Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Like many of the things I make, this recipe started as something entirely different. The original version was pear almond (which is also great and I’ll post it sometime). I revised it to be plant-based and low-sugar, replacing the eggs with ground flaxseed and the maple syrup with date sugar and stevia.
I do want to have my cake and eat it, too, which is why I developed three versions of this cake. Along with the blueberry lemon poppy seed, I sometimes make cranberry crumble or carrot cake. I also plan to make a pumpkin spice/chocolate chip one soon.
When I started my blog, I intended to stick with the least weird ingredients possible. I definitely try to eat as low on the food chain as possible. Baking was the most difficult thing to adjust to with a low-carbohydrate regimen, so you will see some unfamiliar stuff here. Try to bear with me, because seeking out these strange ingredients will be worth it, and they are made from totally real stuff.
Most of the things I make have passed the ‘ordinary people’ palate test, in that they don’t say “Yuck! This stuff tastes horrible!” Instead, they say “Wow, this is really good. What is it?” and then I proceed to tell them what they ate. I’ll make notes about unusual stuff to help you out, and over the course of baking posts will try to give you some insight into some of these ingredients.
- Almond Meal Flour/ Almond Flour– i.e., finely ground almonds. It’s far less processed whole grain flour with carbohydrates that make your body work harder to use.
- Oat Flour– i.e. finely milled oats. You can make this by putting oats into a food processor and running it until it has a flour-like consistency (or you can just buy it, like I do…simplifying my life, where possible, is also important). Though it adds as many net carbohydrates as the almond flour, it’s necessary in this this recipe to give the cake a bit of spring, otherwise it would be too dense.
- Date Sugar– i.e. ground dried dates. Unlike other sugars, date sugar has only 10 calories per teaspoon and also has a bit of fiber. To compare, 2 T. date sugar is 60 calories versus 96 for white sugar and 104 for maple syrup.
- Stevia– i.e. a South American herb. I’ve seen stevia plants for sale at Home Depot when they put out the herbs at the start of gardening season. I’m not crazy about sugar substitutes in general, but stevia is much better than a lot of the other options, especially because it’s not made from chemicals. It’s worth saving the ton of empty calories the equivalent in other sweeteners would add. Some brands are more bitter than others. I use NuNaturals brand because it’s reasonably priced and it seems fine enough to me.
For pretty much all baking, the easiest way to go about the recipe is to measure and combine all of the dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl and the wet ingredients into a larger one. First, it’s easier to fully mix these things if they’re done separately and then added together. Second, you’ll end up dumping the wet into the dry, hence using the bigger bowl for the wet.
Also, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, by golly, get one this minute! They’re so useful, especially for baking. It’s so much easier and quicker to use than measuring cups. A scale is not only more accurate, but it requires less clean-up. For this reason, I include the grams for the ingredients (plus it’s nice for my overseas followers).
Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” round or 9×13” rectangle baking pan with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, measure and mix:
- 2 ½ c. (260 gr.) Almond meal flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
- ½ c. (54 gr.) Oat flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 t. Baking power
- 1 t. Ginger powder
- 1 t. Cinnamon
- 1 t. Poppy seed
- ½ t. Salt
In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 T. ground flaxseed with 1/3 c. water. Whisk for a minute, then add the following and mix well:
- 2 T. (24 gr.) Date sugar, Chatfield’s is the best, *See note below for substitute option*
- 1 t. Stevia, like NuNaturals White Powder Stevia
- ½ c. Water
- ¼ c. (60 gr.) Safflower oil
- 2 t. Vanilla extract
- 5 oz. Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 ½ T. Ginger root, fresh, peeled, and finely minced
- ¼ t. 100% Pure Lemon oil or 2 T. fresh lemon juice or 1 t. lemon extract
Mix dry ingredients into wet, combine well using spatula. The consistency will be very thick. Spatula the mixture into the baking pan. Try to even it out while holding the parchment paper in place. Wet your fingers and press the batter into an even layer. Sprinkle a few more poppy seeds on top if you like.
Bake for 40 minutes and cool on rack. I cover it with parchment paper and a rubber band to avoid moisture that would get on a lid or Saran wrap. It’s a pretty dense cake, so after a day or two, I put the rest in the fridge, where it will keep up to a week. It also freezes well, so on the rare occasion we don’t finish it, I cut the rest into individual slices and freeze them wrapped in parchment paper.
*Note: You can use ½ c. maple syrup in place of the date sugar, stevia, and ½ c. water.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Accommodates: Omnivores, Vegetarians, Vegans, low-carbohydrate, keto, paleo and gluten-free regimens
Nutritional info: 215 calories, 7.5 gr. net carbohydrates, 17 gr. fat, 6 gr. protein