Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

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Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake is a classic bake that is perfect to serve for Easter, afternoon tea, or with a cup of coffee for brunch. The flavor of lemon runs throughout the cake with both the juice and zest being used, as well as a light lemon glaze drizzled on top – oh so good!. This lemon and poppy seed cake definitely needs to be in your home recipe book!

A slice of lemon poppy cake with lemon glaze drizzled on top on a white plate, with a cake stand with the whole cake in the background next to a blue cloth.. Text overlay says"Recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.

It’s time for some American vs British (and possibly elsewhere) food differences!

You might be thinking, lemon, poppy seeds and COFFEE cannot be a good mix. And you’re probably right on that, I’ve not tried it, but it doesn’t sound good does it?

However, this cake does not have coffee in it, it is literally a cake that is made to be enjoyed with coffee (or tea if that’s your hot drink preference!).

Let’s call upon Wiki shall we?

Coffee cake is any cake flavored with or intended to be eaten with coffee. British coffee cake is typically a sponge cake flavored with coffee, typically baked in a circular shape with two layers separated by coffee butter icing, which also covers the top of the cake. Walnuts are a common addition, to make coffee and walnut cake.

In the United States, coffee cake generally refers to a sweet cake intended to be eaten with coffee or tea (like tea cake). The American variety is presented in a single layer, flavoured with either fruit or cinnamon, and leavened with either baking soda (or baking powder), which results in a more cake-like texture, or yeast, which results in a more bread-like texture. They may be loaf-shaped, for easy slicing, or baked in a Bundt or tube pan.


So there we have it – this is simply a delicious lemon and poppy seed cake, which is a classic combination and you will want to try this recipe out for sure!

Lemon Zest & Poppy Seeds

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

More Recipes Using Lemons

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is lemon, so here are some more recipes using the same:

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Easter Sunday Treat - Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

How Do I Make Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake?

Just check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee

Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake is a classic bake that is perfect to serve for Easter, afternoon tea, or with a cup of coffee for brunch.


For the Cake

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 cup flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest, preferably organic

For the Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅛ cup whole milk*
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Prepare a 9-inch Bundt pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla, eggs, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix until smooth.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

    Making Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
  4. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Place in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon glaze by blending the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Remove from oven and place the hot pan on a wire rack to cool for 30-40 minutes.
  7. To serve, remove the cake from the pan and slice. Drizzle with some lemon glaze right before serving. Enjoy!

    Slice of Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


*Add additional milk a little at a time, if necessary, to reach desired consistency

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 693Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 2gSugar: 46gProtein: 10g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Meal!

This cake would make a delicious dessert at dinner or even brunch, as well as as part of an afternoon tea party.

Here are some recipe suggestions for afternoon tea:

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