Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

Made with baking pantry staples, sour cream, and poppy seeds, this Poppy Seed Cake is light and moist, with a sweet but nutty flavor and a little bit of texture thanks to the poppy seeds. This classic recipe is perfect for brunch or a light dessert year round, and great for anyone celebrating the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah.

Perfect Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Poppy seed cake is one of those desserts that is not nearly as popular as it should be – it seems to be one that parents and grandparents loved that’s being forgotten. So I’m here to bring it back because it is a simple classic cake, good anytime, all year round. My mom always made it for the Jewish new year.

Poppy seeds are a traditional ingredient in Jewish cooking, often seen on challah bread instead of sesame seeds and also in Hamantaschen cookies and rugelach. Poppy seed cakes are popular throughout Eastern Europe and Israel and often enjoyed for Purim, Hanukkah, and Rosh Hashanah.

For those who’ve never had it, poppy seed cake has an airy crumb and is lightly flavored. It’s not super sweet and makes a great dessert to enjoy with a mug of tea or coffee. It also makes a perfect addition to a brunch spread.

What Are Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seeds come from the poppy flower (papaver somniferum). They have been harvested for centuries, dating back to Mesopotamia, and are often used in baked goods, to make poppy seed oil, and poppy seed dressing. They have a bit of a nutty, earthy flavor which tends to pair well with sweet baked goods.

Ingredients Needed

Homemade poppy seed cake comes together with just 9 simple ingredients, most of them pantry staples. (Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Eggs – Separate the egg whites and yolks as they’re used in different steps.
  • Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
  • Butter – Creamed with the sugar, adding richness to the batter.
  • Vanilla extract – Gives the cake a light flavor.
  • Poppy seeds – Adds a nutty flavor and subtle textural crunch to the cake.
  • Baking soda – Helps the cake rise and contributes to a light and fluffy crumb.
  • Sour cream – Provides necessary moisture and a slight tang.
  • Cake flour – Using cake flour means this cake has a super soft texture. I recommend sifting it to prevent any clumps.
  • Powdered sugar – For dusting the top before serving.

Turn It Into a Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon poppy seed cake is a popular variation to this classic cake recipe. If you prefer the lemon flavor, all you need to do is add a little lemon juice and lemon zest to the cake batter. It will infuse the entire dessert with bright lemon flavor, which is a great compliment to the nutty seeds. Lemon poppy seed cake is also traditionally drizzled with icing, instead of the dusted powdered sugar I use here.

How to Make Poppy Seed Cake

This classic cake recipe is simple but it does require a bit of hands-on time as the ingredients are prepared separately. It’s still easy and worth every second, though!(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)

  • Beat the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until almost-stiff peaks are achieved, then slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat again until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Combine the ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda and sour cream. Alternate adding to the butter mixture with the flour. Add 1/4 cup of flour, then 1/3 cup of sour cream, and repeat. Stir until combined and smooth after each addition. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites.
  • Bake. Spoon the mixture into a greased and floured 9-inch tube pan. Bake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert on a cake tray to cool completely. Once cooled, lightly dust with powdered sugar before slicing.

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for making the best poppy seed cake.

  • Use room temperature ingredients. All ingredients used – specifically the eggs, sour cream, and butter – should be at room temperature. This allows them to incorporate better. That said, make sure the butter isn’t TOO soft or it won’t cream properly.
  • Do not overmix. As you alternate adding in the cake flour and sour cream, be sure to mix only enough to fully combine the ingredients.
  • Do not overbake. Start checking the cake with a toothpick at 50 minutes. If you bake it too long, it will dry out.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your poppy seed cake at room temperature, topped with some powdered sugar. You can also make a simple glaze or icing to drizzle over the top as well, if you prefer an even sweeter option.

Since poppy seed cake is not overly sweet or dense, it makes a great option for brunch alongside a cup of coffee or tea, or can also be served as a dessert in the evening.

How to Store Leftovers

  • Storing leftovers. Homemade poppy seed cake will last for up to 3 days at room temperature on the counter. Just be sure to cover it with foil or put it in an airtight container.
  • To freeze. If you’d like to freeze it, allow it to cool completely then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil to avoid freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw on the counter.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Made with baking pantry staples, sour cream, and poppy seeds, this Poppy Seed Cake is light and moist, with a sweet but nutty flavor. This classic recipe is perfect for brunch or a light dessert year round, and great for anyone celebrating the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah or Hanukkah.

  • (egg whites and yolks separated), at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2
  • , room temperature
  • , for dusting
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan (or bundt pan.)
  • In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until almost stiff peaks; gradually add in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks are reached. Set aside.
  • In a large separate bowl, cream together the butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.
  • Stir in poppy seeds until incorporated.
  • Gently fold in the stiff beaten egg whites.
  • Spoon evenly into the prepared tube pan.
  • Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. (Start checking at 50 minutes so it doesn’t over-bake and become dry.)
  • Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then slowly run a dull knife around the sides of the cake.
  • Invert cake onto a cake tray and let cool completely.
  • Lightly dust with some powdered sugar before slicing.

Nutritional information given is an automatic calculation and can vary based on the exact products you use and any changes you make to the recipe. If these numbers are very important to you, I would recommend calculating them yourself.

