A Spicy Perspective

Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bread – Tender, fluffy, and bright lemon bread loaded with poppy seeds and drizzled with a sweet glaze is a cake-like snack that’s delightful to enjoy any time of day!

Loaf on a wire rack with glaze.

Why We Love This Lemon Bread Recipe

You know those slices of lemon loaf from your favorite coffee shop? This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread recipe is your ticket to enjoy the best of the best version made right at home with love!

Is it really bread, or is it cake? We are not trying to pull one over on you here. This recipe is a little less sweet than cake with a quick bread texture. However, it’s so irresistible it might as well be cake. You be the judge…

This classic sweet bread makes the perfect brunch item, after-school snack, or quick breakfast!

Top down view sliced lemon poppy seed loaf.

Ingredients You Need

For the poppy seed lemon loaf cake / bread you need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Poppy seeds
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk – whole milk
  • Flavorless oil – vegetable canola, avocado
  • Large eggs
  • Lemons – zested and juiced
  • Yellow food coloring – optional

To make the sweet lemon glaze you need:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Lemon juice
Slice of lemon poppy seed bread on a plate.

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set out two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, or three 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. Grease the pans well.

Set out a large mixing bowl and a medium mixing bowl. Zest the lemons, making sure to only grate the yellow skin, not the bitter white underneath. Then juice 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice for the bread, and one extra tablespoon for the glaze.

In the large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Then mix in the milk, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and all lemon zest. Mix until smooth.

Whole lemon on a grater over measuring bowl, zested.

Pour the poppyseed bread batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Place them on the center rack, and bake: 55 to 60 minutes for 9-inch pans, and 45 to 50 minutes for 8-inch pans.

When the timer goes off, insert a toothpick deep into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean they are ready. If not, continue baking and checking in 5 minute increments. Remove them from the oven and let them rest in the pans for 15 minutes.

Lemon loaf in a white bread pan cooling.

Then gently run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread, and gently flip the loaves out of the pans onto a wire rack.

While the loaves are cooling, make the lemon glaze.

Get the Complete (Printable) Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Two loaves cooling on a wire rack.

How to Make a Simple Lemon Glaze

This sweet pourable glaze is easy to prepare in 3 simple steps:

  1. Measure the powdered sugar into the medium bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the powdered sugar.
  3. Whisk until very smooth.
Glass measuring cup with glaze and whisk.

Drizzle the glaze evenly over the top of the slightly cooled poppyseed loaves.

Drizzling lemon glaze over the two lemon poppyseed loaves.

Allow them to cool and dry until the glaze is set.

Loaves on wire rack with glaze cooling and set.

Then wrap well in plastic until ready to serve.

Slice and enjoy for breakfast, brunch, snack, and dessert. With two loaves you really can indulge in all the sweet, tangy lemon loaf cake you like!

Close view sliced bread with lemon and poppyseeds.

Serving Suggestions

Slice and serve the lemon poppy seed loaf at room temperature or briefly warm in the microwave.

Enjoy for breakfast and brunch with softened butter and/or your favorite fruit preserves. A thick slice is delightful with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

And everyone in the family loves to munch on lemon poppyseed cake for an afternoon snack or dessert with a big glass of cold milk.

Really love lemon? Pair this sweet bread with homemade Lemon Curd!

Slice of cake with lemon and poppy seeds and glaze on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this recipe without poppyseeds?

Of course, it won’t then be poppy seed bread, but yes – you can definitely use this as a great lemon loaf recipe. Omit the poppy seeds for a delicious sweet and tart lemon cake bread with glaze.

Can this lemon poppy seed bread recipe be halved?

Absolutely! As-is this recipe makes 2 loaves, each with approximately 12 slices – 24 slices in total. Halve the ingredients and bake just one lemon poppy seed loaf for 12 servings.

How do you make dairy-free lemon loaf?

Use your preferred plant-based milk alternative to easily make this sweet bread without dairy. Almond, soy, and oat milk are great alternatives!

How long does poppy seed lemon cake last?

Lemon loaf cake will keep well for up to a week at room temperature. Keep tightly wrapped in plastic or store in an airtight container.

Can you freeze lemon bread?

Yes, these loaves freeze very well! However, I do recommend that you wait to glaze until you’re ready to serve.

Let the baked bread cool, and wrap in plastic wrap. Then wrap in a layer of aluminum foil, and store in an airtight plastic zipper bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop for 2-3 hours.

Slice of lemon cake with glaze and poppyseeds, on a plate bite taken out.

Looking for More Easy Quick Bread Recipes?

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5 from 3 votes
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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Tender, fluffy and bright lemon bread loaded with poppy seeds and drizzled with a sweet glaze is a cake-like snack that's delightful to enjoy anytime of the day!
Servings: 24 slices (2 loaves)

Ingredients

For the Lemon Loaf Cake –

For the Lemon Glaze –

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set out two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, or three 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Grease the pans well.
  • Set out a large mixing bowl and a medium mixing bowl. Zest the lemons, making sure to only grate the yellow skin, not the bitter white underneath. Then juice 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice for the bread, and one extra tablespoon for the glaze.
  • In the large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, poppyseeds, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Then mix in the milk, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and all lemon zest. Mix until smooth.
  • Pour the poppy seed bread batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  • Place them on the center rack, and bake. 55 to 60 minutes for 9 inch pans, 45 to 50 minutes for 8 inch pans.
  • When the timer goes off, insert a toothpick deep into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean they are ready. If not, continue baking a checking in 5 minute increments. Remove them from the oven and let them rest in the pans for 15 minutes. Then gently run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread, and gently flip the loaves out of the pans onto a wire rack.
  • While the loaves are cooling, measure the powdered sugar into the medium bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the powdered sugar. Whisk until very smooth.
  • Drizzle the glaze evenly over the top of the poppyseed loaves. Allow them to cool and dry until the glaze is set. Then wrap well in plastic until ready to serve.

Video

Notes

If the top of the loaves starts turning dark before they are fully baked, loosely lay a piece of foil over the tops of both loaves.
Lemon loaf cake will keep well for up to a week at room temperature. Keep tightly wrapped in plastic or store in an airtight container.
To freeze: Let the baked bread cool, and wrap in plastic wrap. Then wrap in a layer of aluminum foil, and store in an airtight plastic zipper bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop for 2-3 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Trans Fat: 0.002g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 112mg, Potassium: 96mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bread”

  1. Lemon and poppyseed my two favorites – great recipe, baked up perfectly!

  2. I love lemon anything so I knew I’d like these but I didn’t know just how MUCH I’d love them. They were incredible! Thank you so much for a new favorite!

  3. This is so bright and the texture is perfect. Love it!