If you’re a fan of poppy seeds, you need to try this Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf! A soft and delicious cake topped with thin lemon icing for a more lemony bite — try it for your next afternoon snack!
You certainly do not need to use a cake mix for this delicious loaf. Nope, making a lemon poppy seed loaf from scratch is easy.
So, if you are a beginner, don’t be wary — it’s an excellent cake recipe to start with.
No complicated steps, ingredients, or timings. Just a delicious serving (or two) for everyone to enjoy — any time of the day.
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- Butter – I generally use unsalted butter for preparing this lemon poppy seed loaf.
- Poppy seeds – you only need them for the cake batter.
- Sugar – granulated white sugar will be great.
- Flour – all-purpose flour is all you need for this lemon poppy seed loaf recipe.
- Baking powder – just use your favorite brand.
- Lemon – you need the zest and the juice of one lemon.
- Eggs – medium-sized (63 to 73 grams/piece), room temperature, and separated.
- Honey – make sure you use mild-flavored honey.
- Milk – you would need buttermilk for this poppy seed loaf recipe.
- Powdered sugar – for the (optional) syrupy lemon icing on the cake.
Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F), greasing a loaf pan with butter, and dusting it with a bit of flour. Set aside.
Use a strainer to sift flour and baking powder in a medium bowl (photo 1).
Add the poppy seeds, then mix all the dry ingredients (photo 2).
Using a large mixing bowl, combine butter with sugar, then mix until it’s creamy.
Add the yolk, honey, lemon zest, and buttermilk (photo 3).
Continue mixing until everything is evenly combined.
Add the strained dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds (photo 4).
Mix until just combined, then set cake batter aside.
Using a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Add a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter (photo 5).
Fold gently to combine, then add the remaining egg whites in batches.
Do not overmix; just enough to combine the whites with the rest of the ingredients.
Pour the batter into the greased tin pan (photo 6).
Tap the pan gently on the counter to get rid of bubbles.
Place the pan in the lower part of the oven for thirty-five to forty minutes — or until a toothpick comes out dry when you stick it in the loaf.
Take your poppy seed loaf out of the oven and set it aside to cool.
Start with the icing by combining the powdered sugar with the lemon juice (photo 7).
Mix until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Pour the thin lemon icing on the cooled cake (photo 8).
Your lemon poppy loaf is now ready for slicing and serving!
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
So, if you’re keeping them in the refrigerator, take them out an hour earlier.
- Note that the lemon icing is very thin, so pouring it on the entire loaf is easier than spreading with a spatula.
- Check that the loaf is no longer warm before pouring the lemon icing on top.
Yes, it’s totally optional to pour the icing.
The sweetness in the loaf itself is already balanced, so it’s excellent even without the lemon icing.
An 8-inch or 9-inch round pan will work.
But remember that the bigger the pan, the thinner the cake.
Looks so tempting, right? Give this poppy seed cake a try this weekend and let me know!
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Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Recipe
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer
- Cooling rack
- Metal whisk
- Rubber spatula
- 1 stick + 1 tbsp butter (125 grams), unsalted and softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 & 2/3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 lemon, grated zest
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 4 medium egg whites
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar, heaping
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F), greasing a 2-lb loaf pan with butter, and dusting it with a bit of flour. Set loaf pan aside.
- Use a strainer to sift flour and baking powder into a medium bowl.
- Add the poppy seeds, then mix.
- Using a large mixing bowl, combine butter with sugar, then mix until it’s creamy.
- Add the yolk, honey, lemon zest, and milk, then continue mixing to combine evenly.
- Add the dry ingredients from earlier — flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds.
- Mix until just combined, then set batter aside.
- Beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter and fold gently to combine.
- Add the remaining egg whites in batches; do not overmix, but just enough to combine the whites with the rest.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Tap the pan gently on the counter to get rid of bubbles.
- Place the pan in the lower part of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes; or until a toothpick comes out dry when you stick it in the cake.
- Take your poppy seed loaf out of the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Prepare the icing by combining the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and mix until you get a thin texture.
- Pour the lemon icing on the cooled cake.
- Your lemon poppy seed loaf is now ready for slicing and serving — enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip #1: Remember to use eggs at room temperature. Take them out of the refrigerator earlier if that’s where you keep them.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Note that the lemon icing is very thin, so it’s easy to pour it on the entire loaf instead of spreading with a spatula.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Ensure the loaf is no longer warm before adding the lemon icing.