Other Notes

easy cake recipes, poppy seed desserts, poppy seed recipes

This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is moist and tender, busting with fresh lemon flavour. Topped with a simple lemon glaze.

Table of contents

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe
  • Kitchen items you’ll need to make this poppy seed lemon cake
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients
  • How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe Video

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

We’re lovers of all things lemon and this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is the perfect lemon dessert! It’s a gorgeous tender and moist cake that’s very easy to make (even for beginners!) and it holds its shape beautifully. Add a simple lemon glaze and you’ll be in lemon heaven!

More lemon recipes!

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Kitchen items you’ll need to make this poppy seed lemon cake

One of my favourite kitchen items for making cakes like this is my KitchenAid Stand Mixer (affiliate link). It’s a kitchen investment, that’s for sure, but they last a lifetime (almost!) and if you bake at home often it’s worth the investment.

You’ll also need these items to make this lemon poppy seed cake recipe (affiliate links):

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients

To make this lemon poppyseed cake you will need:

  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon juice and zest
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • flour
  • whole poppy seeds
  • powdered sugar

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 hour and 10 minutes.

  • Grease and flour your bundt pan.Nobody wants a cake that sticks to the pan! Grease with butter and flour it well.
  • Blend the eggs, sugar and oil.Use the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, or mix on high speed with your hand mixer, until pale in colour (several minutes)
  • Whisk together the wet ingredients.Measure the milk and vanilla together and add the lemon juice.
  • Add the lemon zest to the dry ingredients, in a separate bowl.This will help the lemon zest be distributed evenly throughout the cake batter.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and start mixing on low.
  • Add the milk mixture.Pour the milk mixture in a steady stream as all three mixtures combine.
  • Cool before adding the glaze.Mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice and glaze the cake once it has cooled completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this cake without the poppy seeds?Yes, absolutely. Simply leave them out.Can this cake be stored at room temperature?Yes. Be sure to store it in an airtight container.Can I make this cake ahead of time?This cake is best enjoyed the day or the day after it’s made, but it will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Can I freeze this lemon poppyseed cake?Yes! We recommend freezing it without the glaze, thawing it completely at room temperature, and then glazing it before serving so the glaze appears fresh.Can I use bottled lemon juice in this recipe?Yes, although we recommend using fresh lemons in this recipe for added flavour. Adding the lemon zest gives this cake TONS of lemon flavour, so don’t skip the zest!

We hope you love this cake recipe as much as we do! Let us know in the comments below, what’s your favourite cake to make in the spring? We’d love to know!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe Video

  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of 3 lemons reserve one teaspoon of lemon zest for topping
  • all purpose flour
  • whole poppy seeds
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, add the eggs, sugar and oil. Mix on medium speed until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium high speed for a few minutes until pale in colour. Add the lemon zest and juice and vanilla and mix.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds to the bowl with the egg mixture.
  • Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before inverting the pan (place an upside down cooling rack on top of the pan before flipping it over) to cool completely.
  • Whisk together the glaze ingredients (you may have to add an extra teaspoon of lemon juice to achieve the desired consistency) and drizzle the glaze over the cake when it’s completely cooled.
  • Sprinkle the reserved lemon zest over the top of the cake as well as a few extra poppy seeds (if desired).
  • Slice and serve.

This cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

To freeze this cake, we recommend freezing it without the glaze. Defrost at room temperature until completely defrosted and glaze before serving.

Lemon poppy seed cake is what’s for dessert! This fluffy, lemon poppy seed cake is frosted with an airy whipped cream lemon frosting and candied lemon slices.

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this lemon poppy seed cake! There’s something about the flavor of lemon in a cake that creates a bright and delightful party in your mouth, and the lemon whipped cream frosting is just icing on the cake.

Lemon cake pairs amazingly with poppy seeds, and top it off with our easy homemade candied lemons, and you’ve got yourself an after-dinner treat that you’ll want to serve again and again. You just can’t beat it!

Featured Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Poppy seeds
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Almond milk

For the candied lemons

  • Sliced lemons
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Granulated sugar
  • Turbinado sugar

For the Whipped Cream Frosting

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Vanilla extract

  • Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together until combined.
  • Next, add the melted coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat the ingredients on high until the mixture becomes light in color.
  • Turn the speed to low and crack one egg at a time into the bowl until just combined. Repeat until all of the eggs have been added.
  • Slowly pour the almond milk into the wet ingredients..
  • Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the lined baking pan and bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes or until the cake is done.
  • Add the water, lemon juice, and sugar to a large skillet, and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Place the lemon slices in the skillet and lower the heat to simmer. Allow the lemon slices to simmer for 15 minutes, gently flipping the lemons once.
  • Transfer the lemon slices to a wire rack and dust the lemon slices with the turbinado sugar.

  • Pour the heavy cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract into a chilled bowl.
  • Whip the whipped cream on low speed until peaks form.
  • When the cake is completely cool, line a cake stand with parchment paper and transfer the cooled cake to the cake stand.
  • Transfer the frosting to the top of the cake and frost the cake entirely using a frosting knife.
  • Top the cake with candied lemon, leftover lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Enjoy!

Top Tips

What do poppy seeds add to a cake?

The poppy seeds add amazing texture to this cake, and give it its signature look.

