Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake

2 c sifted cake flour
1½ c sugar, pref. superfine
2 sticks + 2 T unsalted butter at room temp, cut into pieces
1 t baking soda
2 t vanilla extract
¼ c milk
4 eggs, room temp
¾ t salt
¼ c poppy seeds (2 oz)
1 T grated lemon zest
⅓ c fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with Baker’s Joy, or grease and flour the pan. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and the salt; blend well. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla and beat lightly. Add half of this mixture together with the butter to the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

Add the remaining egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating at the same speed for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat in the poppy seeds and lemon zest. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. (The pan will be more than ¾ full). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center emerges clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.

Prepare a lemon glaze shortly before the cake is done: In a small saucepan heat the remaining ½ c sugar and the lemon juice over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Brush three-quarters of the glaze onto the top of the hot cake still in the pan. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a narrow spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the bottom and sides of the cake with the remaining glaze, turn right-side up and let cook completely. The cake can be refrigerated, wrapped, for up to 5 days, but let return to room temp. before serving.

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