Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

How To Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Frosting

This decadent lemon poppy seed cake is made with soft layers of lemon cake baked with buttermilk and lemon zest, then covered with cream cheese frosting.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes



For Cake:

  • cupscake flour
  • 2tspbaking powder
  • ¼tspbaking soda
  • ¾tspsalt
  • tbsppoppy seeds
  • ¾cupunsalted butter,at room temperature
  • cupsWholesome Organic Cane Sugar
  • 2tbspfresh lemon zest,from about 4 lemons
  • ¼cupcanola oil
  • 4large eggs
  • 1tsplemon extract
  • ½tspvanilla extract
  • 1⅓cupsbuttermilk
  • 2tbspfresh lemon juice

For Simple Syrup:

  • 2tbsplemon juice,fresh
  • tbspWholesome Organic Cane Sugar

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ¾cupbutter,at room temperature, preferably ½ unsalted and ¼ salted
  • 8ozcream cheese,1 package, at room temperature
  • ½tspvanilla extract
  • 16ozWholesome Organic Powdered Sugar,1package, sifted



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, then line with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment paper, then lightly dust pans with cake flour, and shake out excess. Set pans aside.

  3. Sift cake flour into a large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds and whisk for 20 seconds. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, cane sugar, and lemon zest until the mixture becomes very pale and fluffy.

  5. Mix in canola oil, then blend in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Mix in lemon extract and vanilla extract.

  6. In a liquid measuring cup mix together buttermilk with lemon juice.

  7. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined. Add in ½ of the buttermilk mixture and mix just until combined.

  8. Add another ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Mix in the remaining ½ of the buttermilk mixture and finish by mixing in the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Scrape sides and bottom with a spatula and gently fold until batter is evenly incorporated.

  9. Divide batter among two prepared cake pans. Spread into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 34 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  10. Remove from oven let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then run a knife around edges of the cake to loosen and invert cakes onto wire racks.

  11. While cakes are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush cakes with simple syrup. About halfway through cooling, transfer cakes to an airtight container to seal in moisture. Let cakes cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat whisk together lemon juice and can sugar until sugar has dissolved.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.

  2. Add in vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy.

  3. Freeze in 3-minute increments as needed, stirring between increments until frosting is desired consistency.


  • Calories: 633.55kcal
  • Fat: 31.89g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.62g
  • Trans Fat: 0.82g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.71g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.08g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.83g
  • Fiber: 1.00g
  • Sugar: 60.02g
  • Protein: 6.37g
  • Cholesterol: 124.19mg
  • Sodium: 327.50mg
  • Calcium: 142.76mg
  • Potassium: 135.19mg
  • Iron: 2.63mg
  • Vitamin A: 251.80µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.21mg
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