Why do people bake with poppy seeds?

Poppy seeds add great texture, nutty flavor and a classic look when paired with lemon for a lemon poppy seed baked good.

Can I substitute the poppy seeds in this lemon poppy seed cake?

Feel free to substitute the poppy seeds 1:1 for chia seeds, or completely eliminate them if you’re looking to avoid poppy seeds for any reason.

Store this lemon poppy seed cake in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 3 days.

  • heavy whipping cream
  • + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • fresh lemon juice

Optional toppings

  • If you don’t have poppy seeds, you can substitute chia seeds.
  • You can use any type of non-dairy milk instead of almond milk.

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.

About

Emily spent the first 10 years of her career in marketing and advertising roles and started side-hustling with Fit Foodie Finds in Fall of 2015. Em lives in Minneapolis with her husband and son, and manages FFF editorial operations as well as all things sponsorships and brand collaborations.

Jump to Recipe

This lemon poppy seed cheesecake is a graham cracker crust, a no-bake lemon poppy seed cheesecake filling and fresh whipped cream on top. Of course, for the ‘cherry on top’ I swirled some lemon curd on top of the whipped cream.

This lemon poppy seed cheesecake beauty got a serious glow-up. It’s one of my oldest recipes on Baran Bakery and honestly, I forgot how good it was. I made only minor changes to the recipe (if you don’t like it, email me and send you the old copy lol) and omg it is so much better than I remembered.

How to make lemon poppy seed cheesecake?

This lemon poppy seed cheesecake recipe is a no-bake cheesecake recipe which makes it the perfect dessert for summer. It’s slightly tart and lemony, light and creamy, and super easy to make.

There’s a graham cracker crust, a no-bake lemon poppy seed filling and fresh whipped cream on top. Of course, I had to swirl some lemon curd on top as well for both extra flavor and a good look. It’s like “the cherry on top” but “the lemon top”.

graham cracker crumbs with melted butter

press down into pan, come up about halfway

The crust

This is just a traditionally graham cracker crust. The graham crackers get finely crushed and then combined with ¼ cup butter until it sticks to itself when you press on it. Then firmly press the crust into the pan. Use a glass with a flat bottom to press it down straight so you have a smooth surface.

While you make the filling, freeze the crust so that it sets before pouring the filling on top.

The cheesecake filling

Ok ya’ll, this cheesecake cream recipe is as straightforward as it gets. In the original recipe, I just creamed the cream cheese with the sugar and then added in the sour cream, lemon juice and extract and poppy seeds.

I wanted to get rid of using the lemon extract so to bring out a more natural lemon flavor, I used two lemons. First zest the lemons and rub the lemon zest together with the sugar to release the oils. Then squeeze in the juice of both lemons, add the rest of the ingredients and beat them together until the batter is completely smooth.

A lot of no-bake cheesecake recipes include folding in whipped cream for an extra light texture but then requires gelatin to set because it’s too soft. I skipped this all together and I love the way it turned out. It’s thick and creamy but light and refreshing at the same time.

  • Cream Cheese: make sure to use full-fat cream cheese. I have tried this with a low-fat cream cheese before (on accident actually lol) and it does not work. It won’t set at all. I prefer the Philadelphia brand.
  • Yogurt: the original recipe called for sour cream. I use greek yogurt and sour cream pretty interchangeably so I swapped it for greek yogurt this time but either will do. Try not to use a low-fat sour cream or a yogurt that has a thinner consistency though.
  • Sugar: I just use granulated sugar and it should dissolve while you’re beating it into the cream cheese.
  • Lemon: I wanted to use only fresh lemons in this recipe but the more lemon juice you add, the softer the filling will get and won’t set up properly. I used the zest and juice of two medium lemons and I would not do anymore than that. If you only have a large lemon, I would do 1 (or 1 ½). You can also add in ½ -1 Tbsp of lemon extract, which is what I had in the original recipe. I also had 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the original recipe but I removed it because I didn’t want it to take away from the lemon and poppy seed flavor. (Side note: I’m on a journey to not adding vanilla to everything I bake lol).
  • If you only have a large lemon, I would do 1 (or 1 ½). You can also add in ½ -1 Tbsp of lemon extract, which is what I had in the original recipe.
  • I also had 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the original recipe but I removed it because I didn’t want it to take away from the lemon and poppy seed flavor. (Side note: I’m on a journey to not adding vanilla to everything I bake lol).
  • Poppy Seeds: I’ve only made this with blue or black poppy seeds and I’ve never tried white ones. Feel free to add more than one tablespoon if you’d like.

Fresh Whipped Cream

The original recipe called for one 8oz tub of cool whip (because that’s all I knew back then) but I’ve since grown to appreciate making as much of a recipe from scratch as I can lol.

Pro Tip: I like to start mixing at low speed, then medium speed and when it’s thickened a little I go to full speed. This way it doesn’t splash around as much.

I added a little sour cream/greek yogurt to the whipped cream as well and swirled in some lemon curd on top (which I did not make from scratch because that’s just doing too much now LOL). If you do want to make your own, my favorite recipe for lemon curd is in my lemon macarons post.

