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Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf


125g very soft unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

3 eggs (medium) at room temperature

2 lemons

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

20g poppy seeds

125g sour cream

for the glaze:

juice of 2 lemons

40g caster sugar

for the topping:

1 tsp caster sugar

1 tsp poppy seeds                                                      



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (fan assisted). Lightly grease the loaf tin and line the base with a strip of baking parchment.
  2. Place the butter and the caster sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the finely grated zest of 2 lemons and start mixing on a medium speed. Allow the butter to cream until very light in colour and fluffy.
  3. Thoroughly beat the eggs in a small jug using a little sauce whisk. Gradually incorporate the beaten egg into the creamed butter. Ensure the mixture doesn’t curdle.
  4. Sift the flour and the baking powder into a separate bowl and add the poppy seeds. Fold half of these dry ingredients into the creamed butter using a rubber spatula or a metal spoon.
  5. Add the sour cream into the batter, fold until smooth and then lightly mix the remaining flour into the bowl to get a smooth consistency.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 - 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. In the meantime, make the lemon syrup by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir continuously to allow the sugar to dissolve completely. Simmer to a lightly coating syrup and set aside.
  8. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack. Gradually and evenly spoon the syrup onto the cake allowing it to absorb all the liquid.
  9. Mix the caster sugar with the poppy seeds and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Leave the cake to cool completely in its tin.
  10. When the cake has cooled, remove gently from the tin and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Wrapped up tightly in cling film, this cake freezes well.