Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


I like a cake that can be paired with tea. I am a tea girl. A sweetea, if you will. I have never been crazy about lemon-flavoured desserts, though; you won’t find me having any sort of lemon party here. But throwing a bunch of butter into the batter really balances the citrus in this recipe, and it’s even topped with a lemon-butter syrup that soaks right into the cake. And yeah, I’m still going to spread butter on every slice, because I’m a butterface. Wait – no.

Just try this recipe and check your teeth.

*All ingredients should be room temperature PLEASE. If you need to warm up your eggs (or even your milk), crack them into a glass cup and set into a larger bowl of hot (not boiling) tap water. The heat from the water will transfer through the cup into the egg.

Or, if you’re 8-year-old me, you could warm up the egg in your armpit and wait for it to hatch.


  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 13 tablespoons butter

Butter Lemon Syrup:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest, to taste
  • pinch of salt

*I found it difficult to grate the lemon on my cheese grater, so I used a citrus zester, then chopped up the strips so they would disperse into the batter. Find one on Amazon:

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well, and set aside.

In a stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients at low speed, including the lemon zest and poppy seeds, until combined.

In a small bowl blend together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture and keep mixing until dry ingredients are moistened.

Mix at medium speed and beat for one minute, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the egg mixture in two batches, mixing well after each addition (batter will be thick).

Pour into your prepared pan and smooth surface over with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, or with moist crumbs. *If you find your cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil. Just don’t keep the oven open too long!

While your cake is baking, mix together the syrup ingredients. Brush over the cake when it is hot from the oven – use ALL of the syrup.

Cool ten minutes, then remove from loaf pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Slice thick.


Recipe inspired by First We Eat and Hungry Gems



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