The lemon curd is totally optional but honestly I don’t think I’ll ever make it again without it lol. It’s sooo good and I wish I would’ve had some more poppy seeds to sprinkle on top but I ran out from testing my lemon poppy seed muffins so many times lol.

Technically yes but I think it’s a bit small for the filling amount. I would guess that this filling would probably even be enough for two of those pre-made pie crusts.

Can I use store-bought whipped cream?

Yup! I would do an 8oz tub of cool whip but I don’t recommend the canned whipped cream.

Can I add lemon curd to the filling?!

How to store Lemon Poppy Seed Cheesecake

This lemon poppy seed cheesecake should be covered and stored in the refrigerator as much as possible. It’s best served cold. If you can, make the whipped cream before serving, after the cheesecake has already been in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This will help the whipped cream stay as fresh as possible.

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. Make sure to leave it in the comment section because I can’t answer in the rating section :).

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

  • 1 package graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup (56g) salted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 medium lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup (120g) greek yogurt/sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup (237mL) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • lemon curd *optional

Instructions

  • Lay parchment on the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and grease the sides for easy removal OR lightly grease a deep dish pie pan.
  • Using a food processor, crush the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until it becomes crumbly.
  • Spread the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan evenly and press down until it all sticks together. Use a flat bottom glass to press down on the crust for a smooth surface.
  • Freeze while you make the filling.
  • In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar to release the oils for a stronger flavor.
  • Juice the lemons and add the juice to the sugar, mixing until it’s combined.
  • Add the cream cheese and yogurt and use an electric mixer to beat the cheesecake filling until it’s smooth. This should take a few minutes, make sure to scrape the edge of the bowl every once in a while.
  • Add in the poppy seeds and mix until everything is combined.
  • Spread the filling over the prepared crust and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Before serving, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of the heavy cream and whisk until it’s combined.
  • Add the rest of the cream in and use an electric mixer to beat at low speed for a few seconds and then increase to high speed, until it’s fluffy and just barely holds stiff peaks.
  • Add the yogurt/sour cream and mix until it’s smooth. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake and swirl in some lemon curd on top.

Yield

1Amount Per Serving: 41g 24g 1g 13g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

The best vegan lemon poppy seed cake is light, fluffy and moist with loads of lemon flavor and poppy seeds. Topped with vegan lemon buttercream frosting.

It’s no secret that I LOVE a lemon dessert. So of course this vegan lemon poppy seed cake is my new favorite.

The recipe is based on our fabulous vegan lemon cake, with the addition of poppy seeds for flavor and crunch. And they look gorgeous too.

It’s frosted with vegan lemon buttercream frosting for the perfect layer cake.

It’s also versatile and can be made as a two or three layer cake.

Ingredients You’ll Need For The Cake

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • White vinegar – distilled white vinegar reacts with the baking soda and creates the gorgeous rise for this cake. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Lemon zest – is added to the cake batter and adds a lovely subtle lemon flavor. We love using a zester for ease of use.
  • Canola oil – can be switched for vegetable oil.
  • Lemon extract – adds heaps of lemon flavor. You can use lemon juice instead if you can’t get hold of lemon extract, but the flavor will be much more subtle.
  • Soy milk – can be switched for a different non-dairy milk.

Ingredients For The Frosting

Frosting Notes

  • Lemon extract – adds heaps of lemon flavor but if you can’t get hold of it then just use extra lemon juice.
  • Lemon juice – should ideally be freshly squeezed.

How To Make Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

  • Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch cake pans (sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper along the bottoms).
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.

Baker’s Tips

Weigh the flour. For the best results weigh your flour out on a food scale. If you don’t have a food scale then spoon and level. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup, level off the top with a knife. Don’t scoop it and don’t pack it into the cup.

Don’t overmix the batter. Mix until just mixed.

Baking pan sizes. This cake can be baked in two 8-inch cake pans OR two 9-inch cake pans for a two layer cake. Or it can be baked in three 8-inch cake pans as a three layer cake. For a two layer 9-inch cake or a three layer 8-inch cake the baking time can be reduced by 5 minutes (from 30 minutes to 25 minutes).

Gluten free. We have not tested this cake as gluten free but our best guess is that a gluten free all purpose baking blend should work well.

Storing and Freezing

Keep your vegan lemon poppy seed cake stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

It’s freezer friendly for up to 3 months.

More Vegan Lemon Desserts

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!

  • All Purpose Flour
  • White Granulated Sugar
  • (360ml) or other non dairy milk
  • (120ml) or Vegetable Oil
  • Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • Add vegan butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat it until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar, lemon extract and lemon juice and beat it in until fluffy and smooth.
  • When the cakes are completely cool, frost with the lemon frosting and let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Weigh the flour. For the best results weigh your flour out on a food scale. If you don’t have a food scale then spoon and level. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup, level off the top with a knife. Don’t scoop it and don’t pack it into the cup.
  • Lemon extract – adds heaps of lemon flavor. You can use lemon juice instead if you can’t get hold of lemon extract, but the flavor will be much more subtle.
  • Baking pan sizes. This cake can be baked in two 8-inch cake pans OR two 9-inch cake pans for a two layer cake. Or it can be baked in three 8-inch cake pans as a three layer cake. For a two layer 9-inch cake or a three layer 8-inch cake the baking time can be reduced by 5 minutes (from 30 minutes to 25 minutes).
  • Gluten free. We have not tested this cake as gluten free but our best guess is that a gluten free all purpose baking blend should work well.
  • Frosting. If you’re using a tub-style vegan butter then you can just add all your ingredients to the stand mixer at once, no need to beat the butter first before adding the other ingredients. In this case you may only need 2 tablespoons lemon juice as well. If you’re using a very firm stick-style vegan butter then beat it first in the stand mixer and then add the rest of the ingredients as per the recipe instructions. In this case you will likely need the full 3 tablespoons of lemon juice as stick style vegan butters have a lower water content.
  • Storing and freezing: Keep it stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before serving. It’s freezer friendly for up to 3 months.

