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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Moist, citrusy and delicious this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is a flavorful layered cake with a light and zesty lemon buttercream frosting.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 slices
Calories: 481
Author: Tornadough Alli


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 heaping Tbs poppy seeds


  • 3 sticks butter softened
  • 5-6 Tbs lemon juice
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs milk if desired


  • Preheat oven to 350 and line two 9" round cake pans with parchment paper and then grease sides with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
  • In large bowl whisk together your four, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  • With hand or stand mixer mix in your eggs, oil and lemon juice until blended. Slowly add in your sour cream and continue beating until incorporated.
  • Fold in your poppy seeds.
  • Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and cake springs back when touched, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pans before inverting on wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile to make your buttercream in stand mixer or with hand mixer beat your butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add in you lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until blended.
  • Add in your powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Add in milk if desired.
  • Taste flavor to adjust adding more lemon juice if needed,
  • To assemble, on a cake board on turntable place one layer of cake and spread with about 3/4 cup buttercream and spread out to sides.
  • Top with remaining layer of cake and then do a crumb coating by frosting top and sides of cake with a thin layer of buttercream.
  • Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
  • The frost remaining cake, reserving about 3/4 cup frosting for decorating if needed.
  • To make the swirl on top, using an offset spatula place tip in the center of cake and spin cake in a circle slowly moving your spatula out while spinning.
  • Decorate sides with extra poppy seeds if desired.


Serving: 0g | Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 73g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.1mg