Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake


Because I am a hard core choco-holic, I am always surprised when I become addicted to a dessert that is not chocolate!

This Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake has recently won my heart!

If you want super moist, super light, super lemon-y ~ then this recipe is for you!

It can even be made into muffins or cake layers if you want to give the loaf pan a rest.

Sub in orange zest and orange juice if you are not crazy for lemons or leave out the poppyseed… it really is your option.

This recipe is so versatile it is actually a spin off of my Key Lime Cupcakes recipe!

So you see, once you start to learn the ingredients and how to interchange them, the possibilities are endless!

Stick with me! I’ll show you how!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Standard Loaf pan measures 9"X5"X4" Click here for the pan grease recipe
Serves: 1loaf
  • Unsalted Butter 8 Tablespoons (112g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Eggs large 2 (100g)
  • Buttermilk ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Lemon Zest from 3 lemons (approx 3 Tbs)
  • Lemon Extract ½ teaspoon
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  • All Purpose Flour 1 cup (125g)
  • Cake Flour ½ cup (60g)
  • Baking Powder 1½ teaspoons (7g)
  • Poppyseeds 1 Tablespoon
  • Confectioners Sugar 1 cup (120g)
  • Lemon Extract ½ teaspoon
  • Water 2 - 4 Tablespoons *adjust consistency to your liking
  1. Cream the softened butter with the granulated sugar and salt until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
  2. Sift both flours together with the baking powder.
  3. Combine the eggs with the extracts and add them one at a time and stop the mixer to scrape the bowl from time to time.
  4. Now add in about half the amount of sifted dry ingredients and mix just until it is combined Then add the lemon juice and zest
  5. Mix well then add the remaining dry ingredients
  6. Add the poppyseed if you are using them,
  7. And the buttermilk last
  8. Pour into a greased standard sized loaf pan and bake in preheated oven at 350°F for approximately 35-45 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  9. In the meantime make the sugar glaze with confectioners sugar, lemon extract and a bit of water.
  10. Once the loaf is cooled turn it out onto a cooling rack and then pour the glaze over top.
Pound cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

For longer storage freeze for up to 2 months


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  1. Love the recipe! If I were to use poppy seeds, how much would I put in? I did not see the measurement in the ingredient list. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. I use 3 lemons, as I always thought that measure was easier since that’s how we buy lemons- but many people got confused by my measurement of 3 each. 😛
      I updated it to reflect a real measure- thanks for catching that

  2. Hi, I need an oil free alternative to your lemon chiffon cake…will this work as a substitute?
    Also, does it need a simple syrup or is it moist enough without it?

    1. Hi Im not sure exactly what you are asking, you said : “will this work” Im not sure what “this” you are referring to?
      This recipe for lemon pound cake? Well, its not a chiffon, so again Im confused.
      Chiffon cakes are oil based cakes
      Again, you ask if you can use simple syrup but this is pound cake, so no- its not needed

    2. Sorry I wasn’t clear, it was pretty late at night where I am when I wrote that. What I meant was I need a lemon cake alternative to the lemon chiffon cake, as that’s the only lemon cake I’ve made but I need one that doesn’t include oil. Does that make sense?
      I’ve never made a pound cake before so not sure what to expect.

  3. Hi Gretchen
    Just wanted to know if I should double the recipe for your beautiful lemon poppy seed pound cake to get 2 x 20 cm round cake layers or what is the best measure to get 2 x 20 cm cake layers.
    Hope you have a wonderful day. Its a cloudy day here in Adelaide Australia as we are in autumn, so what better way to brighten things up.
    Thanks again as always

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes! They are the best!!

    I have a few questions –
    I live in Dubai and here poppy seeds are a ban. So can I use chia seeds instead. Does chia need roasting?
    How can I convert All Purpose Flour to 100% whole wheat flour and also cake flour to whole wheat flour?
    How do I convert sugar measures to brown sugar and or jaggery?
    Would really appreciate if you help me out.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Thanks! I havent tried chia as a replacement for poppy, it may work with some light roasting. (since chia when it comes in contact with water will get gelatinous – and that is not desirable, the roasting sounds like a good plan)
      Click here for more about flour but note that I do not recommend to sub in whole wheat flour for cake or AP since it is very different and you will not be pleased with the result
      CLick here for more about sugar

  5. Hi Gretchen i really like your recipe of poppy seed cake , can i add walnuts to this recipe and take out lemon juice ? will it be ok ?

  6. I need to buy a loaf pan and don’t know which one I should get . it depends of the recipes. some use 81/2×41/2 and some use 9×5.. I know it is only 1/2″ different but I think it affect result of baking. Should I buy both size? Thank you.

  7. Hi Gretchen, just a query regarding this recipe in regards the use of lemon juice and baking powder. Various sites suggest/state that if an l il ke lemon juice or buttermilk is used then baking soda is needed to neutralize and assist with leavening. Could you please explain this as this recipe only has baking powder? I like the tang that the buttermilk (and sour cream) adds to a batter. I’m after a cake that’s lemony, moist with a somewhat dense crumb suitable for a 3 tier wedding cake. Is this one the go??? How much batter does this make?

    1. Hi Jerrie, hopefully this article CLICK HERE will help with some of the explanation?
      Also this one here is regards to Cocoa Powder is another good one
      But this recipe would be a dense pound cake crumb that you are looking for, but it only makes a loaf, so you will have to adjust the proportions I’d say double recipe for 2-8″ layers and then go from there.
      Just be careful with your math as you calculate I find that math and measuring errors are our #1 reason for recipe foul-ups

  8. Thanks Gretchen, I read those articles and numerous others regarding the leavening properties of baking powder and soda, can I please confirm that the baking soda content of the baking powder is sufficient for the acids in the recipe? Is there a level of acid used in a recipe that requires the inclusion of both baking powder and baking soda?

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