Lemon and poppy seed cake

This is an old classic. Tried and tested for decades. I’m sure every granny at some stage in their lives has either made it or attempted to make one. Traditionally baked as a loaf and served in thin bread like slices these days you can make cupcakes with it, normal cakes…hell, I’ve even seen an entire wedding cake made from this recipe. It’s simple, results in a moist but robust product and it doesn’t go as stale as quickly as a normal cake would.

I like to make a syrup with lemon juice and some sugar and then drizzle the cake with it as soon as it comes out the oven. It gives the cake a bit more of a tang and it adds to the moisture. As I said before, its a robust cake so adding moisture to it won’t cause it to collapse or fall apart.



  1. Butter                                                               110g
  2. Sugar                                                               225g
  3. Eggs (beaten)                                                  220g
  4. Cake flour                                                        225g
  5. Baking powder                                                 8g
  6. Milk (lukewarm)                                                150ml
  7. Poppy seeds                                                     85g
  8. Vanilla paste                                                     3g
  9. Lemon zest                                                       10g
  10. Lemon juice (for syrup)                                     200ml


  • Cream butter, vanilla and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the lemon zest and slowly add the beaten eggs.
  • Fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Lastly fold in the lukewarm milk.
  • Bake in a traditional loaf tin or a round cake tin at 180⁰C.
  • Leave in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
  • Make a simple syrup with the lemon juice and some sugar.
  • Reduce the syrup and allow to cool. Once cool pour it over the cool cake.
  • Ice the cake with fondant or lemon icing or lemon zest.

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