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Lemon Chia Seed Cake

Lemon Chia Seed Cake
When you see a yellow cake that is speckled with little black seeds, you are likely to assume that those are poppy seeds in there, since lemon and poppyseed are a very common combination. You’ll probably be surprised to find out that the seeds in this lemon cake aren’t poppyseeds at all – they’re chia seeds. Chia seeds are edible seeds that look quite similar to poppy seeds and are very popular as a nutritional supplement right now. They are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and are also high in fiber, protein and other nutrients. They’re easy to incorporate into baked goods and give a little nutritional boost to whatever you put them in.

This Lemon Chia Seed Cake is an easy cake to make and it is exactly the kind of cake that I like to keep around the house to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. It’s moist and just sweet enough that it doesn’t need any frosting or glaze to finish it off (although I do like a touch of powdered sugar to make it look pretty). The cake is a butter cake that is made with yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Yogurt and lemon go very well together, and the yogurt is what really helps to keep this cake moist. Make sure to use fresh lemons for the best flavor in your cake.

Like poppy seeds, chia seeds are very small and spread out easily in a cake batter. You don’t need many of them to give the cake a lovely speckled look. If you’re going for a nutritional boost, however, you can certainly add more chia seeds than I’ve included in the recipe so that you get slightly more per serving of cake. And if you are a traditionalist, you can easily stick with the poppy seeds when you bake your own.

This cake keeps very well for a few days when it is stored in an airtight container. If you want to dress it up a little bit, a lemon glaze (lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar) or a little bit of lemon cream cheese frosting would make a nice finishing touch instead of powdered sugar.

Lemon Chia Seed Cake

Lemon Chia Seed Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain, greek-style yogurt
2 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the base with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by lemon zest and lemon juice.
Stir half of the flour mixture into the lemon mixture, followed by the yogurt and chia seeds. Stir in remaining flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and seeds are well-distributed throughout the cake.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Allow cake to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper, then reinvert the cake on the wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serves 8-10.

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  • Amanda
    February 18, 2013

    This look simply divine!

  • Ally
    February 19, 2013

    Really cool recipe, and everyone seems to be talking about Chia seeds.

  • Linda
    February 19, 2013

    I bought some chia seeds last trip to Trader Joe’s because of your blog on that and wanting to “play” with those in baking. Now, I have a recipe to try them out! Thanks!

  • Mr. & Mrs. P
    February 19, 2013

    Looks so simple! Love it… A no fuss dessert!

  • melissa
    February 26, 2013

    I just wanted to say that I made this last night (having a glut of lemons and a big bag of chia seeds after reading Born to Run!) and it’s delicious. Really most and flavourful and comes out exactly as expected. We didn’t even need the powdered sugar, just ate it with fingers as-is. We’ll definitely make this one again!

  • Chia Seed Lovers
    March 20, 2013

    Wow! I love chia seeds and I would definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cindy
    May 1, 2013

    Can the sugar be reduced or subbed with honey and, if so, by how much?

  • liz
    May 5, 2014

    THANK YOU!!! This cake is amazing! I’ve made it three times and I think it’s my favorite cake of all time. It’s light and moist and not-too-sweet. Perfect cake…. just perfect!

  • Nieves
    June 13, 2014

    Hi, I made your recipe. but I used orange instead of lemon, Love it, is delicious.
    thanks for share it
    you see the results here http://mischucherias12.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/tarta-de-naranja-con-semillas-de-chia.html

  • Cherry
    October 27, 2014

    I had just baked this cake for my in-law birthday. I added more lemon zest and lemon juice as I love lemon. I used 150g of blueberry greek yogurt and made up the remaining required with fat-free sour cream. I added fresh blueberries to enhance the flavour and decorated the cake with whipped cream and strawberries. It was nearly perfect except that I had made it a little dry. My in-laws, spouse and friends love the refreshing taste and lightness of the cake. Thank you!

  • Bev C
    November 23, 2014

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I have made it several times. The only change I did was reduce the sugar to three quarters of a cup.

    Happy days.

  • Meena
    October 15, 2015

    I tried the recipe, cake was delicious, but was little dense, what could. Be the reason? I want to know for next time. Thanks

  • Nicole
    October 16, 2015

    Hi Meena,

    The cake should be quite fluffy. I’m not sure how dense your cake was, but it might be because your baking powder or baking soda was not as fresh as it could be. Here is a quick way of checking it for freshness: http://bakingbites.com/2011/03/how-to-test-baking-powder-and-baking-soda-for-freshness/

  • Noreen
    July 12, 2016

    Hi! I used your recipe four times. It was a huge success among family and friends. Everytime I would bake the cake, it turns out moist and fluffy. I just have a question, though. Everytime I would make it, it also is a bit crumbly. Is it normal?

  • Sally
    July 15, 2018

    It’s in the oven right now! I make a lot 9f cakes and really enjoy baking, to the point that I’m a bit of a connoisseur… This cake batter is stunning (and tastes very nice indeed). I ran out of sugar so topped up the cup measurement with 80% sugar and the rest a mix of agave syrup and maple syrup. Also used a little extra lemon juice and zest as we’ve got a glut of lemons from the tree in the garden. Can’t wait to cut into the cake and taste it! Thank you for your recipe!

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