Moist and Zesty Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

My dears, I have a most delightful recipe for you to try, and it is sure to make your taste buds dance with delight. Allow me to introduce the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake Recipe – a truly decadent dessert that is perfect for any occasion, be it a cozy afternoon tea or a grand celebration.

This cake possesses a light texture and a wonderful crumb, thanks in part to the addition of poppy seeds which add both nutrition and charm. The fresh lemon juice and zest provide a burst of citrus flavor that is both refreshing and bright.

Imagine taking in the aroma of freshly baked cake wafting throughout your kitchen, as you prepare to present this masterpiece to your loved ones. Your guests will certainly be impressed with not only its taste but also its elegant appearance.

And while this cake requires some time and attention to detail, I assure you that each step is worth it in the end. So let us begin!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Allow me to entice your taste buds with this exquisite Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipe. If you’re a lover of sweet-tart flavors, this cake is perfect for you! With the burst of tangy lemon flavor and the intriguing crunch of poppy seeds in every bite, this cake is sure to make you feel like you’re enjoying a bright summer day.

Imagine indulging in a slice of soft and moist pound cake that’s bursting with the fresh flavor of lemon zest and juice. The poppy seeds add a slightly nutty texture to the already delightful taste of the cake. The recipe’s versatility makes it ideal for numerous occasions, from breakfast to dessert.

This delectable cake can also be baked on special occasions such as birthdays, baby showers, or even afternoon tea with your dear friends. Impress your family and friends with this classically delicious dessert that satisfies your taste buds while melting in your mouth at the same time.

Believe me when I say that nothing compares to the aroma of fresh lemon zest coming out of the oven as it bakes. It excites all of my senses, making my cravings for this cake even more irresistible. You’ll find yourself making this recipe frequently; it’s so simple yet tantalizing and consistently delivers heavenly happiness to your senses.

What more could you ask for? This Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipe is pure indulgence at its finest!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to pucker up! This zesty lemon poppy seed pound cake is going to be your new favorite treat.
Get ready to pucker up! This zesty lemon poppy seed pound cake is going to be your new favorite treat.

Before we start baking, it’s essential to gather all the ingredients to make our Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake. Here are the ingredients for this delightful cake recipe:

  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of milk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup of poppy seeds

That’s it! You might have some, if not all, of these ingredients at home already. If you want to make any substitutions, see the next section for some ideas.

The Recipe How-To

 This cake is definitely a showstopper. Perfect for any special occasion or just because you deserve some yummy goodness!
This cake is definitely a showstopper. Perfect for any special occasion or just because you deserve some yummy goodness!

Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start baking the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this delightful dessert.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Before anything else, preheat your oven to 350°F. This ensures that your cake will cook evenly and come out perfectly.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients

In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of cake flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Add in ¼ cup of poppy seeds and set aside.

Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar

In another bowl, cream 2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature) and 1 cup of sugar until smooth.

Step 4: Add Eggs and Flavourings

Mix in 3 eggs (at room temperature) one at a time, followed by 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and zest from 2 lemons. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract for extra flavour.

Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

Slowly add the dry ingredients mixture into the wet ingredients mixture (from step 4), alternating with 1/3 cup buttermilk, until everything is well combined.

Step 6: Bake

Grease a cake pan or bundt pan with butter or cooking spray, then pour in the batter. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 7: Add Lemon Glaze

While waiting for your cake to cool down, prepare the lemon glaze by mixing together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and zest from one lemon. Drizzle over the cooled cake for an extra burst of citrusy flavor.

And there you have it, a delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 This cake is like sunshine on a plate. The lemon zest and juice give it a bright and tangy flavor that will wake up your taste buds.
This cake is like sunshine on a plate. The lemon zest and juice give it a bright and tangy flavor that will wake up your taste buds.

Dearest readers, while the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake is already delightful, I understand that some may want to personalize it to their own taste or dietary restrictions. Fret not for I have some substitutions and variations that you may find useful.