Hi I’m Alison Andrews, I’m the voice and cook behind Loving It Vegan. I love making delicious vegan food and creating vegan versions of all your old favorites, so that you’ll never feel like you’re missing out. Find out more about me here.

Reader Interactions

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A quick, vegan and gluten-free poppy seed cake just the way I like it. At the moment, afternoon coffee and cake have become my highlight. With Corona, the days are sometimes quite monotonous and I am happy when the mailman rings. If you can’t store in the city, then I just spend my time online and order something nice. It’s just incredible what a wonderful world we live in. Everything is just a mouse click away and we can go shopping easily and conveniently in times of pandemics. Of course, there are downsides for some retailers when business shifts from brick-and-mortar to the web, but you can still shop at small Internet stores. So if you are still missing one or the other for this recipe, then go online and store!

Let’s get started with this simple and ingenious dough. Mix poppy seeds, gluten free flour blend, buckwheat flour, raw cane sugar, yogurt, baking oil, rum (optional), baking powder and bourbon vanilla.

NOTE: Gluten-free doughs behave a little differently than conventional doughs. They are more compact and not so supple. Don’t let this put you off, the result will more than convince you. Feel free to take a look at the video, here you can see how the consistency should ideally look like.

Cake gluten free baking

You may have wondered why I use rum in this cake? I have actually never used alcohol on this blog. However, I think it goes great with this recipe and leaves a wonderful aroma. A tiny residual amount of alcohol remains in the dough even after baking, if you want to avoid this, you can use bitter almond flavoring or orange oil as an alternative.

Other than that, there’s not much else to consider with this quick and easy recipe. Nevertheless, I have summarized a few tips & tricks for your safety:

  • The consistency of the dough is crucial. Depending on the flour, the dough can sometimes become a little too liquid or too firm. As mentioned above, gluten-free doughs are generally somewhat more compact. Feel free to take a look at the video, there I show how the dough should ideally look.
  • I use steam poppy, which is ideal for baking. If you can only get whole poppy seeds, just grind them yourself in your high-powered blender. To do this, add whole poppy seeds and blend on high speed for 60 seconds.
  • Grease springform pan well and optionally line bottom with baking paper. This makes it very easy to remove the cake from the mold after it has cooled.
  • Test dough with a wooden stick after baking time is up, once baked, the wooden stick will come out clean. If dough still sticks to the stick, turn off oven and leave cake in oven at residual heat for up to half an hour. Then check again.
  • Always let the cake cool well, if they are still too warm, then it can easily break loose from the mold.

TIP: The cake also works wonderfully with plain spelt or wheat flour. For this, simply replace the amount 1:1.

Other than that, there’s not much else particularly to say about this delicious cake, except that we should definitely get going now. I hope you enjoy baking and of course about a review at the bottom of this page. If you post a picture, use the hashtag #veganevibes.

Quick poppy seed cake (v & gf)

Simple, moist and gluten-free poppy seed cake made with fine poppy seeds and buckwheat flour. Baked quickly with just a few ingredients. A dream for all poppy seed fans who want to score at the next vegan coffee gathering.

  • I use steam poppy seeds, if you use whole poppy seeds, it is best to grind them beforehand in a high-powered blender for 60 seconds on maximum speed and then use them
  • gluten free flour mix
  • alternatively light rice flour or more gluten-free flour mixture
  • Raw cane sugar
  • or any other vegetable yogurt of your choice
  • I use a high heat frying and baking oil
  • if alcohol-free, replace with vegetable milk, preferably with a little bitter almond oil or orange oil
  • Bourbon vanilla ground
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or 200 degrees Celsius top/bottom heat) and line a 20cm springform pan with baking paper (bottoms) and (optionally) brush the sides with a little margarine or oil.
  • Combine poppy seeds, gluten-free flour blend, buckwheat flour, raw cane sugar, coconut yogurt, baking oil, rum (optional), baking powder, and bourbon vanilla in a bowl and mix with a whisk or silicone spatula to form a uniform batter.100 g Poppy, 160 g gluten free flour mix, 40 g Buckwheat flour, 100 g Raw cane sugar, 200 g Coconut yogurt, 100 ml Baking oil, 30 ml Rum, 2 tbspn Baking powder, ¼ tbspn Bourbon vanilla ground
  • Check the consistency of the dough, it should be easy to pour into the mold, but not too runny (see video). If too runny add more flour, if too solid add more vegetable milk.
  • Pour into the molds and smooth out.
  • Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • When the cake layers have finished baking, use a wooden stick to check if the cake is done. If the wooden stick comes out “clean”, remove from oven and let cool completely. Otherwise, bake for another 10 minutes and check again.
  • Let cool completely and carefully remove from baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm, cut into pieces and enjoy!Icing sugar to taste, Orange peel as decoration for the eye
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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The cake consists of a lemon and poppy seed sponge cake at the bottom, with a mousse-like texture white chocolate, poppy seed and cream cheese filling and a homemade lemon curd insert and topping.

