Citrus Pecan Poppy Seed Cake

by Min Merrell

Citrus Pecan Poppy Seed Cake is a great single layer cake we all need in our recipe files.

Hurray for the simple one layer cake without frosting. It can be a sophisticated dinner party finale. It can be a little treat with an afternoon cup of tea or a breakfast or lunch cake with fresh fruit. Serve it ANYTIME! And make it anytime without much planning. Who can say no to a thin sliver?

Citrus Pecan Poppy Seed Cake is made with self-rising flour (one of the greatest pantry conveniences), pecan meal I keep in the freezer (for Christmas Pecan Crescent Cookies), a few poppy seeds for extra crunch (that you can omit), and the juice and zest from a stray orange or lemon.

Instead of icing, the cake is drizzled with a citrus syrup that soaks into the cake. The texture is both moist and light. You certainly don’t need it, but a dollop of whipped cream or lemon curd, or a drizzle of custard, caramel or chocolate sauce is always nice. In the summer, make this an alternative to whatever you usually use for shortcake and pair with sweetened fresh berries or peaches. In the fall and winter swap to apples or a stewed dried fruit compote. Or serve it plain. We can find Georgia pecan meal in the supermarket any time of the year in Nashville. Ask your local grocer. 

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