Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake
This easy loaf cake is sure to be a household favorite. Rubbing lemon zest into the flour and sugar before adding the other ingredients is a simple trick that allows for the bright lemon oils in the zest to disperse evenly in the batter. This makes the most of the lemon flavor that is packed in the rind of the fruit. We also add poppy seeds to the dry ingredients so that each slice is peppered evenly with specks of dark purple. Sour cream adds richness and tenderness to this already tender cake, and the juice of the zested lemons enhances the lemony quality of the cake and helps keep the interior deliciously soft. Since this loaf cake is an oil-based cake, you don’t have to worry about dryness—the cake stays moist for days after it’s made as long as it’s well wrapped in plastic wrap. The glaze that coats the cake is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Immediately after the cake is glazed, we sprinkle more poppy seeds on top for color and texture. As the glaze sits, it hardens and holds the poppy seeds in place.