This lemon poppy seed pound cake is easy to make, and perfect for a picnic. These loaf cakes are sweet, moist, and sticky, and you can also create a tangy lemon glaze drizzled and spread over top. This lemon and poppy seed loaf cake is very similar to a pound cake. The 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 then you can definitely add a bit more lemon zest to the batter.

It’s quite dense and soft in texture. Buttery and of course lemony. 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.


  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, more for pan
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 1 hour.
  5. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up.
  6. Whisk together remaining 4 teaspoons lemon and the confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Use a pastry brush to spread glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Cool completely before slicing.