Lemon Poppy Seed Squares ~ these tangy squares are packed with lemony flavor and a delicate crunch.
If you ask me the relative success of any lemon cake resides in its glaze. It has to be thin enough to spread out and have a nice glossy sheen, but not so thin that it runs off the cake, or soaks right in. It has to be thick enough to have some body, but not so thick that it doesn’t droop fetchingly over the edge. It needs to be sweet, but oh so tangy and lemony. It’s a delicate balance between lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar. But once you get it right it you’ll have some super lip-puckering lemon flavor.
Don’t get me wrong, though, this cake has a lot going for it. It’s moist and spongy, with an unusual pairing of lemon and vanilla, along with TONS of poppy seeds. The whole jar, in fact. It’s also made with half almond flour for still more interesting texture. But even with all that, it’s really not complete without its companion glaze.
This cake is based on my Tangerine Poppy Seed Cake, one of my all time favorite sweets on the blog.
- 1 2.2 oz bottle of poppy seeds (approx 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- juice and zest of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- juice of 1 1/2 to 2 lemons
- Set oven to 350F
- Mix the above ingredients together and set aside
- Mix the above dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar till fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until completely blended.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool and then put a thick layer of lemon glaze over the entire cake.
- To make the glaze, mix the sugar and lemon together until you get a spreadable glaze. Add more lemon or more sugar to get the right consistency.
And don’t be stingy with that glaze :)