I am so ready for Spring and Summer to be here. I can hardly wait for my local farmers market to open so I can roam between each stand picking out the freshest asparagus and the most mouth watering strawberries I've ever seen. So much of my cooking inspiration comes from the farmers market, so after going five months without it, I start to get antsy waiting.
I've been trying to make the best of it by getting excited about my own garden this year. Beside growing some greens, squash, carrots and herbs in my own back yard, I've joined forces with a few friends to build our own little urban garden. Well I shouldn't say little. It's actually going to be quite large and hopefully produce enough vegetables for the six of us well through most of the summer. Overly ambitious? Maybe, but I haven't even told you about the plans for chickens yet. So even though April is here and I still have a kitchen full of root vegetables and hearty greens that make it into every meal at least I have something to look forward to.
Last week I decided to break up all the veggies for a little lemony treat. Something bright in flavor and studded with poppy seeds seemed to sound just right. Zesting a lemon alone is enough to brighten any old rainy Spring day. I contemplated making a quick bread, but then decided little cakes would be much cuter and easier to grab and snack on when the moment called.
I like my cakes studded with lots of poppy seeds, if you prefer less you can stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons instead of the full 14 cup. It's important to have your ingredients at room temperature for this recipe because the melted coconut oil will begin to solidify as your stirring if they are much colder. The spelt flour can be replaced by all-purpose if you'd like as well.
Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes
makes 20 little cakes
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons almond milk
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup cane sugar
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon packed grated lemon zest
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and position the rack in the middle. Lightly grease muffin tin.
In a small bowl stir the lemon juice into the almond milk and let sit for about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl combine the sugar, coconut oil, and lemon zest. Add each egg one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
Stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions. Mix until everything is just blended. Stir in the poppy seeds. Spoon the batter in heaping tablespoons full into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
*If you want to make larger cakes, just fill the tin to about 3/4 full and cook for a longer time, I'm guessing about 20 minutes should be close, but you may want to watch them.