This lemon poppy seed bread is a classic tea bread that combines bright citrus lemon with earthy crunchy poppy seeds. A simple lemon glaze bumps the lemon flavor up a notch.
If you’re a fan of citrus flavor, have I got a quick bread recipe for you! This lemon poppy seed loaf gets its vibrant flavor from both the lemon juice itself, as well as the bright yellow lemon zest part of the lemon peel. Poppy seeds, a tiny blue-black seed, add crunch and earthy contrast to the lemon in the bread, making each bite a delight.
I added a lemon glaze to this bread, which can be omitted or cut in half for those who don’t like glazes or overly sweet tea breads. But the glaze adds an additional layer of lemon as well as a tangy sweet contrast to the bread.
Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice Or Dried Lemon Zest?
You can swap out the same amount of bottled lemon juice for fresh lemon juice in this recipe. However, I do not recommend using dried lemon zest that is often found in the spice area of a grocery store. To get the full lemony flavor, you should use fresh lemon zest.
That said, if you have lemon extract, you can substitute lemon extract for the lemon zest. Use 2 teaspoons of lemon extract in place of the lemon zest in the recipe.
What Should I Use Instead Of Buttermilk?
I use buttermilk in this recipe because I like the subtle tang it gives to the recipe. There is already enough acidity in the recipe due to the lemon juice to activate the baking soda in it, so the buttermilk is strictly there for flavor.
If you don’t have buttermilk, just swap out 1 cup of milk (whatever percentage of fat you have) in this recipe. There’s no need to add more vinegar or lemon juice to the milk beforehand.Print
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 g)
- 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup white sugar (150 g)
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil, like corn or canola
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups confectionary sugar, 175 g
- 2 to 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking oil, then line it with a piece of parchment paper.
- Place the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large sized bowl. Using a balloon whisk, stir the ingredients together until they are uniform in color and well blended.
- Place the buttermilk, sugar, oil, lemon juice, egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Stir with a whisk until combined and smooth.
- Make a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Slowly fold together the ingredients with a large spatula, stirring until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Do not overmix, a few dry spots are ok.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread the batter evenly. Bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If you have an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature should be 200°F.
- While the bread is baking, make the glaze by sifting the confectionary sugar into a medium sized bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, melted butter, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add additional lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency you like. Cover to prevent the glaze from crusting over while the bread bakes.
- Once the bread is done, immediately spoon half the glaze over the hot bread. This will form a thin coating on the loaf. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Then grasp the sides of the parchment paper and lift straight up to remove it from the pan.
- Move the loaf to a wire cooling rack, and gently peel off the paper. Spoon the remaining glaze over the still warm lemon bread and let cool completely before serving.