Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Posted: May 3

Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 servings

recipe image

When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake–and not just metaphorically speaking! You'll need some fresh, tart lemon juice for the fluffy, poppy-seed-spattered-cake, the sticky and sweet soak, and the sugary, ivory-tinted glaze. With that in mind, you know that each bite will be abounding in lemony-bright deliciousness. So grab your best bundt pan, make a beautiful Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, and enjoy every sweet moment life brings!


For the cake: • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, can substitute regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • zest of 5 medium lemons • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter • 3 large eggs • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk • 2/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt • 1/2 cup lemon juice • 1/4 cup honey • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds For the lemon soak: • 1/2 cup lemon juice • 1/2 cup granulated sugar For the lemon glaze: • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more as needed


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan or spray with floured baking spray.

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, briskly whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step 4

In a separate large bowl, place 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Step 5

Zest the lemons directly into the sugar.

Step 6

With your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until it is moist and fragrant.

Step 7

Add the butter, eggs, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup lemon juice, honey, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the sugar mixture, briskly whisking it together until thoroughly combined.

Step 8

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.

Step 9

Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

Step 10

Gradually increase the speed to medium-low.

Step 11

Continue mixing the batter until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds-1 minute.

Step 12

Scrape down the batter from the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix again on low speed for 1 minute.

Step 13

Stir in the poppy seeds until evenly distributed.

Step 14

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Step 15

Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 16

Rotate the pan 180 degrees.

Step 17

Continue baking until the cake looks nicely browned at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-25 minutes.

Step 18

While the cake bakes, in a small saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup lemon juice and the remaining granulated sugar on high over the stove-top, whisking the lemon mixture until the sugar dissolves. Set the lemon to soak aside.

Step 19

Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.

Step 20

Take the cake out of the oven and place it on the wire rack to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Step 21

Use a thick, sharp knife to check around the edges of the cake and loosen any edges that are stuck.

Step 22

Invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely.

Step 23

While the cake is cooling, spoon half of the lemon soak slowly over the cake so that the cake can absorb it.

Step 24

Wait 1 minute.

Step 25

Slowly spoon the remaining soak over the cake.

Step 26

Let the cake sit for 30 minutes.

Step 27

While the lemon-soaked cake is sitting, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and the remaining lemon juice, adding a little more sugar or lemon juice as needed to make it a thick but pourable smooth glaze.

Step 28

Drizzle the glaze generously over the cooled cake, allowing some to drip down the sides.

Step 29

Transfer the cake to a serving plate.

Step 30

Slice and serve at room temperature.

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