The festivities began as the tree is trimmed

While organizing my pantry I found a christmas tree cake pan, I just could not resist preparing a tree cake or 4. I love this time of year, Sydney and I bake our hearts out and give treats to everyone we know. I relish watching friends and family as they realize a gift of food has been prepared for them. Designed especially for their palate, to bring back a memory of a special christmas past.

This particular cake was prepared with DF in mind. He had been asking Sydney and I for a lemon poppy seed cake; it seemed apropos to shape his cake with the Christmas Tree pan. I don’t believe I have ever met another human being so enthralled with the christmas season. He starts watching Christmas movies in July, brings all the trimmings for decorating the house early on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, and will only shop for gifts on Christmas Eve. He continues to give back to the community throughout the season not only with gifts, but his time and his heart.

The cake sparkles with joy

Poppy Seed Lemon Pound Cake:

  • 180 grams/1 ½-cups of all-purpose flour
  • 150grams/1 ½-cups of cake flour
  • 9 grams/2-teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • 226 grams/1-cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-vanilla bean
  • 400 grams/ 2-cups sugar
  • 1-teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 244 grams/1-cup milk
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1-Tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 Prepare your mise en place, spray and flour the Christmas tree pan.

Mise en place, missing poppy seeds and lemon zest

 In a small bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Sift all the dry ingredients, except whisk the salt in

 In a large bowl, on the medium speed of a standing  mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and vanilla bean until smooth.

Add zest, poppy seeds, and the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Don't forget to scrape the sides and paddle with a rubber spatula

 Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, each time scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Be sure to amalgamate each egg prior to adding the next

Cream the batter for 1 1/2 minutes after all the eggs have been added.

Once the batter is smooth stop and scrape the bowl, sides and paddle

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beginning and ending with the flour.

The flour mixture

Pour the milk in a steady stream completely

 

The flour mixture again

 With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.

Carefully pour the batter into the cake pan, filling the pan about 3/4 full.

Spread the batter evenly with an offset metal spatula and tap on a work surface to release air bubbles

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when gentle pressed in the center.

 Cool the cake for 10 minutes. Invert on a wire rack before icing.

Keep the icing opaque

Icing:

  • 2-Tablespoons limoncello
  • 2-Tablespoon vallina liqueur
  • 120 grams, 1-cup icing sugar
  • 2½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • boughs of holly candy, optional

Place the sugar, poppy seeds, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Wisk as you add half the liqueurs. Keep adding the liqueurs until desired consistency.

Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle boughs of holly decorations. If you prefer not to use liqueur substitute with lemon extract and water.

 

 

Voila!