The moment we saw this fluffy, golden-brown cake in the pages of the Israeli cookbook Zahav, we knew we had to make it. Not only do we love lemon poppyseed anything, but it seemed like the perfect snack cake to have on hand—both to enjoy leisurely over the weekend and to grab throughout the work week.
A few smart cooking techniques make this cake burst with flavor: browning the butter, which gives the batter a wonderfully nutty flavor; beating the egg whites with the sugar to create a fluffy, tender texture; grating lemon zest for fresh citrus flavor. The combination of almond flour and white whole-wheat enhances the cake's nutty flavor. To ensure a light and fluffy batter (similar to a madeleine batter), be sure not to overmix the ingredients.
Don't skimp on the whipped cream and berry topping, which perfectly complements the cake. In place of cream, feel free to use labneh, mascarpone, or Greek yogurt mixed with a drizzle of honey. Then, sprinkle on as many fresh blueberries as your heart desires.
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup almond flour (or a nut flour blend—we used this one)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, for serving
- whipped cream or Greek yogurt, for serving
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, white whole-wheat flour, and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the egg whites, sugar, and honey. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
Whisk about 1/4 cup of the batter into the brown butter, then fold the brown butter mixture into the rest of the batter. Gently fold in the poppy seeds and lemon zest until just combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment, and grease the parchment. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 23-25 minutes. Cool in pan, then slice and top with blueberries and whipped cream (or honeyed yogurt).
Recipe adapted from Zahav.