Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake

Easy and delicious this Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake is actually quite elegant.  No worries about splitting cake layers and frosting to make.  There's a layer of strawberry jam baked right into the cake which means that you can simply serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.  Your favorite strawberry jam will suffice, but if you're in the midst of strawberry season try my strawberry jam recipe.The flavor combination of nutty poppy seeds, crunchy almonds and sweet jam make this an irresistible cake.  

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake

Servings: 10-12

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tablespoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup strawberry jam

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1Tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  For easy removal of the cake, place a long 4-inch wide strip of parchment that sits on the bottom, up the side and overlaps edges of a 10x3-inch round pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.   Grease and flour the sides and the parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until combined into a pebbly texture.  Add the eggs and almond extract and beat until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, poppy seeds and salt and mix until combined. 

3. Evenly spread half the batter into the prepared pan.  Spread the jam on top of the batter leaving a 1-inch border of batter.  Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter on top, and evenly smooth the batter.  Sprinkle the almonds on top, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 90 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from pan.  Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve.