Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Contributor: Irvin Lin

This bright and cheery lemon poppy seed bread uses lemon zest and lemon juice to maximize the lemon flavor. An additional lemon glaze punches up the tart lemon flavor even more, but you can cut the lemon glaze in half or omit it entirely if you want a less sweet quick bread.

  • Author: Irvin Lin
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 g)
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150 g)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, like corn or canola
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups confectionary sugar, 175 g
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.