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I really love a good simple cake that really shows off fresh flavors and I think I found a perfect and easy recipe! These little cakes are not only cute, but they are not overly sweet. I want to bake another batch, but I am restraining myself from over doing it. These would be perfect for my Christmas baskets this year!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes
(Adapted from Southern Living Magazine November 2009)

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½ cup butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk
¾ teaspoon poppy seeds
¾ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.

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Gradually add sugar, beating until creamy and fluffy.

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Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.

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Beat in milk, poppy seeds, almond extract, and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest. (Mixture will be slightly  lumpy.)

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Whisk together flour and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl.

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Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.

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Spoon batter into 1 greased and floured (12 cup) miniature Bundt pan, filling all cups three-fourths full. Spoon remaining batter into a second pan, filling only 6 cups. (I used one of these mini angel food pans which made 4 little cakes.)

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Bake lemon-poppy seed cakes at 350 degrees F. for 24 to 26 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cakes cool 10 minutes.

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Whisk together 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest until smooth.

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Drizzle glaze over warm cakes. Let cakes stand 4 to 5 minutes or until glaze is set.

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