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!
4.85 from 20 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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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Heavenly Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Heavenly Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Super easy and moist lemon poppy seed bread. It's perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert!
4.94 from 15 votes
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 1 (8x4-inch) loaf
Author: Natalie
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ c. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. lemon zest
  • tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1⅔ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
For Lemon Glaze:
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • 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.

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. This looks/sounds really good, and I would love to make it!

    However, you forgot to indicate the amount of Almond Extract to use. It’s listed #2 in the directions.

    PLEASE ADVISE.

    THANKS FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE!!!

    1. Hi Karen, that was there my mistake! It’s just vanilla extract, however you can use lemon extract too (1 teaspoon) to really up the lemon flavor!

  2. Dear, 
    I baked the lemon poppy seeds twice and in both times after baking it for an hour and testing it with toothpick and the toothpick is absolutely clean. I remove the cake and then it collapse!! I followed your steps exactly . I always bake cakes, bread and this never happened with me.
    Pls help me what s going wrong ? Do we need to put more baking powder? 

    1. I haven’t had issues with this particular recipe falling. It should definitely be done/set after an hour!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply Natalie. After writing to you, I realized that I am using the whisk to mix my batter instead of the paddle. 

        The taste is so delicious! I will baking it again soon.

  3. Ummm, this recipe should be on a website called lifemadeunnecessarilycomplicated.com
    Three bowls? Tent it halfway through baking? Come on people. I’ve been baking for 35 years and this recipe is unnecessarily complicated to the point of being silly. 

    1. You can definitely consolidate when it comes to the bowls, but tenting is necessary to prevent it from being overly brown on top. Sometimes new techniques yield better results. I’m all about being simple, but I also think that the method is important and I try to help my readers as much as possible so that the results are always perfect 🙂

  4. As a rule, I only try out recipes with a lot of ratings so I was a little skeptical about about trying out this recipe. But, it came out PERFECT. The lemon flavor was adequate and not too overpowering and overall the bread was springy and soft. I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream but the results were still really good. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I don’t usually comment but this recipe is top hold. I followed it as written (even used 3 bowls and lived to tell the tale!) and didn’t need to tent. Made a brown butter and lemon simple syrup to drizzle onto/into the bread… which will probably taste more like cake just based on the delicious smell of my house. Nicely written, easy to follow, simple to produce and no doubt scrummy. Thanks for this. Cheers.

  6. Has anyone tried to triple this recipe? Also, I’d prefer not to put the glaze on it. How does it taste without the glaze?

  7. I made this even though I was slightly skeptical as not many reviews.This is the best lemon poppyseed bread hands down!!!My kids finished it in one day!!!Those who haven’t tried this should definitely make this-Thankyou for giving me a delicious heavenly recipe ?

  8. I give this bread top marks for texture and appearance; however, i was VERY disappointed in the absence of any detectable lemon flavor.  I will try again and this time not rely on the natural flavor of home grown lemons but boost it by adding lemon extract (only mentioned at the very end of the directions and not in the ingredients list)!

    1. Sorry to hear that, even with 3 tablespoons of lemon zest? You can definitely add extract next time, it’s an optional ingredient which is why it is listed in the notes.

  9. I tried this recipe today, and followed the complete instructions. Unfortunately the cake completely collapse on cooling, and it was under baked even though I followed the oven temperature and time.

    1. Hi Anagha, next time be sure to touch the top of the loaf to check for doneness. It should spring back when fully baked. 🙂

  10. I’m not quite sure why, but the toothpick didn’t come out clean until it hit the two hour mark. Still really tasty, just wondering what may have gone wrong.

    1. Hi Ella, do you have an oven thermometer? What altitude are you baking at? Some of these variations (including fresh leavening agents) can really affect baking times. I’d love to troubleshoot with you!

    1. 5 stars
      Absolutely DELIGHTFUL! Will be making this again! All I had was a 9×5 loaf pan and it still worked fine. Superb!

  11. 5 stars
    Love this recipe- thank you!!! I ended up covering in foil towards the end bc it looked a little moist in the center, so I put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes and it turned out great! I didn’t think the top was too brown- just perfect. Thank you! It tastes delicious and not too lemon-y. Will make again. 

  12. 5 stars
    Don’t judge me… I always liked the costco lemon poppyseed muffins. But now that I’ve tried this bread – the flavors really come through and SHINE! It’s delicious. Sorry not sorry – I probably won’t be eating the costco ones anymore!

  13. 5 stars
    Perfect! Tried this exactly as written, and it’s absolutely scrumptious. The only thing I would change is to double the amount of icing and add a bit of zest to that too, as we were all a bit greedy with the tangy icing on top! 

    The cake was so good, and had the best texture, especially, like a lot of loaf cakes, once it had rested after a day or so (what was left, haha). 

    Thanks so much, this is going in the “keeper” recipe file! 😊

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe is PERFECT. The bread came out moist but cooked through, the glaze was the perfect extra zing of flavor… I’ll never buy lemon poppyseed bread again, now that I can make it and my standards are so high!! Delish!

  15. 5 stars
    I love all things lemon, and this recipe did not disappoint! I will be making it again, for sure!

  16. 5 stars
    Oh my, this Lemon Poppy Seed Bread was AMAZING! Everyone loved it!! I can’t wait to make it again!