– Flour: For a gluten-free option, one could use almond flour instead of cake flour. However, it is important to note that the texture will be different from the original recipe.

– Butter: In place of unsalted butter, one could use margarine or coconut oil to make a dairy-free version.

– Sugar: Instead of using granulated sugar, one could experiment with brown or coconut sugar for a natural sweet taste.

– Poppy Seeds: If you would like to add more poppy seeds, try folding in an extra 1/2 cup and let it provide you with an extra crunch.

– Lemon: Use other types of citrus fruits like Meyer lemon, lime or orange instead of lemon zest and juice. Make sure to adjust the sugar according to the tartness of the fruit.

– Glaze: Want to add some pizzazz? Try adding a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice on top of the cake. You can also mix in a teaspoon or two of poppy seeds for added texture.

However, do keep in mind that although these are good substitutes, there may be some major difference in taste and texture. Be bold and daring in your choices, but don’t forget to savor every bite.

Serving and Pairing

 I love adding poppy seeds to my baked goods for a bit of extra texture. They add a tiny crunch and a playful speckled look to the cake.
I love adding poppy seeds to my baked goods for a bit of extra texture. They add a tiny crunch and a playful speckled look to the cake.

The Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake is a delightful dessert that can be served on any occasion, be it for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea. This sweet treat pairs well with a hot cup of tea or coffee or a cold scoop of ice cream.

For an elegant presentation, serve the cake on a white or floral platter and dust it with powdered sugar. You can also glaze the cake with lemon glaze and scatter fresh berries or edible flowers around the platter for a pop of color.

To add more texture and flavor, pair the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake with whipped cream, lemon curd, or fresh fruit compote. The tangy lemon taste of this cake is perfectly balanced with sweet accompaniments such as honey or jam.

For a more indulgent pairing, treat yourself to a slice of pound cake topped with homemade whipped cream and drizzled with raspberry sauce. Alternatively, you can also serve the cake with a side of vanilla ice cream or an espresso shot to complement its rich flavor.

Whether you choose to serve it for brunch or as a light afternoon snack, this lemon poppy seed pound cake promises to be the star on your dessert table. Its delicious flavors and versatility make it an ideal choice for any occasion. So go ahead and savor every bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Is your mouth watering yet? You'll be dreaming of this
Is your mouth watering yet? You’ll be dreaming of this

My dear friends, when it comes to the heavenly lemon poppy seed pound cake, you’ll want to ensure that you are taking full advantage of its make-ahead and storing abilities. It keeps incredibly well at room temperature for up to three days if wrapped tightly with cling film, so I would highly recommend baking this cake a day in advance. This will give the flavors an opportunity to fully mature and develop.

If you find yourself with more slices than you can eat, don’t worry, for the lemon poppy seed pound cake can be stored for several days in your refrigerator or even longer in your freezer. Seal it tightly in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in cling film before placing it in the fridge or freezer. Please note that the texture will subtly change after several days.

To reheat the cake after storing, allow it to come back to room temperature and enjoy it as is or heat it up for ten seconds per slice in your microwave. One to two additional tablespoons of fresh lemon juice can be added if needed.

My dearest readers, I hope these tips assist you in getting every last morsel of enjoyment out of your lemon poppy seed pound cake.

Tips for Perfect Results

As a chef who has made this lemon poppy seed pound cake countless times, I have a few tips to share with you for achieving perfect results every time.

Firstly, make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature before beginning. This ensures that the ingredients will combine smoothly and evenly, resulting in a perfect crumb texture. Additionally, creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy is essential to give your pound cake the desired texture.

When adding in the flour mixture, be sure to not over mix. Over mixing will result in a tough and dense pound cake. Instead, mix just until everything is incorporated evenly.

For a beautiful finishing touch, try glazing your pound cake with lemon glaze or icing. It will add a nice sweetness to contrast with the tangy lemon flavor.

