Lemon Poppy Seed Bread [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.96 from 22 reviews

Breads and Muffins Breakfast

Cook time Cook time: 40 minutes

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is packed with citrusy freshness from using lots of lemon zest and juice, with crunchy poppy seeds and lemon glaze. Watch the quick tutorial attached below and see how easy and delicious this recipe is!

Making easy, puffy and delicious bread is our specialty. We enjoy making them rich and tender like our popular Chocolate Banana BreadSkinny Blueberry Banana Bread, and Pumpkin Bread.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I love a quick and easy dessert, and with my current lemon obsession, making a Lemon Poppy Seed Bread was no brainier. You see, I grew up eating Poppy Seed desserts, they are very popular in Eastern Europe, and the craving hit hard a few days go. Not one to let a craving go away, I quickly whipped this delicious and refreshing bread, and it’s so good, I can go as far and say that it’s perfect!

The bread turned out fantastic, many people shy away or get annoyed when the bread is described as moist. I am always perplexed by this because I hate dry desserts, so when I hear the word “moist”, I know I will be all over that dessert.

Yes, so these lemon brownies are moist, incredibly tender, with a delicate and light crumb. Also, you get lots of lemon flavor from the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. A perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, with a light crunch from the tiny poppy seeds.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe Tips:

  • Lemon is one of the main ingredients here, make sure you use the fresh lemon zest for the best lemon flavor.
  • You can use store-bought lemon juice if you have some on hand.
  • This bread can be easily made without the poppy seeds, just skip them, you will end up with a delicious Lemon Bread. No need to alter the recipe if you skip the poppy seeds.
  • If you decide to skip the poppy seeds, may I suggest adding 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white chocolate chips? They will pair so well with the lemon flavor!
  • You can also add chopped walnuts to this bread, about 1 cup.
  • You can use canola oil, vegetable oil or melted coconut oil.
  • The sugar can be reduced from 1 cup to 3/4 cups.
  • The glaze is optional but delicious. You can also make the glaze with milk and vanilla extract instead of lemon.
  • In addition, watch the bread closely after 30 minutes of baking, to make sure not to over bake it. I like to check on it at the 30-minute mark and if it still needs more baking, check on it every 5-7 minutes until done. A toothpick inserted in the center of the bread should come out clean or just with some crumbs, but not raw batter.
  • You can use this recipe to male Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve the bread warm or room temperature, you can also warm up slices in the microwave and it tastes delicious with some butter.

What do you need to make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread :

  • Regular dry ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.
  • Wet ingredients: oil, sour cream, milk, eggs.
  • For the lemon flavor: lemon zest, lemon juice (freshly squeezed or store bought).
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Loaf Pan and baking spray or butter to grease the pan.

How to make lemon zest?

Follow the easy steps below:

  • Rinse the lemon.
  • Set your tool over a cutting board. A microplane produces a very fine zest, perfect for baking and cooking. If you don’t have a microplane, use the smallest holes on an ordinary grater.
  • Grate the yellow skin of the lemon only. Grate just enough to get through the yellow skin, this way you can avoid the bitter white pith underneath.
  • Rotate the lemon and repeat. Once the white pith is exposed, rotate the lemon and zest the next strip of peel. Repeat until most of the peel is removed, or until you have enough zest for your recipe.

How should I store the Lemon Poppy Seed Bread?

The bread can be stored wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for 4 days.

Can you freeze the Lemon Poppy Seed Bread?

This bread also freezes well. Cool the bread completely and do not glaze it, if you intend to freeze it. Fully wrap it in plastic wrap, tightly. After that wrap in aluminum foil or place it in freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost before slicing.

Quick and easy Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is packed with citrusy freshness from using lots of lemon zest and juice, with crunchy poppy seeds and lemon glaze.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Quick and easy Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is packed with citrusy freshness from using lots of lemon zest and juice, with crunchy poppy seeds and lemon glaze.
4.96 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 307kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


Lemon Poppy Seed Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or less)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large lemon (zested)
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray (I like the one with flour) or with butter and set it aside.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread:

  • In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer combine wet ingredients: eggs, sour cream, milk, olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk until fully combined and creamy.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until fully combined. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add poppy seeds to the batter and using a spatula stir to combine.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out mostly clean, with just a few crumbs attached and no raw batter. Start checking on the bread at the 30 minute mark, and if it still needs to bake more, check on it every 5 minutes.
  • Once fully baked, remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. For easy removal, run a knife around the edges of the bread and gently remove from the pan onto the cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Glaze:

  • Add sugar and lemon zest to a medium bowl, add lemon juice one tablespoon at a time and stir to combine until smooth, with no lumps. If the mixture is too thin, add more confectioners sugar. If the mixture is too thick, add more lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Spread the glaze over the cooled bread. Let it settle.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.



Serving: 0g | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 8.8mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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I've made this recipe several times for my son and his family and they always love it. Comes out perfect every time.


gald you loved it. thank you for your feedback!


glad you loved it. thank you for your feedback!



I have made this recipe several times, it's excellent! My son and his girl friend often request it. You explain every detail so well that even a beginner can figure it out. Ty so much.


I am so happy that you enjoyed it :)



Yes!! Thank u... finally someone who tried it!



I’d add some lemon extract to give the bread a more lemony flavor but otherwise this bread is pretty good.



I tried this recipe, and I loved it. It was so delicious and fresh. I didn’t add the glaze because I prefer less sweet desserts. Definitely a party starter :)


Elvira Gabbai

Made this for a co-worker and her parents. They loved it! I received so many compliments. They thought it was from a bakery. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will definitely make it again for my family.


happy that you enjoyed it!



This is a great recipe for kitchen novices like me; just follow along and it has come out great 3 out of 3 times. About the only tweak I've made is when doing the glaze. I add about half the recommended amount of lemon juice, mix and then slowly add more until the consistency looks right. Doing the full amount the first time, my glaze came out too thin. Regardless, an awesome treat and good confidence builder for new bakers


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