Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vegan Lime Poppy Seed Birthday Cake

Northern Spy celebrated a birthday this week: Bethani is finally 21! In addition to the traditional birthday festivities—drinking—I thought I’d be a nice guy and whipped up a birthday cake for the little lady. However, as I was pressed for time for a variety of reasons, most of them personal and banal, I opted for a quick, but totez delish, recipe I’ve used before, with a few slight changes.

I present to you now Bethani’s Vegan Lime Poppy Seed Birthday Cake:


  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • grated peels of 3 lemons
  • ¾ cup apple juice
  • ¾ cup (canola) oil
  • ¾ cup (pure) maple syrup
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I'm sure white flour is fine)
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp sea salt (or regular salt)

  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Mix wet ingredients.
  • Fold gently together, adding wet to dry.
  • Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.
  • Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 1/2 hour or until toothpick comes clean

Notes and Adjustments:

  • ¾ of a cup of poppy seeds is a lot, I mean a lot, of poppy seeds. To make this I cut it down to half a cup, but you could probably get away with 1/3 if you wanted to.
  • To make this a lime cake instead of lemon I used the peel of four limes, and it took about 2 of them to get enough juice.
  • If you use maple syrup for this recipe get the lightest you can find, otherwise your cake will taste like pancakes (not necessarily bad, but the maple can be overpowering). For this and most other vegan baking applications I prefer to use honey! It’s a cleaner, more neutral taste, it’s attracts water so your baked goods will stay moister longer, and it’s a natural preservative so your food will keep longer!
  • You could use an equal amount of Kosher salt in lieu of the sea salt if you don’t have it, or a ½ tsp of regular salt.
  • I also added a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract since I think most baked goods benefit from this.
  • I used pastry flour for this and the cake was very light and tasty, the first time I made it all we had was all purpose and the cake was still excellent, just more dense. It’s up to you and your cake preferences, but if you choose a.p. flour mix this sparingly or enjoy your gluten block!
  • I baked this in a loaf pan which took about 45 minutes, checking every five or so after the first thirty. This would also be great in a Bundt pan and would probably cook in 25-30.
  • While this cake is perfectly delicious on its own I chose to top it with a glaze made from confectioner’s sugar, lemonade, and a bit of vanilla extract.

Baking playlist courtesy of my totez rad post-hardcore on-the-go iPod playlist:

  1. The Means – Heart
  2. The Future of the Left – The Lord Hates a Coward
  3. McLusky – 1956 and All That
  4. Refused – New Noise
  5. McLusky – Whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction
  6. The Means – (t.p.) Massacre
  7. The Future of the Left – Wrigley Scott
  8. The Birthday Party – The Friend Catcher
  9. The Future of the Left – Real Men Hunt In Packs
  10. The Bronx – Strobe Life
  11. Gallows – In the Belly of a Shark
  12. Shellac – Dog and Pony Show
  13. Hot Snakes – Rock’n’Roll Will Never Die
  14. The Means – R. Loxley
  15. McLusky – You are my Sun
  16. The Means – Rob Wheeler
  17. Gallows – Six Years
  18. Detachment Kit – Hurricane Designed for People
  19. Shellac – Il Porno Star
  20. Refused – Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull
  21. The Bronx – False Alarm
  22. Harvey Milk – Maelstrom of Bad Decisions
  23. The Birthday Party – Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)


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