Fun with Fondant on a Poppy Seed Cake, and a Recipe

We had a small dinner party at the end of the holidays and I needed a little something for dessert.  I also had the decorating urge, and some fondant from Golda’s Kitchen ( ) that I wanted to try.  Although you can easily make fondant, it is a lot quicker to just open the container, peel back the plastic, and start decorating.  If you haven’t used fondant before, it is really easy, tastes reasonably good,  and can produce smooth sheets that are a joy to decorate with if you don’t feel like dragging out the piping bags and making a mess.  Since I had other things to fuss with for the dinner, the fondant solution was perfect.

I used a  scalloped circle cutter for the base, then rolled balls of coloured fondant to make the leaves and holly berries. A toothpick indentation in the berries gave a touch of reality, and these were done toute suite.

The cake is my favoutite cake when I am just craving something good but simple, and not too sweet.  This recipe is adapted from A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti, a great dessert cookbook.  Make sure you use buttermilk and unsalted butter for the best taste.  This cake keeps very well frozen and is a great thing to have ready in the freezer when you need a quick little shortcake or ice cream accompaniment.  I love this cake.

I have made a gluten free version of this cake and it is also very good, but needs a lot of tweaking, so I will post it when I test the recipe again as quite frankly I dont remember exactly what I did.  TRhis cake is also excellent as a short cake or as a white cake with swiss buttercream frosting.

Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti.



Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray grease or butter pans.

Mix dry ingredients and set aside in a separate bowl.

Wet  Ingredients:

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter until light.  Add in the sugar and beat again, then add the eggs.  Add buttermilk and wet ingredients in 2 batches.
Add at the end:

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Stir in the poppy seeds.  (Note: Poppy seeds spoil easily and taste rancid.  Try to get fresh seeds from a health food or bulk store, and store the seeds in the fridge.)
Bake in muffin or small cake pans.  Time – it depends on the pan, usually about 15 to 20 minutes, but keep watch on them.  They are done when the edges are slightly brown and the middle has risen and often has a center crack.

If using a layer pan this recipe makes one 9 inch layer.  This cake keeps very well, but the crust can get a little soggy, so I like to freeze whatever isn’t going to be eaten within a day.  The frozen cakes keep very well, and are a great way to have a small cake with a bowl of ice cream.

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