Lemon and Poppy seed Cake

Spring is in the air and Mother’s day is fast approaching (well here in the UK it is anyway).  So I wanted to make a cake that was all about spring flavours something fresh and light and something that was just perfect for afternoon tea for Mothers day. So I thought I would share one of my mum’s recipes. And this is a lovely zesty cake that will hit the spot for everyone’s mum.

lemon and poppy seed cake

Family Recipe

As I previously mentioned this is my mum’s recipe and it’s so simple to make. Melt the butter and sugar together add the rest of the liquid ingredients then add to the dry. Mix everything together and bake! I love a simple, quick easy cake 😀

lemon and poppy seed cake

Essentially this is a lemon drizzle cake with the addition of poppy seeds, which I just love because it adds a lovely sweet crunchy texture to every bite. So far I have only shared a few of my old family recipes, my Nan’s banana cake, my mum’s cheese scones, my mums sticky gingerbread are a few of them but there are plenty more to come. I love old family recipes there is something so comforting about them and they always taste the best. Just like this cake.

Lemon madness

lemon and poppy seed cake

The loaf itself is flavoured with finely grated lemon zest and once baked but still warm the cake is covered with a lovely warm lemon syrup. Which seeps into the cake giving it even more of a lemony punch. And helps to give this cake a fresh zesty very thin lemon coating.

lemon and poppy seed cake

Not Just For Special Occasions

This cake is great for a special occasion like Mother’s day but it also makes a lovely everyday tea time treat. If you are feeling a little indulgent it goes nicely with a smear of butter on a slice 😉

lemon and poppy seed cake

But butter or not this is a lovely light zesty cake with a little added crunch from the poppy seeds. Spring flavours all wrapped up in a slice of cake, go on treat yourselves and your Mothers 😀

lemon and poppy seed cake
Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lovely loaf cake flavoured with lemon and poppy seeds.
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: British
Serves: 1 loaf
For the cake
  • 113 grams Unsalted butter, (1 stick)
  • 110 grams caster (superfine) sugar, (2/3 cup)
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 large Egg
  • 115 grams self-raising flour, (7/8 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 40 grams poppy seeds, (1/4 cup)
For the drizzle
  • 25 grams caster (superfine) sugar, (1/8 cup)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 and line or lightly grease your loaf tin and pop to one side.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar has just dissolved. Then place to one side to cool to just about room temperature.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the egg then add to the melted butter, sugar and lemon mix and whisk everything up together until well combined. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth batter, pour in the poppy seeds and give them a quick gentle mix in.
  5. Pour the batter into you prepared tin and pop it in your oven for 30 minutes check the cake is baked through by testing it with a toothpick making sure it comes out clean, if it doesn’t give it a few minutes more. If it does come out clean take it out of your oven and leave it to cool in its tin for 5 minutes.
  6. While it’s cooling in another small pan heat the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Take the cake out of its tin and place it on a wire rack and pour the lemon drizzle over the top and leave it to fully cool down. Then serve and enjoy 🙂
  8. This cake will keep up to 5 days if kept in an airtight tin.
    lemon and poppy seed cake


Author: Emma

I make, photograph and write every post on Bake Then Eat. If you ever come over to visit you will be presented with a plethora of home bakes, expect to leave my home a few pounds heavier and with a doggy bag!

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  1. This looks delicious Emma! I love lemon treats and have been wanting to try making a lemon poppyseed one for a while! Yours looks incredible – can’t wait to give it a try 🙂 Pinning and hope you have a wonderful week!

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    • Hi Kelly thank you so much 🙂 hope you have a great weekend 😀

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  2. Family recipes are always the best ones! Your mother sounds like an talented baker, and she obviously passed that gene onto you!
    Brianna Invites you to read…Mint Oreo Overload CakeMy Profile

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    • Hi Brianna family recipes are always the ones that bring a smile to our faces 😀 bringing loads of memories with them. Thanks for your kind words hope you have a good weekend.

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  3. Love this recipe and just pinned it.

    Also want to let you know that your heading on this page is HUGE and does not fit on the page. The rest looks fine.
    Sylvia Ellie Invites you to read…Sausage Vegetable SoupMy Profile

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sylvia thank you and thanks for letting me know I’ve had some issues with some browsers I shall try to fix it ASAP 🙂

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Maureen, I usually make muffins but it really works as a cake.

      Post a Reply

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