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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

4.57 from 16 votes

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is so light and fluffy. Perfectly lemony and perfect for spring or summer! Or if you aren’t into cake, I’ve got a lovely Lemon Poppyseed Bread recipe and Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins too!

slice of Lemon Poppy Seed Cake on a white plate

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake | With Cream Cheese Frosting

I found poppy seeds in my pantry from when I made this recipe and decided to do something with them….since I bought them in bulk and now have literally 6 2/3 cups of poppy seeds. We already had poppy seed dressing in the fridge, so obviously, the next best thing to make, is cake!

As you can imagine, this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake was a pretty dreamy treat. It’s light and fluffy, but also a bit on the dense side because it’s pound cake, but still moist, light, and very lemony. This cake is based on this really moist pound cake recipe that I’m head over heels in love with. I did make a few changes and added in a bunch of melted butter because why not. My favorite flavor probably ever.

This would be perfect served at a baby shower or a spring/summer brunch!

Main Ingredients Needed

I’ll bet you’ll find most of these Lemon Poppy Seed Cake ingredients already in your pantry! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sugar– to sweeten the cake.
  • Lemon Zest + Lemon Juice– both are used for all of that zingy lemon flavor!
  • Eggs– to bind everything together.
  • Vanilla– for flavor!
  • Milk + White Vinegar– to make soured milk. The acid reacted to the baking soda adding extra lift while the milk keeps this cake soft. You can also use buttermilk instead.
  • Flour– to fill out the cake.
  • Baking Powder + Baking Soda– our leavening agents in this recipe.
  • Salt– to balance out the flavors.
  • Poppy Seeds– I love seeing these and tasting them in this cake!
  • Butter– melted, for flavor and texture.

For the Frosting

  • Cream Cheese– for a creamy texture, and flavor.
  • Butter– softened. The other base for the frosting.
  • Vanilla– for flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar– used to sweeten and to thicken the frosting.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake on a white platter

How To Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake| Directions

For full details on how to make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Prep

Preheat oven. Spray 9 inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Step 2: Combine Wet Ingredients + Dry Ingredients Separately

In a large bowl, stir sugar and lemon zest together to create a damp mixture that resembles damp sand. Stir in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together to combine.

Step 3: Make Soured Milk

In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk, vinegar and lemon juice together. Set aside.

Step 4: Alternate Dry + Wet Ingredients Together

Alternate stirring in wet and dry ingredients until everything is added into the cake batter. Gently stir in the poppy seeds and melted butter.

Step 5: Bake + Cool

Pour into prepared pan and bake until baked thoroughly and toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Cool 15 minutes in cake pan before removing to rack to cool completely.

Step 6: Make Frosting + Spread Over Cake

For the frosting, whip all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Spread over cool cake and serve.

slice of Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with a bite taken out of it

Storing Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This cake will keep for up to 3 days if covered with plastic wrap.

Freezing Instructions

If you wish to freeze the cake, it will store well for up to 3 months. I would wrap it in plastic freezer wrap or in a heavy-duty ziplock bag. Let it thaw overnight before serving.

Love Lemon Desserts? Give These a Try….

I hope you love this cake as much as I do! The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends! 🙂

4.57 from 16 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is so light and fluffy. Perfectly lemony and perfect for spring or summer!
servings 10 servings
Prep Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 3 hrs

Ingredients

for the cake-

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup butter melted

for the frosting-

  • 3 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir sugar and lemon zest together to create a damp mixture that resembles damp sand. Except it tastes much much better. ANYWAYS. Stir in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk, vinegar and lemon juice together. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together to combine.
  • Alternate stirring in wet and dry ingredients until everything is added into the cake batter. Gently stir in the poppy seeds and melted butter. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes or until baked thoroughly and toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Cool 15 minutes in cake pan before removing to rack to cool completely.
  • For the frosting, whip all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Spread over cool cake and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 141mg | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon poppy seed cake

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Recipe Rating




171 Responses
  1. carmen

    Your cake looks delicious! I’m sorry for what happen. Hope you will get over it! And your photos are beautiful. I wish I could have half of your skills. Cheers!! 🙂

  2. Marjory Betchkal

    I am so sorry to hear that people are doing that to you. How can they do that without having a guilty feeling? Your recipes are amazing, I try almost all of them all the time. You were the first blogger I followed, and I love watching your children grow. Thank you so much for sharing everything.

