Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake
Member recipe

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

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(9 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 8

A moist drizzle loaf cake that compliments a nice cup of tea!

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  • 50g poppy seeds
  • 185ml warm milk
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, rind grated, juiced
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 20 x 10cm (base measurement) loaf pan


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease loaf pan.
    2. Combine the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
    3. Combine the caster sugar and 185g of the butter untill light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs. Fold in the flour gradually, alternate with the poppy seed and milk mix. Finally stir in lemon rind. Alternatively add the ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on high for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick. Pour into the pan and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
    4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and place in a bowl with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Beat with an electric beater until smooth, then drizzle over the cake.

Comments, questions and tips

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15th Aug, 2017
I have made this cake many times now and it always goes down a treat! However, I have made a few tweaks: - Reduce the milk to 150 ml - Use 2 lemons: Add grated zest of both lemons to cake mixture, along with the juice of 1 of the lemons; save the juice of the second lemon for the icing In my oven (very small and not fan assisted), this cake takes around 1 1/2 hours (so probably about 1 hour 10 in a fan-assisted oven). After about half an hour I place a sheet of foil lightly over the cake so it doesn't burn on the top. Check with a skewer after about 1 hour 15 (or 50 minutes if using a fan oven) - if the skewer comes out clean take the cake out, if not give it another 10 minutes or so (depending on how much mix was left on the skewer. Once the cake is cold: For the icing, use the juice of the remaining lemon mixed with 250 - 300g icing sugar (enough to form a thick icing), and coat the top of the cake, allowing some to overflow down the sides. I often decorate with some lemon zest. With these adjustments, the cake has always come out really nicely and I've had nothing but compliments about it! Hope this helps! :)
6th Mar, 2017
This is a terrible recipe! My semi cooked cake, although it had twice the coking time suggested, is now in the bin. The timing is completely wrong, the amount of lemon is inadequate and the amount of icing far too much. You could alter all these yourself, see below for hints, but it would be quicker and safer to find a different recipe.
13th Feb, 2017
The timing is wrong. Tried it twice, varied the cooking time on the second attempt but still raw in the centre. With the lemon content suggested in the recipe, the cake is very bland. I'll give up on this one and try another tomorrow; the bin won't go hungry tonight! Hey-ho!
11th Jul, 2016
What a lovely cake this turned out to be! Not too sweet, not too tart, just perfect and light! I don't have a problem with the poppyseed volume and wouldn't use less. The icing amount could probably be halved as I had plenty left over (quite thick so a little water added to loosen it to spread). I read the other comments and did the following with fan assisted oven:- 40 mins at 150 C 15 mins at 120 C Still very wet at this point so turned heat up to 170 C for 15 mins. Done! Will definitely make this cake again, lovely!
1st May, 2016
I tried this recipe today and the cake came out amazing. I used a loaf tin and did a cream cheese icing which was a good combination. The baking time was a bit longer than the suggested time but it's worth always checking irrespective of what a recipe suggests. I also added 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. My family only had compliments.
29th Oct, 2014
I've baked this cake several times and find the best method is to Half the ingredients and bake in a loaf tin . It's delicious , lovely texture and a family favourite
5th Sep, 2014
I am not an experienced baker so when I took this cake out of the oven after 40 minutes I freaked out when I saw that the middle was still sopping wet. That's when I realised I should have read the comments before starting out! So I put the cake back in for ANOTHER 40 minutes at 160 degrees and it eventually came out fine - the top didn't get overcooked and it stayed moist. There is clearly too much icing sugar in the frosting part, you could probably get away with 200g but I added Limoncello to the mixture to loosen it up a bit and that worked a treat. Overall this recipe works if you add 30-40 minutes to the cooking time.
27th Jul, 2014
My 10 year old daughter made this today and its great! Used 2lemons zest anD rind and put 1/4 of the juice in the mix. Cooked at 180 for 1/2 hr then temp down to 150 for another 1/2 hr as was not cooking as expected. Result was delicious! Fitted the loaf tin perfectly too.
7th May, 2014
I made this last night. It's really nice. I used a bit more lemon in the icing to make it a bit zestier. I cooked mine for a bit longer than the recipe says but the middle still wasn't quite cooked. If I do this again, I'll be trying in muffin cases or maybe a round cake instead of a loaf. If anyone is going to do this in a loaf tin, I would suggest cooking for about 55mins on a lower heat. Also, I only used 30g instead of the 50g in the recipe and it's plenty enough.
21st Apr, 2014
This is the first time I've put poppy seeds in a cake and I'm not sure what they add. The cake is delicious and moist. I had bread rising in my loaf tin so used a round cake tin, as other readers have commented there was too much mixture and as the cake rose in the oven it tipped over and provided a nice dollop of cake on the baking tray sitting on the rack below. My cake tin is 20cm wide by 2.5cm deep and I had greaseproof which added another half centimetre; the cake spilled over where I had cut the greaseproof a little to close to the tin. Next time I would use the loose-bottomed fruit cake tin which is much deeper. At 40 mins on 160 fan oven (I have a thermometer to check the temperature) the cake was browning on top but still gooey in the middle. I left the temperature at 160 and timed another 20mins after which it was perfectly cooked and not burnt. The dollop that spilled out to the tray below was perfectly cooked at 40 mins! I like the cup cake idea and guess you'd be safe to make around half a dozen cup cakes in normal fairy cake paper cups and still have a decent sized cake. I'm not clever enough to split down a recipe to make "just a bit less". I added the zest of two lemons to the mix as I really like a lemony cake, I also added the juice of both lemons to the icing plus a very little more water to make it a bit softer and easier to spread. I haven't used melted butter in a standard icing mix before but it works, the icing is slightly stiff and stays put when the cake is cut. I would definitely make this again and will also try it without poppy seeds. Great recipe to try, many thanks Louiza201


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