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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 14 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: Breads & Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A light and fluffy Meyer lemon poppy seed cake filled with fresh citrus flavor that will keep you coming back for another slice. Topped with a thick vanilla glaze, this quick bread is the perfect breakfast treat!


Units Scale

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp (213 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (205 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup (123 g) plain greek yogurt, room temperature

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 23 TBSP whole milk
  • 12 TBSP full fat greek yogurt (to thicken the glaze)


For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Spray a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with a piece of parchment paper that covers the bottom and extends past the short sides of the pan. You will use these as handles to pull the loaf out of the pan once it has cooled slightly
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes)
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg is added
  6. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed
  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until combined
  8. With the mixer on low, add some of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and then alternate with the greek yogurt, ending with the flour mixture
  9. Remove from mixer and stir in poppyseeds with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  10. Mix until barely incorporated. Do not over mix
  11. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean
  12. If cake is browned too quickly towards the end of the baking time, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil
  13. Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes
  14. Using the parchment paper handles, carefully lift the cake from the pan and set aside to cool on a wire rack

For the Glaze

  1. Once the cake is cool to the touch, whisk together the confectioners sugar and milk in a small bowl
  2. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake allowing some to drizzle down the sides
  3. Sprinkle top with an additional 1/2 tsp poppy seeds if desired


If more lemon flavor is desired, replace whole milk with fresh lemon juice in the glaze.
Store cake tightly wrapped in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.
May be frozen for up to 3 months.