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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Here is the reason why I baked this lemon bread (or cake). It all started when I brought my son and his two friends to Starbucks for breakfast about two months ago. All they wanted was the "signature" (yeah, my son must mention the word "signature") hot chocolate and lemon poppy seed loaf. So, I got each of them a hot chocolate drink and a slice of lemon loaf! Before I knew it, they wanted more and more of the lemon loaf... I think I must have ended up buying an entire whole loaf that day! So, I told my son, since he adores the lemon loaf so much, I shall attempt to bake it for him one day. He innocently asked if I have the recipe for it, and I replied of course! Well, I did not have it then! LOL!

Two months later, he still remembered my offer and asked if I was still going to bake the loaf for him. So, as a good mother, I had to quickly search for the recipe and fulfill my offer to him. I found a simple version of the recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum in Joy Of Baking. So, here is the recipe for a fantastic Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup (60 ml) Milk
1 1/2 Cups (210 g) All-Purpose Flour, sifted
3/4 Cup (150 g) Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Zest
3 Tbsp (30 g) Poppy Seeds
13 Tbsp (184 g) Unsalted Butter, softened

Lemon Syrup

1/4 Cup (60 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup (65 g) Granulated White Sugar


Preheat oven to 350˚ F (180˚C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inch) (20 x 10 x 7 cm). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds until combined. Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute. This aerates and develops the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition. This will strengthen the structure of the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to cover the bread with buttered foil after about 30 minutes if you find the bread over browning.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with about half the hot lemon syrup. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the remaining syrup onto the bottom and the sides of the loaf. Reinvert the bread so it is right side up and then cool the bread completely before wrapping. Store at least overnight before serving to allow the lemon syrup to distribute throughout the loaf.


  1. wow! you are such a fantastic mum, and lucky him! :) the lemon poppy seed bread looks delicious!

  2. and you are such a good photographer, as well! looks delicious, must try it...

  3. Lemon poppyseed bread is the best, and yours looks so moist and flavorful. Thanks for sharing, and beautiful photos!

  4. @Big Boys Oven: Thanks and just checked your site, wish I have the patience to learn some baking lessons from you :)

  5. Hi ilse, thanks but not all photos come out good though :)

  6. Hi Hayley, thanks for your comment and you're welcome:)

  7. That lemon poppy seed bread looks good.

  8. This looks really great. I love's so perfect for spring. I'm going to try this in a few weeks when spring finally rolls around!

  9. @ourlifeinfood: Oops! Missed out on yr comment. Btw, thanks and yes do try the recipe;)

  10. delicious recipe, though i left out 1/3 of the butter. . .couldn't swallow the thought of all of that delicious but horrible-for-you butteryness. so, mine turned out denser and less moist, more like a lemon poppy seed cake, but still very addictive and yummy. the glaze is where it's at!

  11. I made this recipe last night. This bread is AMAZING!

  12. Tried this yesterday and it tasted fantastic! Just like Starbucks recipe. Thanks so much for posting this.

  13. Just a thankful note for sharing this wonderful recipe! I was looking for the most similar Starbucks recipe and this is the one! I baked it yesterday and is sooo delicious! Thanks again!


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