Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

April 5, 2022

Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

I’ve always been intrigued by poppy seeds. If you look ‘em up on wikipedia it says that “The tiny, kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years”.
I’m not sure why they are described as kidney shaped, to me they look like they are oval-shaped, like uber-mini eggs.
Also, do you know that they are so small and light, it takes about 3,300 poppy seeds to make up a gram, and between 1 and 2 million seeds to make up a pound?
Fun facts…

Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
When I think of poppy seeds the first thing that comes to mind is a bagel. I know quite a few people that think that poppy seeds on bagels are a waste of time because they have no taste. I beg to disagree. Poppy seeds have a nutty, aromatic crunchiness that it’s absolutely unique.
And yes, they might get stuck in your teeth, but that’s what floss is for. Am I right?
Also consider that poppy seeds are rich in oil and micronutrients like iron, copper, zinc, and manganese. A nutritional powerhouse.
In other words, poppy seeds are awesome. And that’s just a fact.

Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
Let’s talk for a minute about this Poppy Seed Loaf Cake.
I’ve made it at least 5 times since discovering the recipe on NYTCooking. It’s a simple recipe that anyone can tackle. The only thing where you should be careful is the baking part. It happened a couple of times that it burned on top before it was cooked in the middle.
Keep an eye on it and if necessary tent it with aluminum foil if the top becomes too dark too quickly.
Even though this simple loaf cake includes lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, poppy seeds are the real star. They bring richness and a crunchy flavorful texture, making the cake more exciting and tasteful.
This Poppy Seed Loaf Cake is great for breakfast or any time you have a sweet craving. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and it can even be a delectable dessert.

Poppy Seed Loaf Cake                                                                                                                              Print this recipe!
Barely adapted from NYTCooking

Serves 10


5 ½ tablespoons / 80 gr butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups / 200 gr flour (I used whole-wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups / 250gr sugar (I used coconut sugar)
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup / 120 ml Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk (or ½ cup heavy cream)
¼ cup poppy seeds


1 cup / 120 grams confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon poppy seeds


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a rack in the middle. Place two baking sheets (or an insulated baking sheet) on the rack.
Butter and flour a 8 1/2 -inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl place sugar and lemon zest and rub together with your finger until the sugar is moist and aromatic.
Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated before adding the next one.
Whisk in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Then whisk in buttermilk and smooth.
Add flour mixture into 3 additions, using a whisk to gently stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Try to not overmix. Add melted butter, stirring gently with the whisk.
Using a rubber spatula stir in poppy seeds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Check the cake at the 30 minute mark and then at the 45 minutes mark, and if it’s becoming too dark too fast place a sheet of foil on top.
When done, transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan before unmolding.
Let cool completely.
Mix confectioners sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and let stand until set.
Cake will keep at room temperature for about 4 to 5 days.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 267 calories, 10 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, and 4 of protein.


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