Gray and blustery January skies make it more difficult to get my daily dose of sunshine, so I’ve resorted to bringing the sun in by way of golden Meyer lemons. With a triple hit of citrus from Meyer lemon-sugar in the batter, a brush of lemon syrup once baked, and a drizzle of lemony glaze to finish, these loaf cakes are a sunny delight!

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cakes

Bright and buttery, the petite cakes are ideal for serving with afternoon tea or sharing with an unsuspecting neighbor or friend… sometimes a little dose of sunshine is the greatest gift we can give.

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cakes

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Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cakes

  • Yield: 3 mini cakes, 6 servings per loaf

Ingredients

Cakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup

  • 3 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place a baking sheet in oven; spray 3 mini (5 3/4″ x 3 3/4″) loaf pans with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Place sugar and Meyer lemon zest in a food processor and pulse for one minute.
  2. Beat butter and Meyer lemon-sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
  3. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans and smooth with an offset spatula; tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles. Place pans on preheated baking sheet and bake for 34 minutes, until edges are golden, cakes spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. While cakes are baking, make the lemon syrup. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and brush tops of cakes with lemon syrup. Let stand for 15 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, salt, powdered sugar, Meyer lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cooled cakes and let set before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 175
  • Carbohydrates: 26

32 comments

  1. Perfection! Laura, I always enjoy reading your posts as well as your Meyer lemon recipes and your passion for them. I agree…sometimes the greatest gifts we bakers can give is some love from the oven and what better way than to bring some sunshine and cheer with citrus mini loaves mid-winter? Thanks for sharing! xo

    1. I have two trees and they grow quite well here, in the Central Valley of California. However, sometimes I supplement from the store too :).

  2. Happy New Year, Laura! Lemon poppy seed is a favorite of mine and your cakes sound just lovely. Your photos are so pretty, too – bursting with sunshine.

  3. How about we swap homes – you come and enjoy good Aussie summertime sunshine and I’ll go to your house and eat these fantastic cakes. Lemon and poppy seed anything is always my favorite. 🙂 These are beautiful!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tested this in a regular loaf pan, but I’d estimate the cooking time to be 50-55 minutes. I’d check it early (around 45 minutes), and then check every 5 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Hope that helps!

  4. Dear Laura, I’m new to your website after finding you on Pinterest. I can’t even remember which recipe brought me here, because I’ve been printing off all the ones that look delicious and I’m adding them to my must-bake list!! I am following you on Instagram now too, that’s how impressed I am with your beautiful photos and engaging writing style! I made these loaves tonight, and they have made our home so fragrant with the aroma of fresh lemons. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I’ll let you know which one I try next, most likely the chocolate loaf adorned with mini chips!

  5. Hi Laura, I just found your blog thru Instagram. I am also in California in Lake Arrowhead. I was looking through your recipes and had a ton of lemons I just picked from my sister’s tree. I was sooo happy to see this recipe and made it on this rainy afternoon. My husband LOVED the lemonyness (Is that a word?) of it. He went back for a second slice. Can’t wait to see what else you have on here that I can try. Where in CA are you?

    1. Hi Kim, thanks so much! Glad you found me and that you tried these cakes.. they are just perfect for a rainy afternoon :). I’m in the Central Valley, about 30 minutes south of Sacramento. I have two Meyer lemon trees, so you’ll see many Meyer lemon recipes in the archives. Have a great rest of your day!

  6. Hi Laura
    Can I make this same recipe in one large loaf pan instead of three mini?
    The baking time will vary?
    Thanks so much and Happy Easter!

    1. Hi Sylvie, this recipe should work fine in one large loaf pan. I haven’t tested it, but I’d estimate the baking time to be 50-55 minutes. I’d check it early (around 45 minutes), and then check every 5 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Hope that helps – Happy Easter! 🙂

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