- 6tbsp poppy seeds
- 185ml (6fl oz) milk
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 250g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (8oz) caster sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 eggs
- 280g (9oz) plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Lemon syrup
- Soak the poppy seeds in the milk and lemon juice for one hour. Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4) and grease a 25cm (10in) ring mold tin.
- Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest in an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternating with a little flour, until combined. Sift in the remaining flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold into the mixture. Gently stir in the milk and poppy seed mixture until smooth and combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently turn it out onto a large plate. Spoon the hot lemon syrup, along with the icing if using, over the top and sides of the cake and leave to cool, and then serve.
To make a lemon syrup, combine the juice of 2 lemons and 120g (4oz) caster sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
You can also drizzle the cake with a little icing made by sifting 4tbsp icing sugar into a bowl and beating in 1-2tsp lemon juice and a little grated lemon zest.