Learn how to make lemon poppy seed bread and a simple lemon glaze (as the literal icing on the cake). This loaf is so, so flavorful and moist, with little crunchy bites of poppy seeds and a kick of lemony tang!
Sorry, Starbucks. I've gotta say this lemon poppy seed bread is officially my new favorite. It's absolute perfection in my eyes, and always earns rave reviews!
Lemon bread ingredients:
• baking powder
• poppy seeds: the amount listed below (2 tablespoons) may not seem like enough, at least it didn't to me the first time I made this loaf - but a little really goes a long way with poppy seeds! The first recipe test I made for this, I tried adding ½ a cup. Instant regret....
• butter + oil: combo yields the best flavor and texture!
• lemon: zest and juice for maximum flavor - annnnnd the acidity helps tenderize the loaf as well!
• buttermilk: also helps with yielding an ultra tender loaf!
How to make lemon poppy seed bread:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Cream together butter, oil, sugar and lemon zest.
3. Whisk eggs in, one at a time. Add your lemon juice in with your final egg, and whisk to combine.
4. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients. Whisk in about half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the buttermilk, and then finish off with a final addition of flour. Take care not to over mix!
5. Bake. Pour your batter into a greased and floured (or parchment lined) loaf pan. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely in the pan before icing.
7. Make the icing/glaze: Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, and whisk to combine. If needed, gradually add more lemon juice until it reaches your desired consistency. Add more juice for a thin glaze or a moderate amount for a thick icing.
8. Ice/glaze your loaf & serve!
Notes on this recipe:
Cream the lemon zest with the butter, oil, and sugar.
Adding the lemon zest at this stage helps extract even more lemony flavor. As it creams against the sugar, it creates friction and causes it to release more of its oils which = flavor!
Use butter AND oil.
You should all know by now that I will ALWAYS try to incorporate my favorite duo of fats whenever possible. The butter adds flavor and richness while the oil adds moisture and increases the shelf life of the loaf!
Use fresh lemons!
They are one of the stars of the show, so try to steer clear of bottled lemon juice. It just tastes dull in comparison.
How to store quick bread:
This loaf keeps pretty well thanks to the addition of oil, and it keeps especially well if it's iced (the icing adds an extra layer of protection against drying out)! To have your bread keep longer, avoid slicing it until you're ready to enjoy it. The less air that hits the center of the cake, the longer it'll last.
Wrap the loaf tightly in some plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container or bag. The loaf will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, 1 week in the fridge, or you can freeze your loaf (NOT iced/glazed) for up to 3 months.
The reason I don't like freezing the iced/glazed loaf is because I find the texture of the icing can become watery and the lemon juice's flavor dulls significantly. I recommend you ice/glaze your loaf right before serving!
To freeze, wrap tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil to protect against freezer burn. To defrost, set the loaf out at room temperature for a few hours or thaw in your fridge overnight.
Check out these other recipes!
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe
For the lemon loaf cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, about 2 lemons worth
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup buttermilk
For the lemon icing/glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk to combine, and set aside to prep the wet ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, oil, sugar, and lemon zest. Using an electric mixer, or a wooden spoon, cream everything together until lightened in color and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium speed or 5 minutes by hand).
- Add the eggs into the sugar mixture, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the lemon juice in with the final egg and whisk to combine.
- Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to the sugar mixture. Start by mixing in roughly half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the buttermilk. Finish off by folding in the remaining half of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix!
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you notice the loaf browning too quickly, loosely tent the top with aluminum foil and continue baking until cooked through.
- Cool the loaf completely to room temperature in the pan before icing.
- Make the icing/glaze: In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Whisk to combine. If the mixture is too dry/thick, gradually add more lemon juice until it reaches your desired thickness. Pour over your loaf, and serve!