I’m actually old enough to remember WWI Veterans selling real poppies with real ribbons and cards that read…

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row…

We all memorized the poem as kids.  But those ancient-to-me veterans didn’t sell them around Memorial Day – Flanders Field was all about Armistice Day – Veteran’s Day.  November 11th.  It’s an almost forgotten holiday.  Not much is closed.  It’s certainly not a paid holiday for 99% of the population. (It made the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 and the 4th Monday in October was designated Veteran’s Day, but was it removed in 1975 to its original November 11th date.)

But I digress…

This cake was in Thursday’s Philadelphia Inquirer and Victor was going to make it, but I beat him to the dessert punch with the Raspberry Banana Tart.

So he made it for us, today.  I’m glad he saved the paper.  It was really good!

‘In Flanders Field’ Poppy Seed Cake With Lemon Glaze and Strawberries

Makes 10-12 servings

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (two sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Rind of two lemons, zested or grated fine
  • 1/2 cup fresh poppy seeds
  • For the glaze:
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Optional Memorial Day garnish:

  • Fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced (leave two or three perfect berries)
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh mint
  • Small American flags

1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a bundt or tube pan by greasing and flouring.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl from time to time to ensure complete mixing. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a third of the flour mixture and a third of the buttermilk and mix until the flour is just incorporated. Repeat twice more, adding the rind with the last bit of buttermilk, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and mix until the batter is smooth.

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for about a half hour and invert onto serving plate.

5. Mix the glaze ingredients together and brush onto the cake while it is still warm.

6. Garnish with small American flags and serve the berries on the side, or use them to fill the hole in the center of the cake.

Per serving (based on 12): 482 calories, 7 grams protein, 71 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams sugar, 20 grams fat, 112 milligrams cholesterol, 276 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

So…  the timing of the Flanders Field reference may be a bit off, but the cake certainly wasn’t.  It’s real good.