    1. Lauren

      Hi Marjory, I always love getting notes from you! Thanks so much for following my journey on the blog. Hugs and love to you!

  3. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

    Ranting is totally OK! I would comment saying man that posts sounds so familiar and hey I’ve made something like this before. HMMM….

  4. Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

    You are completely right your Lemon Poppyseed Cake is a pretty dreamy treat! Lauren, I completely understand and experienced your frustration!

  5. K.A. P-P

    seriously…people do that stuff?!? I can’t even fathom. How DO they sleep at night??!! I’m so upset for you/with you. I hope you straighten them out. I’m looking forward to making this cake for my Mom for Mother’s Day…lemon is her fave…thx for the recipe…looks delish. ~stay strong 🙂

  6. briar

    People are WEIRD! What would possess a person to think that was okay? What a bunch of creepers! Love your blog and glad I found the real Lauren. (Will the real Lauren’s Latest please stand up?).

  7. Diane in Cincinnati

    I don’t blame you one bit – that would totally irk me too. I love your site and recipes. I’ve made and shared several of them – usually by link to your site. Besides, anyone who knows me knows I can’t create my own recipes! You have a real talent!!

  8. Charla

    Pinned this recipe! Looks amazing! Lemon poppy seed is BY FAR my most fave cake! Just a thought on the people that plagiarize your posts, because I keep seeing this is an issue on other blogs too. Why can’t you name the websites that do this? This should deter them (and presumably others) from doing this, no?

    1. Lauren

      I don’t want to link to their site and give them any credit or traffic for my work. That’s why I don’t mention it here. But I do report their pages to google 🙂

      1. Charla

        That’s a good point. No use in driving traffic to their website. I would be SO majorly annoyed and you have every right to rant! Keep up the great work 🙂

    1. Lauren

      Yup, that should work just fine. The baking time will be more like 20-25 minutes though, so just be aware of that. Hope you like them!

      1. Meg

        Made these last night (couldn’t resist) and just shared them with all my co-workers this morning. Happy Spring! They are delicious and everyone loved them. Made the recipe as is except cupcakes. DIVINE.

  9. Shannon

    I’m not a food blogger, I was a Prek education blogger till I had so much stuff stolen from me I stopped and called it a wrap. I hear you and understand your pain!

    Hope things get better.

  10. terry

    same thing happens to marty at Welcome Home. She is the one who directed me to ur page and I love ur recipes. Hers are great too!!!

  11. wendyb964

    Anything lemon: yum. Lemon + poppy seeds, to die for! I, too, Luckily they seemingly last forever in the freezer. Probably 25% of my freezer is taken up with assorted nuts, seeds, ground flaxseed, and the like. To do list: itemize contents so I don’t keep purchasing them. Anyone need almost 10# of pecans?

  12. Joann

    So sorry Lauren! People can be such jerks. I love your blog; it’s the only one I follow. The recipes are wonderful (and I couldn’t agree with you more on the sweet pickle issue). I so enjoy your pictures of your family-those little ones are growing up so fast! Hang in there! <3

    1. Lauren

      Oh, I’m hanging in…it’s just annoying to deal with all the time 🙂 And glad you like my blog!! Keep stopping by!

  13. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    I love lemon poppy seed muffins, so I know I’d die for this delicious cake! It looks amazing, Lauren!

  14. Didi

    your photos are so yummy looking I can’t wait to make this!!! So sorry you have to deal with negativity. Creative people often attract those who have nothing of their own..so they take from others….

  15. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction

    Lauren,
    Sorry to hear that people are copying your work. I love your blog and posts – including this one.
    Annamaria

  16. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    I love this cake and I love all the truths that you’re speaking!! Let’s have a slice and enjoy this job we have that makes us so happy and makes other people smile and makes their tummies talk!

  17. Matt Davis

    An all too common problem, sadly. If they’re stealing your images too, there’s an awesome revenge strategy to be had with a soupcon of tech sauce (basically lets you call them out as a thief to anyone that visits their site and include your URL as well). Let me know if you want to try it…

  18. Sabina

    I went to your FB page to get the recipe for those Sweet/Sour meatballs to make for dinner tonight(yum!)…and then saw this cake so had to check it out..and then read your rant….I am so sorry people are doing this! How dare they!?! Lazy A-holes!

