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lemon poppy seed cake on a cake platter.
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4.64 from 61 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

This gorgeous Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is the perfect understated, yet elegant cake that is moist with lots of vibrant flavor from all the fresh lemon zest. It comes complete with a sweet lemony glaze resulting in an incredibly delicious cake. Perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bundt cakes, lemon poppy seed bundt cake, lemon poppy seed cake
Servings: 16
Calories: 354kcal


Poppy Seed Lemon Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup lemon zest
  • 1 cup butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs

For Lemon Glaze


  • Prepare oven and bundt cake pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt cake pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds together. Set aside.
  • Mix wet ingredients: In the bowl of your mixer add the sugar and lemon zest. Using the whisk attachment whisk for a couple minutes until the lemon zest and sugar are well blended. Add the butter and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the buttermilk and eggs to the mixer and mix well for about 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. 
  • Combine wet and dry: Add half the flour mixture to the mixer and mix until well incorporated. Add the remaining flour and continue mixing until well incorporated. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake: Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Make glaze: While the cake is baking, make the lemon glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. This glaze needs to be quite runny, so add milk as needed, about a tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Wait before taking the cake out of the pan: Take the cake out of the oven and let it sit in the bundt pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the cake if necessary, then flip the cake over onto a cake tray. Let the cake cool for a bit for about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Drizzle with lemon glaze and serve: Drizzle the cake with the lemon glaze, cut into slices and serve.



  1. Don't worry if your glaze comes out translucent. As it dries, the colour will become more white. It will also be mostly absorbed by the cake.
  2. I used about 3 large lemons to get ½ cup of zest. I did not press the zest down, so it it is a very light ½ cup. The number of lemons you'll need varies on the size that you buy.
  3. Don't over mix your batter.
  4. I recommend against using a silicone mold, I've never been successful with them and always have a hard time getting my bundt cake out of it. Use nonstick metal pans if possible, they conduct heat well.
  5. Make sure your bundt pan is properly sprayed with cooking spray, baking spray or greased with butter. Even if it's a nonstick bundt pan, it doesn't hurt to grease the pan. You might even want to use a pastry brush to grease the pan, it makes it a lot easier.
  6. A good bundt cake recipe should only fill about ⅔ of the pan. Any more and you'll end up with rounded tops, which might not be a bad thing, but your bundt cake won't sit flat on the serving platter.
  7. Give your cake sufficient time to cool before getting it out of the pan. Keep in mind that as the cake cools, it will slowly release itself from the sides of the pan, so resist the urge to pull it out immediately. Wait a good 10 minutes before trying to get it out of the pan. Flip it over onto your cake platter, and let it sit like that, it will slowly start to pull away from the pan and down onto the platter. Patience is key.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1.6mg