Celebratory Cake

IMG_7160This weekend marked the end of my 12 week Jessie’s Girls Challenge. That 12 weeks flew by (as it always does). I had a woman once tell me “the days are long, but the years are short.” That statement always resonates with me because we all go on and on about how quickly time flies. Yet on a day to day basis we all can’t wait til 5pm, bed time, Friday, the next Monday, end of the month etc. Next thing you know, it’s  Christmas. The time passes, do something you love.

Anyhow…..naturally I wanted to make a celebratory cake for the completion of my journey. With spring in full bloom and summer at our noses, I wanted to make something that tasted of both these seasons.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting…..summer can’t get here quick enough! See….I said it…I’m asking for time to fly by. At least I’m doing what I love!


This cake was the perfect taste of spring and summer. And the colors!

I started with making a blackberry sauce. Its really simple! You simmer blackberries in a pot with sugar, squeeze of lemon juice, and water and watch while the blackberries breakdown into a lovely, silky sauce.



Once all the berries are broken down, you push the berries through a sieve (I used a fine mesh colander) to help strain out the pulp and seeds.


Then you end up with a gorgeous smooth sauce. This is what will be used in the buttercream frosting.


The rich buttermilk cake with the zest of Meyer lemons topped with the vanilla buttercream infused with the blackberry sauce tastes exactly like we are about to usher in summer. Try to use the freshest ingredients when possible. Fresh black berries are everywhere right now!

Recipe as adapted from Jaclyn at Food plus Words


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Blackberry Buttercream

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of two lemons
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 3 large egg yolks at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Pre-heat oven to 350º butter and flour three 6″ round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer whip the butter until light fluffy. Add the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down sides with spatula. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture in three batches, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.

As soon as the last dry ingredients have been added and is just mixed through, turn the mixer off. Add in the poppy seeds and fold them into the batter with a spatula. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.

Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Blackberry Sauce

  • 12 0z fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

In medium saucepan place all ingredients in pan and cook over medium heat until berries start to break down. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to press berries to get all the juices out. Once berries are broke down, strain through a fine mesh sieve to strain out all the seed and pulp to leave behind the juice. Cool in the refrigerator until completely chilled. I like to do this step the night before to make sure it is thoroughly cooled.

Vanilla Blackberry Buttercream

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 500 g of confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons of blackberry sauce (or to your liking)
  • pinch of salt

In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. About 5-6 minutes. Scape sides of bowl down then add confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whip for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scape sides of bowl down, then add blackberry sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired flavor.

Cake Assembly

Now that you have all your components of the cake you can assemble it! I like to trim off the top of the cakes with a serrated bread knife to get the cakes flat on both the top and bottom. Set one cake layer on either a cake plate or a cardboard cake circle. With a piping bag filled with your buttercream, pipe a thick layer of buttercream on first layer. Place second layer of cake on top of buttercream and repeat the piping process. Then place final layer of cake on top. With an offset spatula, spread a thin layer (crumb coat) of buttercream over entire cake. Place cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to let frosting set.

Once cake is chilled, frost the rest of the cake until you reach your desired look. Let cake chill in the refrigerator. To serve let cake set out for about 10 minutes to soften. Cut and serve!

Take some time to do something you love. The funny thing about life is we think we have time. Enjoy the cake!