Lastly, proper storage is key for maintaining freshness. Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months. Once ready to serve again, gently reheat in an oven before slicing and serving.

By following these tips, you’ll have a delightful lemon poppy seed pound cake that is sure to impress any guest!


Before we conclude, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about this lemon poppy seed pound cake recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, these answers will help you achieve perfect results every time.

What do poppy seeds add to a lemon cake?

For an added layer of texture in this zesty lemon drizzle cake, consider throwing in some poppy seeds. It’s not a requirement though, so no need to worry if you’re not a fan. We’ll be using self-raising flour, which pairs nicely with a teaspoon of baking powder to help give this cake a lift.

Do I need to soak poppy seeds before baking?

To optimize the rich and distinctive flavor of poppyseeds in a recipe, it’s recommended to prepare them first by either soaking in hot milk, water or oil from the recipe, or grinding them beforehand. Soaking helps to soften the hard outer layer, allowing the unique flavor compounds to be better released during the baking process.

How much poppy seed to add to a lemon cake?

For this recipe, we will need some softened butter, along with some extra for greasing. We will also need some golden caster sugar, self-raising flour, and a few lemons. In addition, we will be using eggs, poppy seeds, and a pot of natural yogurt. The lemons will be used for both zesting and juicing to make the icing.

What do poppy seeds add to cake?

Incorporating some poppy seeds into the delightful lemon loaf cake brings forth a delightful crunchy texture that adds to the overall appeal of the dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dessert that will please everyone, look no further than this lemon poppy seed pound cake recipe. This cake is both tart and sweet, with a delightful texture and a subtle crunch from the poppy seeds.

Whether you are hosting a gathering, looking for a weeknight treat, or just craving something sweet and lemony, this recipe is sure to be a hit. With its simple ingredients, basic technique, and endless customizability options, this lemon poppy seed pound cake recipe is a must-try for any home baker.

So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the best of British cuisine with this delicious cake. Whether you’re enjoying it as an afternoon snack or serving it as the grand finale to a dinner party, this lemon poppy seed pound cake is sure to become one of your go-to recipes.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake Recipe

The Lemon Syrup on this cake makes it particularly moist and delicious!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword < 15 Mins, Dessert, Fruit, Oven
Cook Time 0 minutes
Calories 408.7kcal


  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon, zest of, grated, loosely packed
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Lemon Syrup

  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus 2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 4-cup (8x4-inch) or six-cup loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper, and grease and flour the paper. Or grease and flour a fluted tube pan.
  • Lightly combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a medium-size bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  • Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend.
  • Then add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Increase the speed to medium (high if you are using a hand mixer), and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface with a spatula. The batter will be almost 1/2 inch from the top of a 4-cup loaf pan.
  • Bake, covering the pan loosely with buttered aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent over browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes (35 to 45 minutes in a fluted pan). To get an attractive split down the middle of the crust, wait until the natural split is about to develop (when cake has cooked for about 20 minutes), and then use a lightly greased sharp knife to make a shallow mark about 6 inches long down the middle of the cake. (This must be done very quickly so that the oven door does not remain open very long, or the cake will fall). When the cake splits, it will open along the mark.
  • Shortly before the cake is done, prepare the Lemon Syrup: In a small pan over medium heat, stir the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a wire rack, poke the cake all over with a wire tester or wooden skewer, and brush it with half the syrup.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Loosen the sides of the cake with a spatula, and invert it onto a greased wire rack.
  • Poke the bottom of the cake with the wire tester, brush it with some syrup, and re-invert it onto a greased wire rack.
  • Brush the sides with the remaining syrup and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Store the cake for 24 hours, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap (to give the syrup a chance to distribute evenly). Serve at room temperature. *Note*: Tightly wrapped, the cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, and 2 months in the freezer.


Serving: 111g | Calories: 408.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.2g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 22.5g | Saturated Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 129.7mg | Sodium: 139.7mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 26g

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