Let Them Eat Cake

We'll explore children's literature and food, starting with these tempting seed cupcakes, inspired by The Hobbit.

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Seed Cakes

This is a variation of a recipe for Glazed Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake from Gourmet magazine. I suggest baking it up as mini-muffins, or even in those nifty little muffin-top bakers, to make them more like hobbit food.


1 ¼ cups all-purpose or white whole-wheat flour, or a combo of the two
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Line or grease muffin tins, either a dozen regular sized muffins or 24 minis.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl.

Cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl or with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs until combined. Gently add flour mixture and poppy seeds; mix till just combined.

Fill muffin tins no more than half full and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes for minis or 20 for regular muffins. Cool cakes in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove onto rack.

Whisk together confectioners sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm cakes with a spoon. Let stand until glaze is set, about 15 minutes.
Serve with tea or milk.

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