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Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf Cakes

These cakes are so simple and very well mannered, the sort of cake that never lets you down. I love this combination of flavours and the ones in the pic below are before the icing drizzle but I have to say, the drizzle really brings something extra to the table. It just gives it a bit more of that lemony kick.
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
250g caster sugar
250g margarine
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Zests of 3 lemons
3 Tbsp poppy seeds

TOPPING
Juice of 3 lemons
100g caster sugar
100g icing sugar

You will also need two 1lb loaf  tins, greased and lined with buttered baking parchment or loaf tin liners.

Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC/gas mark 3. 

Tip all of the cake ingredients into the bowl of a free-standing machine and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. If you don’t have a machine, you can use an electric hand-held mixer. 

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and spread level using a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25-32 minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. 


Remove from the oven and carefully poke holes all over the surfaces with a cocktail stick. Mix half the lemon juice with the icing sugar and half with the caster sugar, while the cake is still warm pour the caster sugar lemon juice over the cakes, Leave to cool completely. 
Turn the cakes out of the tins, peel off the parchment and drizzle with the icing sugar and lemon juice.  

* Freezes well



* For a 2lb loaf use three quarters of the cake batter (bake the remaining batter in cupcake cases)
and bake for 10-15 mins extra, keeping a eye that it doesn't colour to much, cover with foil if it does.

* Would work with oranges (use 2) or limes (use 4).