The lemon curd adds a perfect tangy balance to the chocolate filling, which makes it not too sweet, not too tangy and is simply bursting with lemon flavor. It is very light and hardly can stop at only one slice.

Few tips to make the perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

The lemon and poppy seed sponge cake at the bottom is very easy to prepare. It is very soft and flavorful and uses butter, vegetable oil and buttermilk for extra moisture. Really love the texture the poppy seeds bring to the cake as well, so please don’t consider leaving them out.

If you want a no-bake version of this cake, simply substitute the sponge cake with a cookie crust. Process the cookies with some poppy seeds, lemon zest and butter for an amazing no-bake lemon and poppy seed crust.

As for the lemon curd which is the star of this cake, I hardly recommend preparing your own lemon curd instead of using the store-bought one. It is very easy to prepare and takes no more than 10 minutes to cook it over bain-marie and have it ready for later. For this lemon curd I have used the whole eggs, so in this way you don’t have to separate the eggs or bother what to do with your whites.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:Lemon Meringue TartKey Lime PieLemon Pound CakeNo-bake Berry Lemon Yogurt Mousse CakeLemon BarsWalnut Lemon Bars

Makes 10-12 servings

  • (80g) all-purpose flour
  • (3g) baking powder
  • (10g) poppy seeds
  • lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • (30g) vegetable oil
  • (1g) vanilla extract

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

  • (150g) white chocolate , small pieces
  • (45g) whipping cream
  • (3g) gelatin powder
  • (15ml) cold water
  • (370g) cream cheese , room temperature
  • (16g) powdered sugar
  • (3g) vanilla extract
  • (10g) poppy seeds
  • (160g) whipping cream (35% fat)
  • (10g) lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • (80ml) fresh lemon juice
  • (30g) unsalted butter , cut into small pieces

For Decoration

  • Preheat the oven to  350°F (180°C). Grease with butter a 8 inch (20cm) pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk flour with salt, baking powder and poppy seeds and set aside until ready to use.
  • In a large bowl whisk sugar with lemon zest to release oil. Add butter and vegetable oil and mix until combined. Incorporate the egg.  Mix in vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  • Gradually add flour mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely before transferring to a serving platter.

Prepare the lemon curd.

  • In a heatproof bowl, add eggs and sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Add lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  • Remove from heat and gradually add butter and whisk until melted and smooth.
  • Let it cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the white chocolate cream cheese filling.

  • Meanwhile, place white chocolate and the 3 tbsp of cream into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan with simmering water. Melt over low heat.
  • Add bloomed gelatin to melted chocolate and stir until dissolved. Let cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl mix cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, poppy seeds and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  • Add cream and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Mix in melted chocolate.

Assemble the cake.

  • Spread 1/3 of the filling over the lemon and poppy seed cake. Add spoons of lemon curd over the surface. Use a skewer, toothpick or knife to create swirls. Gently spread another ⅓ of cream cheese filling. Add spoons of lemon curd and create swirls. Finally spread the remaining cream cheese filling and smooth the top using an offset spatula.
  • Top the cake with the remaining lemon curd.
  • Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 4-6 hours or better overnight.
  • Before serving, decorate the cake with large chocolate curls and lemon peel swirls. Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bars are a fresh, light and delicious zingy lemon dessert! They are made of a creamy lemon curd and a buttery shortbread pastry for the right balance of textures and sourness. Easy to make, packed with lemony flavors, it makes for the perfect sweet treat or dessert to celebrate Spring.

A healthy and fresh dessert to celebrate springtime

Spring is officially here! The sun has been shining here in Paris for at least the last days, the nature is coming back to life and days are getting longer. All this effervescence and vibrant nature inspired me a lot of recipes. And there’s nothing better than a fresh and lemony dessert to celebrate springtime! The bright yellow color and the zingy flavors behind these Lemon Poppy Seed Bars simply make me happy!

I have never been a big fan of lemon desserts, until I tried this one! It is the right balance of sweet and sour, lemony but not too much acidic, fresh and light but incredibly satisfying. The secret of this dessert is in the perfect balance between the zingy lemon curd and the rich and buttery shortbread pastry. The poppy seeds bring the little touch of crispiness in mouth.

These lemon poppy seed bars are easy to make with 10 wholesome ingredients. They are vegan, naturally gluten free thanks to rice flour and almond meal, sweetened with agave, and dairy free. A delicious and healthy dessert to please everyone!

Why you will love these lemon poppy seed bars

There are an infinity of reasons that will make you love these lemon poppy seed bars! The first one being that they are delicious, but also easy to make with simple wholesome ingredients.

