I am not one of those people who refuse to share a recipe, or worse, one of those that omit a crucial ingredient so your version never turns out quite right. Love shared is love multiplied as far as I am concerned. And since I don’t really develop recipes, who knows where I would be if no one shared with me.
My grandmother made this cake as long as I can remember and I’ve been making it for nearly as long as I can remember. Her version, in her writing.
But it most likely came from one of these sources, probably the Daily Breeze.
She always mentioned using port or sherry and I didn’t know where she got that idea until I came across this in her recipe card box recently.
This version is the one she copied for me, but since she was a tweaker too the poppy seed amount is changed.
Here’s my version:
Ethel’s Poppy Seed Cake
- 1 pkg. yellow cake mix
- 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (small box)
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ Madeira wine
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
Mix well. Bake in a well-greased Bundt pan at 350 for 40-55 min. Start testing at 40 min. Let cool, turn out of pan and dust with powdered sugar.
I often make one in a sunflower Bundt pan, a nod to my Grandmother’s favorite flower (and the Kansas state flower).
For a more elegant presentation, use a traditional Bundt pan and dust with powdered sugar.
Make sure to save a slice and enjoy it for breakfast the next morning with a cup of coffee (preferably in your kitchen listening to Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers, broadcasting a game on a transistor radio).
Share the love today.
My Great-Aunt Lora’s beer bread recipe written in my grandmother’s hand.
One of the first breads I learned to bake was my Aunt Lora’s beer bread. It goes together quickly and is impossible to screw up. It had been my standby quick bread for years but there was always a slight off taste to it which I suspect was the self-rising flour. (I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head wondering Why would anybody would want to see an old recipe card on their computer???? Damn, I wish she was still around, for a lot of reasons, but the top two related to cooking would be to bake bread with her and to show her all the pictures I’ve taken of food and watch her shake her head in disbelief. Who would be interested in what you had for dinner???? You’d be surprised, Grandma.)
Over the years my last-minute quick bread has been the cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s. Throw in a handful of cheese and possibly a can of green chilies, bake in a cast-iron skillet and it’s as good as cornbread from scratch.
Yes, it’s Grandma’s cast-iron skillet too.
The beer bread I made today is my current favorite, a basic Beer & Cheese bread from Cooking Light. The sauteed onions and garlic add a savory touch and makes your kitchen smell heavenly. I substitute white-wheat flour in place of the all-purpose. In place of the Monterey Jack cheese I used a shredded blend from Trader Joe’s- it’s what was in the fridge.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 13.5 ounces white-wheat or all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.
Get into the habit of weighing your flour. It is so much faster.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Make a well and place the cheese and onions into the well.
Slowly pour in the beer.
Stir until ingredients are combined but do not overmix.
- 4. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.
Ready for the oven.
- Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter.
Halfway done, time for the rest of the butter.
- Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
The recipe specifies 16 slices, I get about 8 but I like it thick to dip into soup.
OTHER OPTIONS: Apple-Cheddar Beer Bread: Substitute 1/2 cup minced shallots for onion. Place 1/2 cup shredded peeled Gala apple in paper towels; squeeze until barely moist. Cook shallots and apple in oil over medium heat for 7 minutes. Substitute 1 cup shredded extrasharp white cheddar cheese for Monterey Jack. Substitute 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider for lager. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)