A Bake in the Life: Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf

A few months back I made a twist on the original Lemon Drizzle Cake, using lemon and lime. While out for coffee over the weekend, gazing at the delicious selection of cakes, I was reminded of another variation that I was really interested to try – Lemon and Poppy Seed. I love the combination of tart lemon cake speckled with black poppy seeds topped with sweet icing, so I couldn’t wait to taste this loaf! I adapted this recipe from a favourite loaf recipe of mine – increasing the lemon zest and juice for a more intense flavour, and of course adding in poppy seeds.


Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf

You will need:


5oz/140g Butter

5oz/140g Caster Sugar

2 Beaten Eggs

5oz/140g Self Raising Flour

4 tbps Milk

2 tbsps Poppy Seeds

Finely grated rind of 2 lemons

1 tbsp Lemon Juice


5oz/140g Icing Sugar

3-4 tbsps Lemon Juice

Let’s get started!

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3.
  • Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with grease proof/ baking paper (This can be tricky due to the tin’s shape, so if you can find them I would definitely recommend loaf shaped paper cases as they are much easier to use!)

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf 001

  • Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy (This can be done using an electric mixer, however if your butter is room temperature it is easily done using a wooden spoon).


  • Gradually add the beaten egg, beating the mixture until smooth (I usually just do this in a mug!).


  • Sift in the flour, then add the grated lemon zest and juice, milk and poppy seeds.


  • Fold in gently until fully combined.
  • Spoon into the lined tin and bake for around 55 minutes until light brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


  • Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely (The cake may sink slightly at this point, but don’t worry it makes it easier to ice and it still tastes great!)


  • To make the icing, combine icing sugar with lemon juice until it reaches your desired consistency – I wanted my icing to still be fairly thick therefore I used 3 tbps lemon juice (You could also make a lemon glaze by combining caster sugar with lemon juice, pricking the cake with a cocktail stick and pouring over the top while still in the tin).
  • Once your cake is completely cool you can either pour/spoon it over the top and allow it to drip down the sides. Or you can place it back into the tin to prevent it dripping down the sides.
  • Allow the icing to set before cutting into slices.


I love how this cake turned out – packed full of lemon flavour, zest and poppy seeds! Apart from eating it, my favour part is cutting a slice and revealing the cake inside dotted with poppy seeds and pieces of yellow lemon zest. This recipe is really easy to follow and the only part that takes time is the low temperature slow baking – this is important though as it ensure that the cake is cooked evenly and lightly brown on top. If you prefer you can make the mixture the same way but instead spoon into muffin tins, bake for 20-25 minutes then top individually with icing. Definitely give this recipe a try! 🙂


A Bake in the Life…


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