This fluffy Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake with a lemon glaze is soft, moist, and perfectly sweet. It’s an easy lemon cake recipe that looks absolutely stunning.
One of my most popular recipes around here is this Lemon Bundt Cake recipe, which, if I do say so myself, is popular for good reason.
It’s bright and full of fresh lemon flavor, and the texture of the lemon cake is fluffy and moist—softer than a pound cake texture, but slightly denser than a lemon layer cake. It’s one of my favorite bundt cakes for spring, summer, and even Christmas when I need a bit of a break from all things chocolate and spice.
This version, this Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake, is just as perfect. I have always loved the flavors of lemon and poppyseed together, and I’ve always loved the flavors of both lemon and almond together and almond and poppyseed. Lemon, almond, and poppyseed together in one pretty in lemon cake?
The absolute trifecta, if I do say so myself. This easy Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake recipe is one you don’t want to miss! Plus, it’s made entirely from scratch—no cake mix required—and it’s still incredibly simple.
Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake Ingredients
- Unsalted Butter: I use unsalted butter to have control over the salt content in my baked goods.
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon Zest: Lemon zest is key to getting that fresh, bright lemon flavor.
- Baking Powder
- All Purpose Flour
- Lemon Juice
- Sour Cream: This makes for a moist lemon poppyseed cake, but you can use plain greek yogurt as a substitute.
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Extract: This enhances the overall lemon and poppyseed flavor while adding an extra depth of flavor, but you can omit it if you do not have it on hand.
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make This Poppyseed Lemon Cake From Scratch
- Lemon Sugar: Rub the sugar and lemon zest together until combined. The sugar releases the oils in the zest, making the overall lemon flavor more potent.
- Batter: Using a hand mixer or standing mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the lemon sugar. Continue creaming the mixture until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk salt, baking powder, flour, and cornstarch together.
- Wet Ingredients: Mix lemon juice, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract together.
- Mix: Alternately add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mix until just combined. Next, add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Repeat.)
- Sour Cream and Poppyseeds: Finally, add in the sour cream and poppyseeds, and mix until just combined.
- Bake: Grease a bundt cake pan very well, then pour the batter into the pan, spreading into an even layer. Tap the cake pan onto the counter a few times to release any air bubbles, then bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool: Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it continue cooling. (If you leave the bundt cake in the pan to cool completely, it might be more difficult to get it out the pan.)
- Glaze: Whisk lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar together. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
Store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container, or covered tightly with plastic wrap.
Or, store this in the fridge (also in an airtight container). If you store in the fridge, it will last a couple days longer, however, I do suggest still serving the cake at room temperature. The cold will make the cake denser and drier. Letting it come to room temperature (or warming it slightly in the microwave) will soften it back to its fluffy texture.
Lemon Juice Or Lemon Extract?
This bundt cake is made with fresh lemon juice and lots of lemon zest. The bulk of the lemon flavor in this bundt cake comes from lemon zest. The recipe calls for a lot of zest, and it’s important you do use that much, otherwise the cake will lack lemon flavor.
- Fresh lemon juice or bottled?
- While you can substitute bottled lemon juice for the fresh lemon juice, if you are already zesting the fresh lemons for the cake, then I would squeeze fresh lemon juice and use that.
I do not suggest using lemon extract. Lemon extract is strong and in my opinion has a very fake lemon flavor. It reminds me a bit of lemon polish, and it’s not a good subtitute for fresh lemon flavor.
What Kind Of Bundt Cake Pan?
You can use any bundt cake pan you’d like, as long as it is a 10-inch bundt cake pan, which holds about 12 cups of cake batter. This is the traditional bundt cake pan size, so even if you aren’t positive about your bundt cake pan dimensions, you probably have the right size.
Note: Bundt cakes are notorious for sticking to the insides of the pan, so you do want to grease your bundt cake pan very, very well before putting the cake batter inside. I like this traditional fluted-style bundt pan I used here, because it’s decorative without having too many nooks and crannies. It makes it much easier for the cake to slide out perfectly in tact.
- You can grease your bundt pan however you would like. A lot of people like to butter and flour their pans, others prefer using baking spray. It’s up to you. Whichever you use, make sure you have really taken the time to grease it well.
Make These Lemon Recipes Next:
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches
- Lemon Rosemary Scones
- Lemon Poppyseed Scones
- Lemon Coconut Cake
- Lemon Meringue Pie
More Bundt Cake Recipes:
Final Quick and Easy Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake Recipe Tricks and Tips:
- Lemon: This lemon bundt cake with poppyseeds gets its lemon flavor from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. The recipe calls for a lot of zest, but that is what imparts most of the lemon flavor into the cake so don’t skimp. Finally, make sure you use fresh lemons—they will have the best flavor.
- Grease: Make sure you grease the bundt cake pan very well, otherwise it will be very difficult to get the cake out. You can grease with butter and flour, baking spray, or whatever method you prefer. I prefer greasing with baking spray, which is what I did here with the cake for these photos.
- Poppyseeds: You can find poppyseeds at your local grocery store in the spice aisle.
- Lemon Glaze: This Lemon Glaze is thick, similar to a lemon icing. However, you can make a lemon frosting instead, or you can omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar.
Happy baking, lemon lovers!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk, whole or 2%
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 Tbsp poppyseeds
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- poppyseeds, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Set aside.
- Rub lemon zest and sugar together, until combined and fragrant. Set aside.
- With a standing mixer or a hand mixer, cream unsalted butter until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the lemon sugar, continuing to cream the mixture until fluffy.
- Next, add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, whisk all purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
- Whisk milk, lemon juice, almond extract, and vanilla extract together.
- Alternately, mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (I begin with 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Then I add in 1/2 of the wet ingredients, mix until just combined. Then repeat.)
- Lastly, add in the sour cream and poppyseeds, and mix until just combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it another couple of mixes to ensure everything is combined.
- Spread the cake batter evenly in the bundt cake pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow it to continue to cool. Cake can be served slightly warm, or at room temperature.
- Whisk powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Sprinkle with poppyseeds, if desired. Let the glaze set before slicing and serving.