Poppy Seed Mini-Cakes

I try to take pastries with me almost everywhere I go – partially because I always have them around because I just have to bake whatever recipe tonight, and mostly because I love to see faces light up when I pull containers of cake out of my purse. 

Last weekend, Elisabeth, Berly, and I  got dolled up and headed down to a local wine cellar. I brought these poppy seed mini-cakes with pink lemonade frosting in my purse and we really got to the nitty gritty of some things. We sat back and actually listened to each other. We tried to respond with relevant, helpful information that would push each other forward or beyond our current situations. 
We also giggled a lot and thought about the future of jelly shoes, like this amazing pair.

Cake Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

zest of 1 lemon

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 c poppy seeds


1/2 cup butter

3 cups powdered sugar (more, or less, depending on your preference)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 T milk or water (depending on your consistency preference)

Red food coloring (I like this brand – it uses beets!)

Cake: Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 1/4 sheet pan and line with waxed paper or parchment paper. Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing to combine. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt – start mixing slowly, and drizzle in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pull out the paddle attachment and fold in the poppy seeds. Spread in your prepared pan and bake for approx. 20 minute – or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
Buttercream: Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), then the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add in some milk or water if you want a thinner consistency. Add in a drop or two of food coloring, until your desired pink lemonade color is reached.
Assembly: Once your cake is cool, cut 3″ circles out of it. You can use a glass or mason jar to measure and cut with a paring knife around it if you don’t have circle cut-outs. Portion out your layers by three, deciding which you want on the top, bottom, etc. Dollop some buttercream between each layer and spread gently. Stack the other layers on top!
Finally: Present these beauties to your best gal pals and watch them swoon.