"I hardly do anything for breakfast but coffee." Okay, if you were having Lee over for breakfast, you probably wouldn’t bother with this cake! But for anyone else, it makes a lovely breakfast, brunch, tea or a light dessert. This version includes toasted almonds for flavor and textural interest; leave them out if you like. Amanda serves her "Sistine Chapel" plain, although a dusting of powdered sugar over the top is pretty, especially for that special guest. Remember, if he did eat breakfast, he would eat this!
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup blanched, slivered almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup poppy seeds
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and almond extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on high about 1 minute after each addition, until the eggs are smoothly incorporated into the batter. Add the salt and baking powder and mix briefly to blend. Add the milk, flour, almonds and poppy seeds and mix on low speed just until thoroughly blended.
Spoon the batter into a 10-inch fluted tube or Bundt pan that has been well-greased or sprayed with cooking spray, then lightly coated with flour. Smooth the batter evenly in the pan.
Bake at 350° F. 45 to 55 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Serves 12.
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