Whole Grain Lemon-Poppy Seed Layer Cake



For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (or 1/4 cup more oats)
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)

For the lemon:

  • 2 tbsp. lemon curd
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat your over to 175ºC. Oil two 8″ round cake pans. Line the base of the cake pans with a circle of parchment paper, then oil the parchment and dust with flour.
  2. Place the rolled oats onto a food processor and pulse until fine. Add the oats along with the next 6 ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Using a stand or electric mixer, combine the melted butter, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and buttermilk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until the batter comes together.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the oiled, lined cakes pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they appear quite darkly golden, and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes rest in the pans for 5 minutes before running a dull knife around the edge of each pan, and turning them out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment, flip the cake layers right-side up and leave to cool completely.
  4. Make the frosting by thoroughly combining the first four ingredients together using a stand or electric mixer until smooth at least 1 minute. Stir in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until completely combined. Refrigerate until needed, at least 30 minutes.
  5. To assemble: Level the cakes by using a serrated knife to trim off any domed tops. Place the first cake layer onto a serving plate cut side down. Spread just under half the frosting onto this cake layer-leaving a margin of about 1″ around the edge. Place the second cake layer on top, cut-side down and press on it slightly to secure. Spoon the rest of the frosting on top and, using a palette knife, offset spatula, or butter knife, spread the frosting to cover the entire top of the cake, teasing it all the way to the edges.

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