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 6 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



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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

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

  • Linda: It looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. July 19, 2014 at 9:49am Reply

  • Judy: What a delicious recipe! I love lemon and poppy seed. Also checking out your lemon and poppy seed muffins. Delish! July 20, 2014 at 3:27am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: That up close picture of the poppy seeds is so cool! This bread makes me want to get right in the kitchen. What an awesome breakfast! July 27, 2014 at 5:39am Reply

  • Michelle: This looks delicious! Do you think oat flour would work instead of all-purpose? July 29, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could probably use it for a portion of it but I definitely wouldn’t recommend all of it. August 21, 2014 at 12:15am Reply

  • Allison T: Looks absolutely delicious! There is a local restaurant that makes wonderful poppy seed bread. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe! August 3, 2014 at 8:46am Reply

  • Mary: I’ve been cooking/baking a loooooong time. I’m a grandmother. I’ve made poppyseed breads and lemon breads, but never poppyseed lemon bread. Your photos are awesome. Aren’t the poppyseeds just cute little balls of delicious? My loaf is baking as I type. Can’t wait. And… the day this was published was my 33rd wedding anniversary. Stay on God. August 3, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you loved it Mary :)! August 25, 2014 at 9:59am Reply

  • Renee @ Awesome on $20: This sounds so amazing! My office would love me if I brought this in. I love the addition of the glaze for an extra pop of lemon flavor. August 3, 2014 at 6:41pm Reply

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bread | Scones in the Sky: […] Recipe Source : Cooking Classy  […] August 7, 2014 at 8:12pm Reply

  • kate: oh my god this looks amazing u should write a book!!I would so buy it August 8, 2014 at 6:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kate :), hopefully someday I can find time. August 8, 2014 at 8:56pm Reply

  • Jenn: Thanks for the recipe, enjoying a fresh slice now and it’s delicious! I noticed that my load didn’t rise anywhere close to yours… it is finished height of only 2.5 inches maybe? Still delish but do you have any suggestions flute where I might have gone wrong? Thanks! August 17, 2014 at 10:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s probably in either whipping the butter, make sure that it does become pale and fluffy like a whitish pale yellow. Then also it could also have been in the folding, it may have been over-mixed. Just fold gently and until nearly combined after each addition (then last addition fold just until combined). Hope that helps! August 28, 2014 at 8:37pm Reply

  • Mary-Margaret: I have made this loaf several times now. It is beyond delicious! My 18 yr old grandson and his friends devour it. I may have to start tripling the recipe so my husband and I get more than crumbs. LOL August 17, 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family has enjoyed this recipe Mary-Margaret! Thanks so much for your comment! August 18, 2014 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Clairen: Hi there!!

    I’ve visited your website here and there in the past; and have started to visit much more frequently lately! Your recipes are fabulous! I trust you and your recipes more than most any other sites now.

    Question, in this post you mentioned loving Almond Poppy Seed things…I do too. Those ridiculously delicious and huge Almond Poppy Seed muffins from Costco are so good; do you have a recipe that is similar to those…or any almond poppy seed things!

    Thank you so much! August 20, 2014 at 8:49am Reply

  • Kristen: Jaclyn, wow, this was amazing. Lots of extra steps, but totally worth it — the fresh lemon throughout just elevates the whole thing!

    I just wrote about it on my blog, so hopefully a few new readers will find you. You’ve got some terrific recipes. Thanks!

    http://lowfatdressing.blogspot.com/2014/09/recipe-love-lemon-poppyseed-quick-bread.html September 7, 2014 at 8:00pm Reply

  • Amanda: Every good lemon poppyseed bread recipe I see uses a stand mixer! I don’t have one! But this looks sooo good. October 24, 2014 at 7:13pm Reply

  • Mayra Vera: Can I substitute the white flour for oat flour or any other type of flour? October 25, 2014 at 10:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think part of another flour but I wouldn’t recommend all unless you are going to add xanthan gum. November 26, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

