Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


I’ve always loved poppy seed bread, but it always used to be almond poppy seed that I would crave the most. Since I’m now in love with lemon flavored everything that has changed. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors. It’s just so vibrant and refreshing. It’s bold and I love that.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Cooking Classy

The lemon flavor in this bread shines. It has a generous amount of zest layered throughout the batter, lemon juice mixed into the batter and a generous coating of a fresh lemon juice glaze brushed along the top. With all that lemon you are going to love the scent this brings to your kitchen. No candle or air freshener could come close to this natural lemony aroma. My favorite part is definitely that sugar coated topping. You’ll be wanting to steal that portion from your kids or that guy sitting next to you (just do it while they aren’t looking, like I did :)). Or you could just be like my 3 year old, she’ll eat her slice of bread as she’s sitting there watching a cartoon and when it’s over she’ll say, “hey! Who ate my bread?” when really it was her and she just forgot. But it’s a great attempt at a seconds slice though, just pretend someone stole it so you need another.



Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Cooking Classy

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Cooking Classy


Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

5 from 7 votes


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Lemon Glaze

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 by 4-inch baking dish, set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside. Add sugar and lemon zest to the the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Rub lemon zest with sugar using your fingertips, until the mixture becomes moist and pale yellow. Add butter to sugar mixture and whip on medium speed until pale and fluffy (if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl while mixing, then occasionally throughout entire mixing process, stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in eggs one at a time, adding in vanilla with last egg.
  3. In (microwave safe) liquid measuring cup used to measure milk, whisk together the milk with sour cream. Heat mixture in microwave just until no longer cold (you basically want room temp here, without having to leave this dairy out to reach room temp).
  4. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter/sugar mixture) alternating with 1/2 of the milk mixture and 1 Tbsp lemon juice (each time), and mixing just until combined after each addition. Bake in preheated oven 45 - 55 minutes, tenting with foil at 40 minutes (don't let foil touch loaf), until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (or with a few small crumbs). Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes in loaf pan (and no longer than 8 minutes or it won't be as porous and absorb the lemon glaze as well), then invert loaf onto a wire rack and brush top with the lemon glaze (it will take several coats but use it all. Give it a second between coats to absorb as needed). Let loaf cool on wire rackl (I also recommend covering it with a extra large bowl if you have one to seal in some of the moisture), then cut into slices. Store in an airtight container.
  5. For the lemon glaze:
  6. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and heat in microwave on HIGH power (or over stove top on small saucepan, med-high heat) and heat in 15 second intervals, whisking between intervals until sugar has dissolve and mixture is hot.
  7. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Cooking Classy

Start with that up there. End with this lemon, sugary glazed deliciousness down here.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Cooking Classy

Not to be confused with blueberries, these are poppy seeds – just up close and personal…

Poppy Seeds | Cooking Classy



  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): Such a gorgeous bread, I’m obsessed with anything lemon poppy seed! July 19, 2014 at 12:07am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: This so stunning! And how did you know that I’m such a sucker for lemon bread? Plus, I LOVE poppy seeds! It’s weird but I definitely have a thing for them. July 18, 2014 at 11:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Chung-Ah! I definitely have a thing for poppy seeds too :)! July 19, 2014 at 8:24pm Reply

  • amanda @ fake ginger: Mmm, I love lemon poppy seed bread! July 18, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Alexis @ Upside Down Pear: Lemon poppy seed muffins are my favorite, so this bread just calls to me! I’ll definitely have to make this soon. Summertime is perfect for all things lemon :) July 18, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: This looks really good, Jaclyn! I love that it contains lemon in 3 different ways. I’m with you about liking the glaze the best. Can’t wait to try this one! July 18, 2014 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Lyne: can I use coconut flour for this
    thanks xx July 18, 2014 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You might be able to, I just don’t have a lot of experience baking with coconut flour so I can’t say for sure. It might need another flour/mixture of flours added in to work. August 6, 2014 at 4:31pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: My mom would LOVE this bread! I’d call it cake disguised as a loaf :) Lemon-poppyseed is one of her faves and wow, your images, are just…incredible, Jaclyn! July 18, 2014 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Averie! And I love that it’s is basically cake disguised as a loaf so I don’t feel so guilty when I eat two or even three slices :). July 18, 2014 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Matt Robinson: You’re pictures are so great and this looks amazing!! July 18, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

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