These lemon poppy seed bars are:

  • Light and fresh, perfect for the return of sunny days
  • Super creamy with a buttery shortbread and crispy poppy seeds
  • Lemony without being too much acidic
  • Right balance of sweet and sour
  • Naturally dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free
  • Easy to make with only 10 simple ingredients

How to make these lemon poppy seed bars

These lemon poppy seed bars are very quick and easy to make. They only take about 25 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to bake, and then all you have to do is to patiently wait until they set in the fridge.

This simple recipe is all about flavors and textures, for a very light and fresh dessert. Lemon poppy seed bars are made of a shortbread pastry crust encrusted with poppy seeds for a crispy touch, and a layer of creamy lemon curd.

Make the shortbread pastry crust

The base of these lemon poppy seed bars is a pastry crust inspired by traditional shortbreads. It is rich and buttery enough to perfectly balance the sourness of the lemon curd and make these bars absolutely delicious.

This pastry crust is very easy to make. I used my go-to gluten free mix, the same than in my 5-ingredients Almond Cookies.

  • Add almond meal, white rice flour and salt to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add melted coconut oil and agave and mix using a spatula until well combined and a dough starts to form.
  • Fold in the poppy speeds and mix to spread them evenly into the dough. At this stage, dough must be a little dry and crumbly, but sticky enough to hold its shape. Make the test by pressing a little portion of dough in the palms of your hands.
  • Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of a parchment paper lined pan and flatten the surface with your fingers or using a flat object (like a cup or the bottom of a glass).
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust just begins to brown on top. Be careful during the last minutes of baking as the crust can brown very fast! You want to keep it white.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the pastry crust to completely cool down in the pan before you pour the lemon curd on top.

Make the lemon curd

While the shortbread pastry crust is slowly cooling down, you can start to prepare the lemon curd. This lemon curd is a simple but so good cream made with coconut milk and cornstarch. It is super smooth and creamy, not too acidic, and bring a vibrant colorful touch.

  • Mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice in a small saucepan off the heat, and whisk until the starch is completely dissolved in the liquid.
  • Add the coconut milk and agave. Put the sauce pan on medium heat.
  • When it starts to bubble, reduce to low heat and add the ground turmeric. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken and reach the consistency of a custard cream.
  • Remove the lemon curd from heat and immediately pour on top of the fully cooled pastry crust. Tap the sides of the pan to spread the curd evenly and to smooth the surface.

Tips to make the perfect lemon poppy seed bars

  • Use metrics and weight the ingredients with a scale. Precision is very important in the kitchen, and especially with pastry where one pinch of something can change everything. Grams are far more accurate than cups and spoons. More generally, I recommend to always use metrics and weight all the ingredients with a scale.
  • Don’t over bake the pastry crust. You want the crust to remain white with no coloration on top. Start with 8 minutes, check the color and aspect, and if necessary extend the baking time by 1 or 2 minutes. The crust is ready when it just starts to color on top.
  • Allow the pastry crust to completely cool down. When just out of the oven, the pastry crust is still a little soft. It will dry and harden while cooling down, as the coconut oil solidify. It is very important that the crust is completely cooled before you pour the lemon curd on top to prevent it to become soggy.
  • Use a whisk to mix the lemon curd. To avoid to create lumps in the cream, it’s important to first dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice before adding the coconut milk and agave. Use a whisk to mix all the ingredients and whisk constantly during all the cooking time to prevent the curd to stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Set in the fridge (not freezer). Contrary to other raw desserts, these lemon and poppy seed bars have to slowly cool down in the fridge – good things take time. The freezer will make the lemon curd crystalize too fast and create crispy grains that you definitely don’t want in your cream!

How to store these lemon poppy seed bars

These lemon poppy seed bars are best consumed the same day, when they’re still very fresh. It is the best time to enjoy the perfect balance between the very light and creamy lemon cream, the rich and buttery pastry and the crispy poppy seeds.

But if you resist the temptation to eat them all, you can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days, but because of the moisture contained in the lemon curd, the crust can become a little soggy. However, the bars remain safe to consumption and the taste won’t be altered. On the contrary, I would say that the flavors tend to intensify with the time and they become even more delicious!

I also try to freeze them. While they still taste very good, this strongly affects the texture of the lemon curd which kind of crystallizes and becomes crispy and grainy. So I wouldn’t recommend to freeze these bars, except if you don’t have the choice or to avoid to waste them. Before to enjoy, just let the bar slowly defrost in the fridge.

For more healthy and raw bars, check out these recipes

These lemon curd and poppy bars are a fresh, light and delicious healthy treat to celebrate Spring. They are made of a creamy lemon curd and a buttery gluten free pastry.

  • blanched almond meal
  • white rice flour
  • salt
  • melted coconut oil
  • agave
  • poppy seeds ()
  • cornstarch
  • ml lemon juice
  • coconut milk
  • agave
  • ground turmeric (for the color)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 6×6 inch (16cm x 16cm) square pan with parchment paper.
  • Add almond meal, rice flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add melted coconut oil and agave and mix using a spatula until well combined. Fold in the poppy speed and mix to spread them evenly. The dough must be a little dry and crumbly, but sticky enough to hold its shape. Make the test by pressing a little portion of dough in the palms of your hands.
  • Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan and flatten the surface with your fingers or using a flat object (like a cup or the bottom of a glass).
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust just begins to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool down in the pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the lemon curd. Mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice in a small saucepan off the heat, and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Add the coconut milk and agave. Put the sauce pan on medium heat. When it starts to bubble, reduce to low heat, add the turmeric and cook for 2-3 minutes while whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick like a custard cream.
  • Remove the lemon curd from heat and immediately pour on top of the cooled crust. Tap the sides of the pan to spread the curd evenly and smooth the surface.
  • Place the pan in the fridge for 3 hours or until the lemon custard is set. When ready to enjoy, remove from the pan and cut into 9 bars. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • These lemon and poppy bars keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Because of the moisture from the lemon curd, the crust can become a little soggy. But they are still safe to consume and the taste won’t be altered.
  • Make sure the crust is fully cooled down and hard before pouring the lemon curd on top.