  • Eileen and Ji: Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m a fan of lemon poppy seed, and this looks delicious! November 23, 2014 at 9:07am Reply

  • Fatema: Can I use bundt pan for this recipe? December 17, 2014 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be fine but I might recommend doing 1 1/2 the recipe if possible just so it’s not shallow. December 17, 2014 at 5:45pm Reply

  • Heidi: Just made this tonight, this is one of my top five recipes I’ve found on Pinterest. This is so dang good! January 9, 2015 at 7:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear that Heidi! Thanks for your review! January 9, 2015 at 8:47pm Reply

  • Sandra: My fiancé has been drooling over your picture and continuously asking me to make it for the past week. I didn’t know if I was apt enough to make it since some recipes are tricky and have failed for me but …I made this bread tonight, glazed it, covered it with a large bowl to cool and when I went back in the kitchen 5 minutes later, he had already cut into it and scarfed down a piece! Needless to say, he loves it!!! Thank you Jaclyn for such a scrumptious bread that I was actually able to make :) January 13, 2015 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Lisa: I love lemon poppy seed muffins, and making it as a loaf sounds even better. I can’t wait to try this one! Do you think this will freeze well? January 26, 2015 at 8:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I personally don’t like the way baked goods freeze just because they never seem to come out as moist, but if you don’t mind then it should freeze just as well as other baked goods :). January 29, 2015 at 9:10pm Reply

  • Carmen Hunter: Loved your lemon poppy seed bread. It was delicious!!! February 15, 2015 at 8:15pm Reply

  • Jackie: YUM!!! I love lemon and I happen to have had everything on hand. The lemon factor is wonderful…still eating a piece warm!! Thanks a bunch!! March 1, 2015 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Anna: Thank you for this recipe! I found it on pinterest and decided to put a healthy twist on it. I used half the sugar (raw sugar), spelt flour, 0% Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and ghee instead of butter. It came out extremely delicious! March 10, 2015 at 7:13pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: This is a lovely bread! The texture and flavor are wonderful. Thank you. March 21, 2015 at 8:35pm Reply

  • Claudia: I followed the recipe exactly and it came out very well. Love it! Love the icing, too!! April 26, 2015 at 10:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the recipe Claudia! Thanks for leaving a review! April 26, 2015 at 10:55am Reply

  • Kerry: Do you cook it for 45-55 minutes and once it is at 40 minutes you cover it with foil?

    So the total cooking time is 45-55 minutes? May 29, 2015 at 7:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, I just noticed around 40 minutes was when it would begin to excessively brown if not tented with foil, but yes cook between 45 and 55 minutes total. May 29, 2015 at 10:58am Reply

  • Adam Itinerant: This sounds great but it’s 2015, when are you guys gonna catch up to the world and go metric? July 6, 2015 at 3:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I have been as of late. For nearly the last year I’ve been posting most of my baked recipes in metric measurements just because of so, the U.S. is basically the only country using cups. Plus it is more accurate. So no disagreement here :). July 6, 2015 at 11:38pm Reply

  • Yasmeen: Hey!
    This recipe looked so good I had to try it! It’s in the oven right now, but the middle part isnt cooking, do you know why that would happen? Im scared the sides are going to burn soon! July 30, 2015 at 2:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry my response is probably too late but it helps to tent the loaf with foil to reduce browning on the crust. July 30, 2015 at 11:34pm Reply

  • Bib: I was looking for a lemon poppy seed bread recipe and came across this one, amongst many others. I’m so glad I picked this one! It was SO amazing, I couldn’t wait until it completely cooled. My colleagues and friends love it, too and are always looking forward to more! Thank you so much for sharing! August 4, 2015 at 8:44am Reply

  • Kellie: Hi! I don’t have a stand mixer– would I be able to still make this with only a hand mixer? It looks delicious and I’d really like to be able to make it for my family!

    Thanks so much! September 3, 2015 at 6:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be just fine. I hope you and your family love it! September 9, 2015 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Cheryl: Just made this recipe as jumbo muffins and they are amazing! Thank you for sharing it. September 7, 2015 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Elisa: I can find it hard to come by recipes that are detailed enough… Yours was awesome! Currently I have the loaf in the oven. I sub. Sour cream for plain greek yogourt because it was what I have… Hopefully it still turns out. I will definitely be checking out your other recipes. Thank tou for this one! November 18, 2015 at 10:22am Reply

  • meagan: Hi I just wanted to let you know that pinterest has blocked this link saying it might be spam. Obviously it’s not. You might want to contact them to fix this issue. I would love to be able to quickly find this recipe when I’m in the mood for delicious bread. December 5, 2015 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Meagan, There has been a problem with 10-20 bloggers on Pinterest this weekend. I’m in contact with Pinterest and trying to resolve this ASAP. Thanks for the heads up! December 5, 2015 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Amanda: Just pulled it out of the oven and applying the glaze now. But my glaze looks nothing like the creamy glaze in the first picture. Mine is more of a watery-yellow liquid. Did I do it right?
    Looks and smells AWESOME and I’m so excited to enjoy it with my coworkers tomorrow. Thanks! January 14, 2016 at 12:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The glaze for this bread should be somewhat liquid-y/runny so it will soak into the bread better. You can add a little more powdered sugar if you think it needs it but it should be fine. January 15, 2016 at 3:57pm Reply

  • Jamie: Made this for breakfast and it was delicious! I wanted to make sure it had a lot of lemon flavor so I put the zest of a meyer lemon in the glaze, so good! I made mini loaves but now wish I had just made muffin tops because the top is tart and heavenly! January 19, 2016 at 10:34am Reply

  • Ellen Richardson: I have just started (thanks to pinterest) reading and enjoying cooking blogs. The frustrating thing for me is that the comments are quite often by other bloggers admiring the pictures and instructions or what not and rarely do I find a review of the actual recipe. But, I digress. I made this recipe and it was beautiful (quite like the pictures) and the glaze is indeed what makes this loaf great. However, the flavor of the loaf itself is rather bland. It seems to need something more but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, your pictures are beautiful and the instructions spot on. Thank you for sharing your recipe! January 24, 2016 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Heather: I just made this for my husband. Oh. My. Goodness. Such a great recipe!! Thank you! February 28, 2016 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Yen: What adjustments can I make when using this in a 9×5 pan? Thank you April 24, 2016 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Jenna Striegel: This looks delicious! Can you make it with ought the lemon? I love Lemon poppyseed but I also love just plain poppy seed. Would the same recipe work if I leave out the lemon ingredients? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try it! May 10, 2016 at 10:16am Reply

  • Ogi the Yogi: How long should I wait before eating it, some people recommend up to a day for all the flavors to come together. What do you do with this recipe? May 11, 2016 at 6:58pm Reply

  • Bridget: Such a good yummy recipe turned into a complicated unnecessary procedure. Very confusing to read…… May 28, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

  • x: We don’t have sour cream in my country so used same amount good thick greek style yogurt instead and cake turned out perfect!

    Thanks for a recipe that actually works and looks and tastes AMAZING! The internet recipe-finding game can be russian roulette sometimes!

    Time to pillage through all your other recipes!! June 3, 2016 at 5:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So great to hear! Glad it turned out! June 29, 2016 at 11:35am Reply

  • Dania: If I were to make your bread what changes do I need to make baking at high altitude? I live in Park City, UT. Thanks August 3, 2016 at 1:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I live in Utah as well so you should be just fine! :) August 5, 2016 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Marilyn Tutt: Can you make this receipe into the mini loaf pans lined up muffin papers? December 13, 2016 at 9:33am Reply

  • Jen: I found your recipe on Pinterest and have to echo a previous comment. It really is difficult to find recipes on blogs with genuine reviews. I feel that a majority of comments are regarding how a recipe looks like it is going to taste or complements on photography. There is nothing wrong with that but they are not actual recipe reviews. And yes, I understand that this is a comment section and not a review section. ;) So having just made this, here is my honest review.

    I like the flavor of the bread portion and did not find it bland. Unfortunately, even with careful folding my bread did not rise as high as the photos. As far as the topping, I understand that the glaze is meant to seep into the bread. But because I like the flavor of the bread on its own, I would prefer a thicker glaze that sat in top. Overall, good flavor but I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. January 2, 2017 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Nicole: What changes should I make for high alttitude? I’m in Colorado! January 2, 2017 at 3:07pm Reply

  • Kelly: This recipe is great! Very thorough in your directions and it smells amazing! Baking right now. January 31, 2017 at 6:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you found instructions easy to follow :). I hope you loved it Kelly! February 1, 2017 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Katie: Thank you for the recipe! Made it today and it’s delicious! But is the glaze supposed to be powdered sugar or granulated? My glaze never turned white/thick like yours. Still really good though! March 20, 2017 at 7:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think you may be referring to the picture of the poppy seed batter? It is a granulated sugar glaze, it soaks into the bread better. March 21, 2017 at 9:42pm Reply

  • burt: thanks so much we loved this now e will eat it May 28, 2017 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Dyce: I made this bread for my grandfather who was in the hospital, and EVERYONE who saw me with the bread and smelled it aroma as I walked by was truly jealous that they were not the one in the hospital bed. This bread made me a lot of enemies today! June 5, 2017 at 9:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Ha ha i’m glad I could help! June 13, 2017 at 12:16pm Reply

  • JQ: This recipe is a hit! The loaf I made was perfectly moist and flavorful. I love how the glaze gives the top half of each slice a bold lemon flavor; it provides nice contrast to the vibrant but milder taste of the bottom half. Thank you for the great recipe! I will certainly make it again. October 19, 2017 at 11:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you enjoyed it! October 20, 2017 at 1:03pm Reply

  • JQ: This recipe is terrific! The loaf I made was perfectly moist and flavorful. I love how the glaze gives the top half of each slice a bold lemon flavor; it gives nice contrast to the vibrant but milder taste of the bottom half. Thank you for the recipe! I will certainly make this again. October 19, 2017 at 8:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the review! So glad you love it! October 20, 2017 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Renee: This bread is awesome! Just made some for x-mas but it won’t last that long. Love it. December 16, 2017 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Renee! December 18, 2017 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Caroline: ABSOLUTLEY DELICIOUS!!! It’s the perfect amount of lemon to make it sweet, it has a little bit of crunch on the top, and it is moist throughout! What could be better than that! January 8, 2018 at 5:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Caroline! January 8, 2018 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Steve: Thanks, OMG it was delicious. January 30, 2018 at 8:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! February 5, 2018 at 10:14am Reply

  • Erin: The pictures look so delicious!! How many does this recipe yield? February 28, 2018 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks! It yields three. :) March 15, 2018 at 10:31pm Reply

  • Sarah: This recipe was super yummy, the whole cake was gone in a day. Only thing is, it had to be in the oven much longer than 55 minutes. Good news is that it was totally worth the wait March 13, 2018 at 2:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! March 15, 2018 at 10:23pm Reply

  • Lee: Hi Jaclyn,

    Your cake looks delicious & I’m eager to try baking it. Do you have the measurements in metrics?

    Lee April 6, 2018 at 3:54am Reply

  • Kate: Can this be made n a bread Maker? April 6, 2018 at 9:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m not familiar with bread machines (though I am considering getting one) but my knowledge on the subject is so limited. I don’t know the rules on sweet breads/quick breads with it. Sorry wish I could say for sure but this oven method is pretty simple so I’d probably stick with it. April 8, 2018 at 12:55am Reply

  • Goitse Keretetse: Looks yummy.
    Can I use salted butter and not have to add salt as one of the ingredients? May 7, 2018 at 12:21pm Reply

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