Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

When life gives you lemons… Make this zesty lemon cake!

So… I’ve been feeling a bit down this past week. The weather in Sydney has been up and down, when I watch TV I only hear bad news, even Instagram and IGTV which is meant to be my entertaining media, has been filled with political talk lately. I’m sure some of you are experiencing the same thing. So I was thinking of something bright to post to lift all of our spirits, and then I saw lemons on 4 for $2 special and it all just clicked!

Lemons are bright yellow and could help brighten the dull mood I’m currently in. So I bought a few and started writing and testing my lemon recipes. I thought, donuts? Muffins? Lemon tart? I wanted something no fuss but still nice. Something that anyone could make even when they don’t feel like washing up after. My final result was this recipe for a one-layer lemon & poppy seed tea cake. It ticks all the boxes:

  • No-fuss
  • Quick
  • No mixer required
  • Easy clean-up after
  • Delicious

I made candied lemon slices for the photo above to make it pretty but when I ate it, I realised it didn’t need the candied lemons and also it’s another thing that would complicate the recipe. So you can just glaze it and sprinkle poppy seed on top, or even just stick with the glaze by itself. This cake is moist, soft and light. Perfect with your tea or coffee.

I hope this cake brightens someone’s day as it did mine. I’m normally a little ray of sunshine myself, but this year has been tough. So if you know someone who needs a pick up, remember to reach out and cheer them up. We are all experiencing a challenging year, and we should all look out for each other. If you make this recipe, remember to tag and post on social media so we can connect. I love connecting with readers and making friends!

Difficulty: Easy

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Makes 1 x 8inch cake


  • Glaze


0/5 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C. In a big bowl mix together, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds. Make a hole in the centre.
  • In a separate bowl, mix egg, sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Pour into a lightly greased and lined 8 inch cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool down completely before glazing. Meanwhile make the glaze.
  • Whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice then slowly add the milk until desired consistency. Set aside in a warm place so it doesn't set.
  • When cake is completely cooled, pour glaze around and sprinkle with more poppy seeds or lemon zest or even candied lemons.


  1. If sour cream is unavailable, use natural yogurt