blackberry lemon poppy seed cake

There are a few recipes out there that I’ve come to view as challenges. Every time I make them, they come out of the oven taunting me. “Haha! I’m still jiggling but my edges are browned!” or “You thought you had me this time, but I’ve collapsed in the middle!” The latter was my battle with this recipe. I originally found it in Self Magazine and was so excited to try a healthy muffin recipe that I could take to work with me in the morning. But it was a horrible disaster. It said I could substitute blackberry jam for lemon curd, which I did, but when I used the toothpick to check for doneness, the muffins collapsed in on themselves. They were delicious, but there’s just something about things tasting better when they look good.

Once these were eaten, I decided to try again. After mixing the batter, I realized I was out of cupcake tins and had to make it as a cake. This was my first step in defeating the blackberry lemon poppy seed recipe. I mixed and cooked as directed, but cooked in a small rectangular pan. I nailed the cake on the second try. “Victory is mine!” I happily yelled. And yes, I really am that bad at baking that I get this excited when I finally do it the right way.

Since then, I’ve been able to make it correctly a few times, enough to where I feel confident adding it to my recipe book. So, without further adieu…

What You Need:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats (I couldn’t find any rolled oats that weren’t outrageously priced and regular oatmeal oats looked the same so I used those)
1 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP Poppy seeds
1 TBSP lemon zest (finely grated)
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 non fat milk
1/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable, whatever you have on hand)
1/3 cup blackberry jam (you can use raspberry if you prefer, and maybe others too,I just haven’t tried them yet)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Lightly grease the pan with butter or cooking spray

In a bowl, combine the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, lemon zest and salt

In a different bowl, mix the egg, milk and oil

Mix the two bowls together until they batter is moistened

Pour the batter into the cake pan

Lightly spread the blackberry jam over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth over it, just on the top. It will spread out on it’s own.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, using a toothpick to test if it’s done

Let cool and sprinkle powdered sugar on the top and serve!

Messiness – Baking is the messiest thing next to finger painting, I’m discovering very quickly. I feel like with every recipe and attempt though, I’m getting better. On a scale of one to ten, I’d give this a 7, mostly due to the fact that every time I try to “sprinkle powdered sugar” I end up looking like a two year old who devoured a powdered donut.

Simplicity – Well, after I got it, I got it! Here’s some tips to getting it right the first time: make sure the oven is all the way preheated. Don’t open it until the 15 minutes is up, or it’s likely to collapse. If it does start to collapse, stop poking and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. If you’re feeling brave, give the muffin portions a whirl!

Budget – Pretty cheap, especially because if you need to buy the ingredients, they’ll last you a long time. In my case this was great because I needed multiple attempts.

Delicious Factor – This is so great as a breakfast cake for yourself or if you’re having guests over/staying the night. You can bake it ahead and it’s still great! the zest provides just enough lemon taste, so even if you’re not the biggest lemon fan, you’ll still love how the flavors complement each other.

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