Lemon lovers rejoice! Grab a few lemons and make this lemon poppyseed pound cake- that is so tender and moist and topped with a lemon glaze. The tartness of the lemons pairs wonderfully with the pop of the poppy seeds in this soft, and moist pound cake.
So it’s mid-January here in the Boston area. That means COLD, COLD, COLD. And sometimes snow. And sunshine? Not so much. So I will get my dose of sunshine from my kitchen. Thank you very much.
Like this lemon poppyseed pound cake. And I’ll serve it alongside a cup of afternoon tea. Put on some fuzzy socks and pretend I’m somewhere on a beach. A girl can dream.
Ok back to reality. This lemon pound cake is bursting with poppy seeds is everything you want in a pound cake – soft, moist, tart, sweet, a little crunch – and easy to make. This lemon version is based off my Old Fashioned Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe. And I can’t seem to stop coming up with fun new variations on this recipe. Like a Blueberry Pound Cake made with fresh lemon zest and finished in a lemon glaze. Or this Strawberry Pound Cake made with fresh strawberries and strawberry cream cheese glaze. Yes the possibilities on this recipe are endless.
And today it’s lemon and poppyseeds time to shine! Let’s just say I basically, I had to give these loaves away before I ate them all. Because I’m pretty sure two slices before dinner doesn’t count as an appetizer.
Bread Or Cake?
Great question. Although I baked this in a loaf pan, this is technically a pound cake. So you can bake this in a loaf pan and get two loaves, or bake in a bundt pan for a pretty presentation.
For the cake:
- Flour – You will need all purpose flour for this recipe. Make sure you measure it correctly by either weighing your flour with a scale or by spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling it off (don’t pack it down.) You can read more here about How To Measure Flour
- Salt –
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Sour cream – This gives the bread a wonderful richness, and slight tanginess that I just love! You can always use greek yogurt instead.
- Lemon zest
- Vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter – You want to use unsalted butter for this. Not all brands use the same amount of salt in their salted butter so you could end up with a dessert that’s too salty. You can read more here about Unsalted Butter Vs. Salted Butter In Baking
- Eggs – Make sure they are room temperature before using. Place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
- Poppy seeds – You will add a generous 2 Tablespoons that gives the bread a wonderful crunch and pairs wonderfully with the lemon!
For the lemon glaze:
- Confectioners sugar – This will be used in the lemon glaze.
- Lemon juice – Remember the lemons you zested? Well they won’t go to waste! Go ahead and juice them and use them in the glaze.
- Vanilla extract – You will also use a little in the glaze. I find it helps to round up the lemon flavor.
- Lemon zest – You can add additional lemon zest to the glaze, but it’s optional.
How To Make This Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Make the sour cream mixture. In another bowl, combine the lemon zest, vanilla extract and sour cream.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time (make sure they are room temperature!) scraping down the mixing bowl well after each addition and mix until blended.
- Combine the wet and dry. Add dry and wet ingredients alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix.
- Time to bake! Grease and flour one bundt cake pan (or 2 large 9×5 loaf pans- or 6-7 mini loaf pans). Pour batter into pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for approximately 50 minutes (be sure to lower the baking time if you are making things smaller). The cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.
Heather’s Baking Tip
Be sure to not overmix once you add the dry ingredients. If you continue to mix it will develop more gluten, the structure building protein in the flour, that if overmixed can create a very chewy, tough cake. So I like to stop just once the last of the flour has been mixed in.
Make the glaze
Making this lemon glaze is super easy and adds more lemon flavor to this cake. All you need to do is simpley mix all glaze ingredients until smooth. You can always adjust the consistency of the glaze if it ‘s too thin or too thick.
Then when the cakes are cool, simply pour over top of cake and serve!
- Careful when zesting. When zesting the citrus, make sure to go only down to the white pith layer. The white pith layer is bitter so you want to make sure to not zest this layer, just the outer layer.