  19. Kelly

    This recipe looks delicious I’ll try it. Don’t apologize for your rant. I understand. As a photographer, I get so angry when people remove my watermark, or crop a picture I have taken and republish it as their own… they’ve changed my composition and assumed ownership of something I created. I think what bothers me most is then other people see my altered photograph(s) and then “like” or potlaitively praise the THIEF for it. and worst of all, the image then lives forever on the internet in its new form… Keep creating, and ranting. Perhaps such folks will think twice before stealing the efforts of others. I’d love for you to look at my photography page: “Photography by: Kelly H Williamson”.

  20. LizzyD

    I want to bake this cake but can’t get the thought of dog poo out of my head! Good on you for standing up to the plagiarist!!!

  21. Debi H

    I don’t know you but I can understand your frustration. Definitely not acceptable behavior from others! The recipe looks great though and thank you for sharing!

  22. Jenny @ BAKE

    That sounds so frustrating! I hope you manage to get all those post taken down. This cake looks absolutely delicious.

  23. Lyn

    Your cake looks awesome, can’t wait to try it. Sorry that happened, and I’m happy you vented about it. Maybe when I retire I’ll try blogging about the things I’ve tried and the things that I do. But until then I enjoy reading and trying other peoples recipes. Thanks again. 🙂

  24. Kristin Y

    I made this cake this weekend for dinner at a friends house. We all loved it! One of my friends is not a fan of lemon and she even liked it.

  25. Aqiyl Aniys

    It is definitely frustrating to find your work on other people’s site and the author making it seem like it is their work. I totally understand. 🙁

    Your cake though is beautiful. I can taste the light sweetness of it infused with the poppy seeds.

  26. wendyb964

    Thank you and other bloggers for sharing your recipes and slices of your life. While I do pin, print, and email recipes to my DIL, I would never copy and publish anyone else’s content as my own. True, many recipes may wind up identical after hundreds of iterations, but it is morally reprehensible for anyone to cut and paste entire posts without permission of the original post-er.

  27. Jasey

    Hi, Lauren, I’m Jasey from jaseyscrazydaisy.com. Anyways, I first saw your amazing stuff on Facebook and have since became somewhat of a stalker. I find myself pinning and sharing your recipes all the time! Love your blog. Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your creations 🙂

  28. cheryl haubrich

    Hi, I just made your cake tonight,and although the flavor tastes very good it came out really thin. Im guessing when you wrote a 9 in pan, you didnt mean a 9x13pan like I used?All in all, it was good,probably just my silly mistake!

    1. Lauren

      9-inch cake pan!! It’s round 🙂 I’m sure it tasted just as good, even though it was smaller. Sorry about the confusion!!

  29. MIchael

    HI Lauren,
    I’m just about to try this recipe, but I was thinking of making two rounds and icing them. Should I just double the recipe and also, is this frosting thick enough for a two tier?? Thanks for the info!

  30. Quinn

    This is so amazing! I made it dairy free and put it on my blog. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe and I hope you’ll look at mine. Ahh the lemon comes out so much!

  31. Sara

    I ALWAYS credit every original recipe, even when I make changes to it. It really bothers me when people don’t. I’ve been seeing a lot of that lately, especially through Pinterest links, and I always make sure to find the actual original link before re-pinning. I’m sorry this is happening to you. I love your blog and recipes, and this cake look ridiculously delicious!!

  32. Ashley

    Thank you for this most perfectly timed recipe. I have an abundance of the juiciest lemons from my mum’s garden beckoning me to make something more interesting than honey lemon tea. I also have a very dear girlfriends birthday cake to make on Tuesday. This shall do nicely.
    I’m also sorry about the recipe thieves you’ve encountered. Shame on them! Shame shame shame! Good luck and keep cooking, they’ll never do it as well as you. Their secret will come out, eventually!

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  35. Trish

    I made this as a special birthday cake and it was very very very yummy without being too heavy or too sweet! Everyone asked for seconds and for the recipe and I sent them you link. Thank you!!

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