This Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is moist, perfectly sweet, and lemony! It’s completely homemade and is topped with the most delicious lemon glaze.
Are you more of a fan of lemon or chocolate desserts? When it comes to the two, I really have a hard time choosing. On one hand I love love love chocolate, but on the other hand I’m a total lemon lover too.
But since I may have gone a little crazy on the chocolate recipes lately and it’s been sooo cold, today I’m bringing you this bright and fresh lemon poppy seed bundt cake!
This recipe is kind of a mix of my vanilla cupcakes (doubled) and this lemon bundt cake from Martha Stewart. The first time I made the cake, I used all butter and it was just okay. The cake came out a little dense, which I expected, and the next day it wasn’t quite as moist.
I decided to adjust the recipe a bit and used a mix of butter and oil and the end result was so much better! The cake is still buttery, but the 1/4 cup of oil helps to make the cake just a bit lighter and helps to keep it moist.
The lemon glaze really adds to the cake though and adds a little extra pop of lemon flavor, so don’t leave it off! It’s just two easy ingredients and you can mix it up in no time.
This lemon poppy seed cake is made completely from scratch with ingredients you likely have in your pantry already. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- All-purpose flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it, otherwise you might wind up with a dense cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Help the cake rise in the oven.
- Salt: Balances out the sweetness in the batter.
- Poppy seeds: Can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand. You’d be left with a marvelous lemon bundt cake!
- Butter: Is beat with the sugar for several minutes to incorporate more air into the batter. This makes the cake fluffier.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the batter without adding any flavor.
- Eggs: Must be room temperature before being added to the batter.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract will give the strongest flavor.
- Lemon juice and zest: I highly recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe.
- Oil: Canola or vegetable oil works best.
- Sour cream: If you don’t have sour cream on hand, plain Greek yogurt should work as well.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Is mixed with lemon juice to make the lemon glaze for the cake.
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
First, you’ll need to beat together the butter and the sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Do not skip this step; this is what ensures that the cake turns out soft. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, followed by the remaining wet ingredients.
Stir the sour cream and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating between the two so that everything is incorporated evenly. Turn the batter into a 10-cup bundt pan that’s been greased and floured.
Bake the lemon poppy seed cake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled completely, top with lemon glaze.
Do I Have to Use a Bundt Pan?
No, you can also make this recipe in two 8×8-inch cake pans. Don’t try to cram the batter into one regular cake pan, as it will overflow in the oven.
- The lemon bundt cake itself isn’t overpowering with lemon flavor, but it still has a nice lemon flavor to it. If you’re a total lemon fanatic (like me!), then you can definitely add a bit more lemon zest to the batter. Don’t add more lemon juice as that could affect the texture of the cake.
- If you notice the top of the cake is started to brown in the oven, loosely tent the pan with foil to prevent further browning.
- Before glazing the cake, place a piece of foil underneath the wire rack it’s cooling on. This will catch any glaze that drips off and will save you from having to clean up a mess.
More Lemon Dessert Recipes!
- Glazed Lemon Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Blueberry Lemon Bread with Lemon Glaze
- Classic Lemon Bars
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake:
- 2 and 3/4 cups (345 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) fresh lemon juice (or as needed to thin out the glaze)
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs one a time, then mix in the vanilla. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil.
- Alternate mixing the flour mixture and the sour cream into the wet ingredients, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
- Spray a 10-inch bundt pan well with non stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and evenly spread it around.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if needed for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the glaze:
- Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a small mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.
- One the cake has cooled, place a piece of foil under the wire rack (to catch any glaze that falls off). Pour the lemon glaze evenly over the cake and allow to harden for about 10-15 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy!