Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Could there be a more perfect spring cake?? This brightly flavored Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is just what I need to end a long cold winter and bounce right into the new season (don’t get me wrong I love all four seasons but by the end of each one I’m ready for the next). This cake has got to be one of my favorites!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love lemon everything. It’s just one of those flavors that you don’t have to question and it balances out the sweetness perfectly. And then when you add those faintly crunchy little flecks of poppy seeds to the mix for a light flavor and textural contrast, and top each layer of the cake with a rich cream cheese frosting you know it’s a cake that won’t let you down.

Want to see how to make this lemon poppyseed cake? Watch the video!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


The two sugars I used in this recipe are the Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar and Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar. The cane sugar is a good replacement for white sugar for things like baking cakes and cookies (or to sweeten just about anything). The powdered sugar is perfect for frostings.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a crowd pleasing cake that’s sure to get some praise, people will be swooning over each soft and fluffy, sweet lemony bite!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I’m slowly working on adding more organic foods into my families diet (I just made the jump to organic milk a few months ago) so I love knowing there’s now organic sweeteners that are more easily accessible for everyone. You can find many of these products at nationwide grocery stores now. Try them in this cake and see for yourself the great end result you’ll get!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

More Lemon Poppyseed Recipes You’ll Love

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.67 from 3 votes

The best lemon poppy seed cake! Two moist, fluffy, lemony layers of poppy seed swirled cake are each covered with a layer of decadent cream cheese frosting. In other words, you'll be savoring every crumb!

Servings: 14
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes



  • 2 3/4 cups (352g) cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp (30g) poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (366g) Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups (315ml) buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Simple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter , at room temperature (preferably 1/2 cup unsalted and 1/4 cup salted)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg. Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans then line with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment paper, lightly dust pans with cake flour and shake out excess, set pans aside. Sift cake flour into a large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, cane sugar and lemon zest until mixture becomes very pale and fluffy. Mix in canola oil then blend in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Mix in lemon extract and vanilla extract. In a liquid measuring cup mix together buttermilk with lemon juice.
  3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined. Add in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mix just until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Mix in remaining 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and finish by mixing in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Scrape sides and bottom with a spatula and gently fold until batter is evenly incorporated.
  4. Divide batter among two prepared cake pans. Spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 - 34 minutes. Remove from oven let cool in pan 5 minutes then run a knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert cakes onto wire racks. While cakes are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush cakes with simple syrup. About halfway through cooling I recommend transfer cakes to an airtight container to seal in moisture. Let cakes cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting.
  5. For the simple syrup:
  6. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat whisk together lemon juice and can sugar until sugar has dissolved.
  7. For the cream cheese frosting:
  8. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Freeze in 3 minute increments as needed, stirring between increments until frosting is desired consistency.
  9. *For best results measure in grams using a kitchen scale. If you don't have one, lightly fluff bag of flour then scoop into a measuring cup and sweep top with a knife to level.
  10. Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 634 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Potassium 189mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 81g 27%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 61g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 18.6%
Vitamin C 3.4%
Calcium 12.2%
Iron 4.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Calories: 634 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Zin: I fogot to put egg. It still can use or not? help me November 18, 2018 at 9:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh no sorry I hate when that happens! I’d start over with eggs because it really is the binder here and gives rise and structure to the cake. November 22, 2018 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Aadi: Hi Jaclyn,
    Thank you for the recipe! This is probably the first recipe off the internet which I’ve used which hasn’t been a failure!:D
    The cake came out really soft and fluffy, and smelled and tasted great!
    I substituted the lemon extract with another tsp of fresh lemon juice and used the rind of 2 lemons instead of 4.
    The rest of your food looks great as well…I’m going to have to slowly cook/bake my way through them:)
    Thanks again! July 9, 2018 at 3:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Hope you love them all! :) July 9, 2018 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Afra Taidin: I kid you not. This recipe is fullproof! Super soft, not too sweet and just yumm. I subs the cheese with a lemon fresh whipped cream. Why i said its good? Because Ive tried so many recipe, and this one is the fluffiest.

    Love from Malaysia June 20, 2018 at 8:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to comment and visiting all the way from Malaysia! June 29, 2018 at 11:55am Reply

  • zero b service: I love this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!!! I will most definitely be trying this out. Thanks for the
    recipe. January 29, 2018 at 4:53am Reply

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