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+ servings

The Best Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

A delicious homemade lemon cake studded with poppy seeds and frosted with a light lemon frosting this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is the cake of the summer!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time42 mins
Total Time57 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 482kcal


  • 2 cups + 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray, set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  • In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar and until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides. Add the eggs in one at a time, allowing them to fully combine into the mixture.
  • Scrape down the sides and add the flour mixture. Gently stir it in until just combined.
  • Add the milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, stir in until combined, scrape down the sides.
  • Last, add the poppyseeds and stir them in until evenly distributed, do not over mix.
  • Add the cake batter to the baking dish and bake for 35-42 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. A few crumbs left on the toothpick are okay, but any wet batter and it needs to bake longer.
  • Place the dish on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake cools, make the frosting by placing the butter into a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Mix until smooth, 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest, and vanilla, mix until combined. Turn the mixer on medium and whip the frosting until light and fluffy, 3 minutes.
  • Once the cake is cooled, frost with lemon buttercream. Slice and serve.


  1. You can use as much or as little poppy seeds as you like in this recipe.
  2. Fresh squeeze lemon juice provides the best flavor or this cake but you can also use bottled if necessary.
  3. This can be made in a bundt pan if you wish to try it in something other than a 9"x13" pan.
  4. The lemon zest is really helpful to provide more lemon flavor in the cake, I highly suggest that you include it.
  5. Make sure you cool your cake fully before frosting.


Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 684IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg