Bright and buttery Meyer lemon poppy seed cake makes the perfect cake for lemon lovers! Each bite is incredibly tender and buttery since this cake is made with butter, Greek yogurt, and buttermilk. Delicious for breakfast, afternoon tea, or any time that needs a burst of sunshine, you’ll love this easy lemon pound cake.
I love that this cake is made with just a handful of baking and pantry essentials, and comes together quickly in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
With a triple hit of citrus from Meyer lemon-sugar in the batter, a brush of lemon syrup once baked, and a drizzle of lemon glaze to finish, this loaf cake makes a sunny delight!
How to Bake the MOST Decadent Chocolate Desserts
Here’s what you need to bake this lemon poppy seed pound cake:
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Baking powder and baking soda – Gives this loaf cake a lift. Both are necessary since the cake uses buttermilk.
- Salt – Enhances the flavor.
- Poppy seeds – A must for lemon poppy seed cake! 🙂
- Sugar – The cake recipe and the lemon syrup both use granulated sugar.
- Fresh lemons – Fresh lemon zest and juice are essential to this recipe. Lemon zest flavors the cake and glaze, and fresh lemon juice plus sugar makes a quick lemon syrup to brush over the cake.
- Butter – Use room temperature unsalted butter in the cake and 1 tablespoon melted butter in the glaze.
- Eggs – The cake batter uses two large eggs.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract brings out the flavor of the cake.
- Greek yogurt – The creaminess of Greek yogurt helps keep the cake moist. You can also use sour cream.
- Buttermilk – The acidity helps activate the baking soda, which makes the cake fluffy and light.
- Powdered sugar – For a smooth and delicious lemon glaze.
Love baking with Meyer lemons? Find more inspiration in this round up of favorite fresh Meyer lemon recipes!
The Best Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Baking Pan – Use a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan for this recipe. I recommend using a light-colored aluminum loaf pan to ensure that your cake bakes evenly.
Prepare Baking Pan – Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick spray. Line loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. The parchment overhang will help you easily remove the baked cake from the pan.
Fresh lemons – Sweet and juicy Meyer lemons make this easy loaf cake shine! If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can also use regular lemons (the flavor will be slightly tangier with regular lemons).
Lemon sugar – For maximum lemon flavor, combine Meyer lemon zest and sugar in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Transfer the lemon sugar to a stand mixer and beat with butter until light and fluffy.
Yogurt and buttermilk – Both yogurt (Greek yogurt is my go-to for baking) and buttermilk ensure a moist and tender crumb to this cake. Bring both to room temperature before baking.
Bake cake – Bake cake at 350°F for 52 to 56 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Lemon syrup – In the last 5 minutes of baking, combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens, about 4 minutes.
Cool – Immediately brush the cake with warm lemon syrup, then cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely before adding the glaze.
Lemon butter glaze – Whisk together melted butter, a pinch of salt, Meyer lemon zest and juice, and powdered sugar for a simple and delicious lemon glaze.
Make ahead – This loaf cake can be made one day in advance. Let cool completely and store at room temperature overnight. Add the lemon glaze just before serving.
How to Make Mini Loaf Cakes
For mini lemon poppy seed loaf cakes, divide the batter between three mini (5 3/4″ x 3 1/4″) loaf pans. Bake the mini loaves on a preheated baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until cakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Tips to Freeze
Let loaf cake cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap again in foil or place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.
The day before you plan to serve, let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation), then bring to room temperature. Glaze just before serving.
You can also freeze leftover slices of cake. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap and pop into a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or on a wire rack at room temperature.
More Meyer lemon recipes you’ll love:
Did you try this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating below!Print
The BEST Meyer lemon poppy seed cake! This easy Meyer lemon loaf cake drizzled with lemon glaze is bright and buttery with a tender crumb.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon zest
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp fresh Meyer lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- Make cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl.
- Place sugar and Meyer lemon zest in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Beat butter and Meyer lemon-sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla on low speed. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture), just until incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula and tap sharply to reduce air bubbles.
- Bake loaf cake for 52 to 56 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
- Make lemon syrup: In the last five minutes of baking, combine Meyer lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and immediately brush the top with lemon syrup. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely.
- Make glaze: Whisk together melted butter, salt, Meyer lemon zest, juice, and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and and let set before serving.
- Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.
Lemons: I made this cake with Meyer lemons. A cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges, the zest and juice is sweet and aromatic. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can also use regular lemons. Regular lemons will add a slightly more tangy, zesty flavor to the cake and glaze.
Mini Loaf Cakes: Divide the batter between three mini (5 3/4″ x 3 1/4″) loaf pans. Bake the mini loaves on a preheated baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until cakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Freezing Instructions: Once fully cool, wrap loaf cake in plastic wrap and a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. The day before serving, move the cake to the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation) and defrost overnight. Bring to room temperature, remove plastic wrap, and add glaze.
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Keywords: Lemon Poppy Seed, Lemon Loaf Cake, Loaf Cake, Meyer Lemon
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