Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake is light, fluffy, and moist! Featuring tons of citrus flavor, a touch of vanilla, and nutty poppy seeds, it’s a yummy dessert or snack idea. If you’re a coffee drinker, the two go together like peas in a pod.
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
This lemon poppy seed pound cake recipe is a fantastic choice for spring and summer. It’s light and ever so sweet, and I just love the combination of citrus and poppy seeds. It’s a wonderful breakfast, afternoon pick-me-up, or an after-dinner treat. I’ve also been known to serve it at brunch!
In this post, I’m sharing three different versions of this poppyseed cake. I’ll teach you how to make a traditional lemon poppyseed pound cake as well as vegan and gluten free versions, which you can find on the recipe card. I’ve tested all three and was so happy with each variation.
For even more light dessert or brunch options, be sure to check out my recipes for Apple Cinnamon Dessert Frittata, Strawberry Sweet Bread, Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding, and Lemon Almond Protein Pancakes!
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe
- It’s a classic — Lemon poppyseed cake features such a classic combination of flavors. Tart citrus and nutty poppy seeds work so well together.
- It’s made with simple ingredients — No matter what variation you decide to whip up, you’ll likely already have most of what you need at home!
- It’s versatile — You can enjoy this lemon poppyseed pound cake whenever the mood strikes! It’s wonderful for breakfast or brunch as well as a snack or dessert.
How to Make Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, then grease and flour your loaf pan.
Make the Batter
In a medium- to large-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, poppy seeds, eggs, and lemon juice until combined.
In a different bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together — this helps to break up any clumps instead of sifting. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir until well combined.
Pour the lemon poppyseed cake batter into your prepared loaf pan and tap it firmly on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake your lemon poppy seed cake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
When you insert the toothpick into your poppy seed cake, it must come out completely clean, or you’ll end up with an undercooked cake that no one will want to eat. If the top of your cake starts to brown too much, cover it lightly with aluminum foil so that it doesn’t burn.
Let your cake rest for about 5 minutes, then turn the pan upside down and gently tap the sides to release the cake. Allow it to cool on a rack before adding a bit of powdered sugar to the top. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Lemon Poppyseed Cake Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to soak poppy seeds before baking?
Nope! Poppy seeds are very small, so soaking won’t make a difference in terms of adding moisture. Your lemon poppyseed cake batter is moist enough as is.
Where do I buy poppy seeds for baking?
You can find poppy seeds in the supermarket in the spices aisle. They typically come in a spice jar, and that will be plenty for this recipe.
Are poppy seeds good for you?
Poppy seeds contain fiber, manganese, copper, zinc, thiamine, iron, and more. With the added poppy seeds in this lemon poppy seed pound cake recipe, you’ll also be adding several minerals that help your body with bone density (manganese), skin, and heart health.
Will poppy seeds make me fail a drug test?
Most likely, yes. As you may or may not know, poppy seeds come from the opium poppy plant which is used to make morphine. Unwashed poppy seeds can be very dangerous as they do contain opium.
Now, poppy seeds from the grocery store are washed. That said, even washed poppy seeds can contain trace amounts of opium. However, baking poppy seeds in a cake like this one will result in very low levels of opium. The heat from your oven will break down and destroy most of the trace opiate substances.
The good news? Baked poppy seeds will not affect your body in the same way that morphine would. But, if you are planning to take a drug test, you’re better off avoiding poppy seeds altogether. Now you know!
More Baking Recipes on The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup ganulated sugar
- 2 eggs (omit for vegan recipe)
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tblsp lemon juice
- lemon zest (two small lemons)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour your loaf pan.
- Whisk together sugar and lemon zest in a medium to large bowl. For the sugar free version use 1/4 cup Truvia.
- Add the milk (or almond milk for the vegan version), vegetable oil, vanilla extract, poppy seeds, and lemon juice in a medium to large bowl. Add eggs if making the non-vegan version.
- In a different bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and add it to the first bowl. Stir well.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and tap it firmly on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean.
- Let rest for five minutes. Then turn your pan upside down and gently tap the sides to release the cake. Allow to cool on a rack.
- Add desired amount of powdered sugar to the top of the cake. Cut in slices to serve.