Keywords: Lemon poppy seed bars, lemon bars, lemon curd, pastry, dessert, gluten free,

Recette version française

Ces barres citron pavot vegan et sans gluten sont un dessert léger et gourmand pour célébrer le retour du printemps. Elles se composent d’une crème onctueuse délicatement parfumée au citron et d’un biscuit sablé aux graines de pavot.

Biscuit sablé

  • de poudre d’amande blanche
  • de farine de riz blanc
  • c. à c. de sel
  • d’huile de coco fondue
  • de sirop d’agave
  • poppy seeds ()

Crème au citron

  • de fécule de maïs
  • ml de jus de citron
  • de lait de coco
  • de sirop d’agave
  • c. à c. de curcuma en poudre (pour la couleur)
  • Préchauffer le four à 180°C et chemiser le fond et les bords d’un plat de dimensions environ 16cm x 16cm avec du papier sulfurisé. Laisser dépasser le papier des bords du plat pour faciliter le démoulage des barres.
  • Dans un saladier, mélanger la poudre d’amande, la farine de riz et le sel. Ajouter l’huile de coco fondue et le sirop d’agave et mélanger. Ajouter les graines de pavot et mélanger pour bien incorporer tous les ingrédients. La pâte obtenue doit être légèrement friable mais suffisamment humide pour être modelée. Faites le test en pressant un bout de pâte entre vos doigts.
  • Verser la pâte dans le plat et appuyer fermement avec les doigts ou utiliser un objet plat (comme le fond d’un verre) pour égaliser la surface.
  • Enfourner pendant 8 à 10 minutes jusqu’à ce que la surface commence tout juste à colorer. Retirer du four et laisser le biscuit refroidir complètement dans le plat.
  • Pendant ce temps, préparer la crème au citron. Dans une petite casserole hors du feu, délayer la fécule de maïs dans le jus de citron. Ajouter le lait de coco et le sirop d’agave et faire chauffer à feu moyen en remuant au fouet. Quand le mélange commence à bouillonner, réduire à feu doux. Ajouter le curcuma et laisser cuire pendant 2 à 3 minutes remuant constamment, jusqu’à ce que le mélange épaississe.
  • Retirer du feu et verser immédiatement la crème sur le biscuit refroidi. Tapoter les bords du plat pour bien répartir la crème sur toute la surface.
  • Placer le plat au réfrigérateur pendant 3 heures ou jusqu’à ce que le crème soit bien prise, moelleuse mais sèche au toucher. Quand c’est prêt, retirer délicatement du plat et découper en barres. Conserver au frais dans un récipient hermétique.
  • Ces barres au citron se conservent jusqu’à 3 jours au réfrigérateur. L’humidité contenue dans la crème de citron en contact avec le biscuit peut la ramollir au bout d’un jour. Cependant, cela n’altère pas leur goût et elles restent délicieuses à consommer!
  • Assurez-vous que le biscuit a complètement refroidi et durci avant de verser la crème de citron au dessus.

Keywords: Carrés citron pavot, crème de citron, citron pavot, dessert, sans gluten,

You might say that lemon-poppy seed cake is an icon in the spring desserts Hall of Fame. Of all the beautiful Bundts out there, lemon-poppy seed takes the cake (haha)—it’s easy to make, and even easier to decorate thanks to its quick whisk-and-drizzle glaze. So if you love lemon desserts, get ready: here’s a delicious new recipe to add to the must-bake list!

Where do poppy seeds come from?

A popular ingredient in muffins, cakes, salad dressings, and more, poppy seeds come from the poppy flower (famously featured in The Wizard of Oz). While poppy plants can be used for medical purposes, the seeds are totally safe to eat. As far as baking is concerned, the only thing that poppy seeds add is a lovely speckled look and a tender crunch.

What’s the secret to a beautiful lemon poppy seeds cake?

The trick to a beautiful Bundt cake is simple: don’t butter and flour the pan. Instead, use nonstick baking spray with flour. Even though nonstick Bundt pans have come a long way, a little extra insurance is always a good bet! Nonstick baking spray is great for getting into all the nooks and crannies of the pan, while the classic butter-and-flour method has a higher margin of error. So spray away, and your cake will slide out of the pan with ease!

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  • 1c.unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 c.
  • 5large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp.
  • 3tbsp.lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 c.
  • 1 1/4 tsp.
  • 3/4 tsp.
  • 1/2 tsp.
  • 1 c.
  • 1/4 c.
  • Nonstick baking spray

For the Glaze

  • 1 c.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp.

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