff, but not dry.
- Sift the flour and salt over the egg yolk mixture, one third at a time, folding in after each addition.
- Gently fold in about 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites, blending gently but thoroughly.
- Pour batter carefully into the prepared pan.
- Bake one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the center.
- Make syrup while cake bakes: Combine juices with sugar and heat until sugar is completely dissolved; cool slightly.
- Immediately after removing cake from the oven, pierce the top all over with a thin skewer.
- Pour the citrus syrup all over the top to cover completely.
- Cool cake in the pan to allow syrup to be absorbed completely.
- Remove cake from pan and serve.