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lemon poppy seed cake, lemon, lemon zest, cake, desserts, sweets

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This cake has bright, fresh lemony flavors swirled into a sweet batter loaded with poppy seeds. Sure, you can pick up a piece of poppy seed cake at the coffee shop but one bite of this homemade deliciousness and I'll never make that mistake again.
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Author Donya | asouthernsoul.com


  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lemon (large or 2 small) zested and juiced reserve 2 teaspoons of juice for glaze
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 8X4 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk, beat together sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and juice of 1/2 large lemon (all of small lemon). Add in zest and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture using a wood spoon or spatula until just combined. Stir in poppy seeds, mixing well. 
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Test cake by inserting tooth pick into center. When done, tooth pick should come out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen caked from pan using a sharp knife around the edges. Turn cake onto plate.
  • Mix together confectioners sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Spoon over cake. Slice and serve.