Spiced Poppyseed Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting
Do you ever have those days where you feel like you’re watching someone else live your life? Like you’re the creeper on the other side of a two-way mirror? And, like a creeper, all you want to do is grab that idiot living your life and scream, get it together woman!
I totally spaced my baby’s well-check up at the doctor this morning. Charlotte had not 1 but 2 accidents at her friend’s house. I burned my arm taking something out of the oven. Then I pulled the door off of our fridge.
For real. It just came right off in my hand, first one corner then the other. (Remember how we didn’t have a handle on our microwave for 2 years? Maybe the other appliances are picking up on this trend?)
I could not stop laughing. It’s probably a good thing the day ended that way; the alternative was tears, and crying gives me a headache anyway.
Well, by now you’ve probably noticed the pictures of the giant 3-layer cake I made. I figured what the heck, I might as well go out with a bang. (I also thought it was a good idea to follow up yesterday’s act with some straight up sugar.)
So far this year I’ve posted healthy stuff, like Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Rice, Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad, mayo-free Deviled Guacamole Eggs, and Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup. If you add all those recipes up, the total net butter amounts to 1 tablespoon. One tablespoon, people! In an entire year of healthy food! This sounds less impressive when I remember that there have only been 14 days so far this year.
I’m making up for it, I guess. This cake has over a pound of butter in it. Also, if you take a drug test after eating it, you’ll probably get fired.
Waaaaaaaaait! Come back! It’s worth it, I promise. Even if you get fat and buzzed from it.
Just kidding. About the buzzed part at least.
My friends Chels and Josh over at Catz in the Kitchen recently made this for Chels’ birthday, and they said it fed 22 people. Hopefully that makes you feel a little better about all the butter.
The cake is thick, creamy, full of almond flavor and tiny pops of poppyseed. I couldn’t finish a single one of the slices I had. It is beyond rich, and so, so good. I love the hint of cardamom, it’s not a spice usually used in cake. But it totally works. There are some how-to shots below! Happy Tuesday!
Spiced Poppyseed Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting
For the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2 cups milk, at room temperature (or warm it in the microwave until it's tepid)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the frosting:
- 1 & 1/2 cups salted butter, at room temperature
- 7 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 6 tablespoons half-and-half, plus more if needed
- poppy seeds , for sprinkling
- Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans by spraying them thoroughly with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl: flour, baking powder, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, cream the 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and half cup honey until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes, scraping the sides as you go.
- Separate the 6 eggs: the whites need to go in a separate large bowl. (If you have 2 bowls for your stand mixer, use the other one). Set that aside.
- Add the yolks to the butter mixture, one at a time, stirring in between each addition. Make sure you scrape the sides well. Beat until it is smooth and creamy.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, and almond extract. It's okay if it curdles.
- Add the milk mixture and the flour mixture alternately to the butter mixture, stirring after each addition until just combined.
- Gently fold in the poppyseeds. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Add the 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to the eggs whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites until soft peaks form; it will take several minutes.
- Add the beaten egg whites to the cake batter in 3 additions, mixing until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check each cake, some may cook slower than others.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes. When you can handle the pans without burning yourself, remove the cakes to a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper.
- At this point, you can either freeze the cakes to frost later, or do it immediately. To freeze: While the cakes are still hot, wrap each cake tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze for several hours, or up to 3 days. The night before you want to frost, place them in the fridge to defrost.
- To frost immediately: let the cakes cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour. It's easier to frost a cold cake.
- To make the frosting: beat together the butter and sugar until a thick paste forms. Then add the extracts and half & half, adding more if it seems too thick. Beat until fluffy.
- Spread about 1/2 cup frosting over each layer. Frost the top of the cake, then spread the excess down the sides. I found this tutorial helpful.
- Sprinkle the top with more poppyseeds, and pipe on the stars using a large star tip.
Spread the frosting on top of the cake, then spread the excess down the sides. I found this tutorial helpful.
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