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Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
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4.73 from 18 votes

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is moist, dense and packed with lemon flavor and lots poppy seeds. Both lemon zest and lemon juice are used in the recipe to pump up the lemon flavor. And I love the crunch of poppy seeds so I use 3 tablespoons. It's a great cake to share with family and friends.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Cooling Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 414kcal


Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups (225 grams) sifted cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons (27 grams) poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest 2 or 3 lemons
  • 16 tablespoons (227 grams) unsalted butter room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 (200 grams) large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (80 grams) full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Butter Lemon Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk


For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan.
  • Combine the eggs and sour cream in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Place the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a medium bowl, place the sugar and zest the lemons onto the sugar. Use your fingers to mix the zest into the sugar until it very fragrant. Add the sugar-lemon mixture to the dry ingredients. With the paddle attachment mix the dry ingredients for 30 seconds.
  • Add the butter, one half of the egg mixture and the lemon juice and mix on low speed until the ingredients are just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches and beat after each addition until the eggs are just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for another 10 seconds to thoroughly combine.
  • Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth and even out the top.
  • Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Lemon Butter Glaze

  • Ten minutes before the cake is done, combine the sugar, lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved, and the butter is just melted.
  • When you remove the cake from the oven, use the cake tester to poke holes all over the cake and brush the lemon-butter glaze all over the top of the cake. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the loaf pan. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and then turn right side up and allow to cool until completely cooled, about 1 hour.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • Combine the powdered sugar, the lemon juice and heavy cream in a medium bowl and stir until it is smooth. Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze to cover the entire top of the cake.


If the cake starts to get too brown, place a piece of tented foil over the cake (do not let the foil touch the cake) and finish baking.  This step might be required the last 10 minutes of baking.


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 612IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg