Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This Lemon Poppy Seed bread is super easy and oh so moist and delicious. It’s perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert!

I’m partnering with Harmons Grocery, your neighborhood grocery store, to bring you today’s recipe. All opinions are my own. Thank you for helping me work with companies I love! For some more perfectly tart and tangy lemon treats try Classic Lemon Bars, Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, or Heavenly Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon poppy seed loaf

Lemon + Poppy Seed = Match Made in Heaven!

There are certain ingredients that were just meant for each other. The tangy zip of lemons with a subtle crunch and nuttiness of poppy seeds are one of those perfect pairs.

This gorgeous lemon poppy seed bread is a favorite of ours. It is easy to make, and doesn’t take much time to put together. We love eating it as-is or with ripe strawberries and homemade whipped cream… it’s absolutely heavenly.

This tasty dessert is perfect for a cozy family gathering, but it’d also be wonderful for a brunch too! It’s light, fluffy, sweet and lemony. This bread is a must-make!

Ingredients for lemon poppy seed bread recipe

 How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

INGREDIENTS. To get started, I picked up a few essential ingredients at Harmons Grocery. They now have a private label, which I absolutely love. I used their eggs, sour cream, milk, and butter for this particular recipe (their private label broths, beans, canned tomatoes, salsa, pasta, and applesauce are all great too).

MIX. The next step was to mix everything up. I used my stand mixer, however, a hand mixer would work too. The batter should be thick, smooth and flecked with poppy seeds and lots of lemon zest!

PREP & BAKE. I grabbed an 8×4-inch loaf pan, sprayed it, then poured the batter in. After about 15 minutes in the oven the pan will look VERY full, that’s totally normal. I’ve made this bread at least 5 times now and it’s never spilled over. Have a little faith, and patience, because it will turn out beautifully in the end, I promise.

COOL. After removing from the oven, I let it cool for a good 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.

GLAZE. Then while the lemon glaze (or simple syrup) was one the stovetop, I took my cake tester and poked about a hundred holes in the top of the bread, going about an inch deep. All that was left to do was pour the glaze over top and then wait for it to set.

SERVE.  Once it was set, we sliced it up and served it with some homemade whipped cream and macerated strawberries.

Lemon poppy seed bread batter in a stand mixer

Tips for the Perfect Loaf

Ingredient Tips:

  • Sour Cream – The sour cream is what makes the bread moist and delicious. You can use full fat plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a similar texture.
  • Poppy Seeds – you don’t need to soak the poppy seeds for this recipe.
  • Milk – I used 2%, but you can use any type of dairy milk. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice always gives the best flavor, but you can substitute bottled lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand.

Tenting: You can “tent” your loaf by covering the pan with a piece of aluminum foil. This is done by taking a large piece of foil and folding it in half over the pan. The foil doesn’t touch the bread while it’s baking, but protects the bread from over-browning. This allows the loaf to bake evenly and stay moist on the inside without drying out the exterior.

Perfectly moist bread: The sour cream makes the bread really moist and delicious. Make sure you don’t over bake the bread—this will dry it out very easily. To keep the loaf moist you need to keep it in a covered container at room temperature. The cold fridge air will dry out the bread quickly.

Close up of lemon poppy seed bread with glaze

Storing and Freezing

Store: Keep lemon poppy seed bread on the counter in an airtight container for about a week. Make sure to watch the bread to know when to open the container to relieve some moisture or close it to maintain moisture. 

Freeze: To freeze lemon poppy seed bread, let it cool completely without the glaze and then wrap in foil and place in a ziploc bag. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and then bring to room temperature before unwrapping and adding the glaze.

Lemon poppy seed bread cut into slices

 For more quick bread recipes, check out:

Heavenly Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe

This Lemon Poppy Seed bread is super easy and oh so moist and delicious. It's perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert!
5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 261kcal
Print Recipe


For the Bread
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For Lemon Glaze
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray (or butter and flour) an 8x4-inch loaf pan, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream, milk and lemon juice, mix together until smooth.
  • With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in three separate additions. Mix until a smooth batter forms. 
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds (if desired). Place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes. You may need to tenting the loaf with foil half way through the baking process to prevent over-browning. The loaf may look slightly moist in the center, especially in the crack, but as long as it's mostly set (not runny) remove it and allow it to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack and poke holes all over the top of the bread using a cake tester or toothpick.
  • To prepare the glaze combine ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat. When the sugar has completely dissolved, pour over the cooled loaf and allow to drip over the edges and sides. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to harden before serving.


You can up the lemon flavor by using 1 tsp. lemon extract.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg


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