- Soften Your Butter. You want properly softened butter so that you can cream mixture properly. The sugar punches holes into the butter creating air pockets, which helps to aerate and help the cake to rise. Here are 3 quick ways to soften your butter.
- Bring your eggs to room temperature. You don’t want cold eggs being added to your creamed butter mixture. It will seize up the butter. So place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using them.
Storing This Cake
You can store this lemon poppyseed pound cake at room temperature for up to 3 days, wrapped in either plastic wrap or tinfoil. Make sure it’s completely cool before you store it.
Or you can freeze the bread (I would recommend freezing it unglazed) as well. Wrap the bread up in plastic wrap, then a layer of tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months! Simply thaw at room temperature.
Absolutely. I have and it’s still delicious! I recommend a full-fat plain yogurt, as oppossed to a fat free yogurt for maximum richness and moistness.
Be sure to test the cake before removing it from the oven with a toothpick or cake skewer. Be sure to test the middle of the cake. And be sure you are using the correct loaf pan. If you’re using a smaller 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan as well as it may be too much batter, and cause it to overflow.
Make sure you are using a 9×5 loaf pan otherwise the batter may not fit in a smaller pan. And I use and recommend a metal pan, which will cook the bread evenly and well. A glass or ceramic pan will take longer to bake.
- Bundt pan, loaf pans, or mini loaf pans
- Kitchen-aid Stand mixer – this is my new mixer and I love it!
- Mixing bowls – I always recommend using metal bowls for baking because they do not leave behind any grease or residue over time.
More Lemon Recipes
- Lemon raspberry bundt cake
- Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cake
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Cookies Recipe
- Triple Citrus Sour cream pound cake
Let’s Bake Together!
Lemon Poppyseed Bread
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (240 g) sour cream
- 1 Tablespoons lemon zest about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups (441 g)granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional
- Prep oven and pans. Preheat oven to 350F and position oven rack in the middle of your oven. Grease and flour (or line with parchment paper) two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Or you can bake this in a 12-cup capacity bundt pan. I like to spray the pans first, then line the pans with parchment paper. And then spray one more time. If using a bundt pan, do NOT grease and flour until right before adding the batter.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine sour cream mixture. In another bowl, combine the lemon zest, vanilla extract and sour cream. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the mixing bowl well after each addition and mix until blended. Your batter may look slightly curdled at this point, but will smooth out once the flour has been added.
- Alternate dry ingredients and sour cream mixture. Add the dry ingredients and sour cream mixture alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix. Start and end with the flour mixture, in 3 additions.
- Add poppyseeds. Stir in the poppy seeds until evenly incorporated. Do not overmix. I like to stir these in with a spatula to ensure I do not overmix at this point.
- Bake. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for approximately 40-45 minutes (or for a bundt pan bake for 50-55 minutes). The bread is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. A few moist crumbs is Ok! Remove pans from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Then remove from the pans and continue to cool on a cooling rack. Allow to cool before glazing.
- Make the glaze. Mix all ingredients until smooth. You can adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more powdered sugar, or more lemon juice. When bread is cooled, divide the glaze between the two breads, and pour over top of breads and serve. For a thicker glaze use less lemon juice.
- Tools: microplane |Bundt pan | loaf pans | Kitchen-aid Stand mixer | metal bowls
- Storage: You can store this bread at room temperature for up to 3 days, wrapped in either plastic wrap or tinfoil. Make sure it’s completely cool before you store it. Or you can freeze the bread (I recommend unglazed) as well. Wrap the bread up in plastic wrap, then a layer of tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months! Simply thaw at room temperature.
- Sour Cream: You can swap out the sour cream for a plain full fat greek yogurt. But I do recommend using a full-fat sour cream vs. a lighter sour cream for maximum richness.
- Poppy Seeds: You can omit these if you would like. Or try using chia seeds instead.
- Citrus: Feel free to swap out the lemon for another citrus zest, like orange or lime, or try a combination of all three!