Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

Citrus-y bakes are some of my absolute favourites; this lemon poppyseed loaf takes the flavours of the original lemon drizzle, and gives it a bake-over (perhaps I shouldn’t attempt puns) with poppyseeds and tangy lemon-flavoured glacé icing.

Until I ate a wedge of lemon poppyseed cake in a café in Norwich last summer, it was a recipe I had never considered attempting. Somehow, the whole concept of adding poppyseeds (or any seeds, for that matter) to a cake had completely passed me by. Until that particular heavenly cake experience, that is. A few tweaks to my basic cake recipe later and I had a deliciously moist lemon poppyseed loaf!


Recipe | Lemon Poppyseed Loaf


  • 150g sugar
  • 125g margarine
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25g poppyseeds
  • 2 lemons (the zest & juice will be needed!)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Cream the margarine and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs.
  3. Add the flour, a little at a time, and the baking powder.
  4. Stir in the poppyseeds.
  5. Zest the lemons; add ¾ of the zest to the mixture and set aside the remaining zest for the icing later.
  6. Juice the lemons; add 25ml of the lemon juice to the mixture. Set the remaining juice aside, as it will be used for the icing.
  7. Add the milk to the mixture; stir until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Grease a 1.5lb loaf tin and line it with greaseproof paper. Tip the mixture into the tin, making sure to distribute it evenly around the tin.
  9. Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool on a wire rack, and prepare the icing.
  11. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, until it forms a smooth (but not too runny) mixture.
  12. When the cake is cool, spread the icing across the top of the loaf and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.


  • Check the cake after 20 minutes; with loaf cakes it’s easy for the top to singe before the cake is fully cooked. At this point, I covered my cake with foil so that the top didn’t burn while the inside was still baking!
  • For a variation on the classic, you could substitute lemons for limes.

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