Lemon & Poppy Seed Loaf with a Creamy Lemon Topping

One of my little men had a day off school today. He wasn't exactly sick but more completely exhausted from being up most of the night with a rather bad flare up of his eczema. Thankfully this doesn't too often happen, but being unsure whether an accompanied tummy ache was due to the tiredness, or was a sign of an upcoming bug, I decided to err on the side of caution and keep him tucked up and cosy at home.
I always bake on a Friday, to have something in the press for weekend visitors. Today I decided to make one of my favourite cakes this Lemon & Poppy Seed Loaf Cake and top it with a creamy lemon topping. I based the recipe on my basic bun mixture and added some lemon zest and poppy seeds to the cake batter. I also put the fire on early, made a big pot of soup and some homemade soda bread. As the morning progressed Tiarnán started to feel a little more energised and while he tore into his soup and soda bread, by the fire, I thought to myself what a beautiful memory this will be for him of being 'sick' as a child, while also I hoped that it wouldn't encourage a pattern of 'sick days'. However he's a good boy, who adores school, so I can't imagine this ever being the case, for the next few years anyway!

As I was baking my patient was busy colouring.

225g (8oz) butter, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 free range eggs
280g (10oz) self-raising flour, sieved
25g poppy seeds

For Icing

30g softened butter
70g plain cream cheese (Philadelphia)
200g icing sugar, sieved
1/2 tsp lemon extract
Icing sugar-to dust

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(fan)/390°F/gas mark 6.
2. Prepare a 2lb baking loaf by greasing well with some butter.
3. Place the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest into a bowl, saving a little of the zest for decorating, and cream together until it is a pale yellow colour, which takes about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little flour- to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well.
5. Add the remaining flour then combine well. Fold in the poppyseeds.
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
7. Bake in the oven for 35 mins or until golden brown in colour. Cool on a wire tray.
8. Put the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Stir in the lemon extract. Put the icing in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden slightly. When the cake has completely cooled spread the icing over the cake and smooth using a palette knife.
9. Decorate the top of the cake with some lemon zest and dust with a little sieved icing sugar.

Have a great weekend!


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

It looks wonderful. I am impressed by your day's efforts. My days rarely go like that! Maybe I need to be more organised.

ps your son is very artistic

Sue/the view from great island said...

I want to spend my sick days at your house, Nessa! The cake looks amazing, I love all that lemon frosting slathered on top!

Life, Loves and...... said...

Yum,Yum and Yum I love lemony things

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Jacqueline. Well I was housebound today, so was a little more organised than usual. :) He loves doodling - thank you.
Not all sick days here are so idyllic, Sue! The cake is scrumptious & very quick to make!
Thanks J! I'm the same, love anything citrusy.

Adrienne said...

Nessa, this looks gorgeous, I love the addition of the cream cheese frosting, always find it so much nice than a buttecream icing.
Hope your little man is feeling better now. I was only diagnosed with eczema a few years ago, I just discovered Aveeno moisturiser and have to say it has made a huge difference. There really is nothing worse than a bad flair up of it. Hopefully he might grown out of it as he gets older though.

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Adrienne. He needed topical steroid this time but we are always strict with twice daily emollients. I'm glad yours is under control, it's such a hindrance. I'm hoping too that he grows out of it.