Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake

Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake

5 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

We love that Bundt cakes don't demand frosting—just let a sweet lemon glaze run over the poppy-seed cake and you've got perfection.

Ingredients 1 serving

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Original recipe yields 1 servings
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  • 1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Note)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds,toasted (see Tip)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan, preferably nonstick, with cooking spray and dust with flour (or use cooking spray with flour).
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup.
  3. Beat eggs, egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened and pale, about 5 minutes.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, a third at a time, alternating with 2 additions of the buttermilk mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  6. To prepare glaze: Sift ¾ cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl; mix with lemon juice and water to create a thin glaze. Poke 1-inch-deep holes all over the cake with a skewer. Coat the warm cake with the glaze using a pastry brush. Let cool completely. To serve, set the cake on a serving plate and dust with confectioners' sugar.
  • Equipment: 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan, preferably nonstick
  • Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Store in the freezer. Sources: Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores, and from King Arthur Flour, (800) 827-6836, bakerscatalogue.com, and Bob's Red Mill, (800) 349-2173, bobsredmill.com.
  • Tips: Toast poppy seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: the ratio is 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
  • To bring cold eggs to room temperature quickly, place in a mixing bowl and set it in a larger bowl of warm water for a few minutes; the eggs will beat to a greater volume.
  • To separate eggs safely: Use an egg separator, an inexpensive gadget found in cookware stores; separating eggs by passing the yolk back and forth between pieces of eggshell or your hands can expose the eggs to bacteria.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 piece
  • Per serving: 215 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 38 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 7 mcg folate; 24 mg cholesterol; 22 g sugars; 16 g added sugars; 42 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 76 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 159 mg sodium; 69 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ other carbohydrate 1 fat

Reviews 5

January 22, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious This was a very easy recipe to put together. I brought it to a friend's house and even the kids liked it! I think I would add more lemon juice next time, I found myself wanting more of the tart flavor. Also, to help with portion control, the glaze could be drizzled over each individual piece instead of the whole thing. I will definitely make this again! Pros: Easy to make Cons: Could use more lemon flavor
December 13, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
It sounded look a good idea, but when I saw the lack of amount of fat in this cake I kind of suspected it wouldn't be how I like it. But I figured with the buttermilk, I could just bump up the oil to 1/3 cup, and all would turn out well. Not so. Also not as much lemon flavor as I'd like in the cake by itself. I even added extra extract, but still not enough. Thanks for posting, but I'm just going to stick to my usual lemon and just add poppy seeds when I crave them.
December 03, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
This recipe is AWESOME. I used a bit more lemon juice substituting some of the buttermilk because I wanted lots of tartness. My finance said that was the BEST cake I ever made. He could eat the whole thing in one setting!
March 13, 2011
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By: andrea
Great base recipe I got a wild hair and decided to make this into a coconut pineapple bundt cake. I cut the poppyseeds out, used coconut milk instead of buttermilk, subbed 1 t. coconut extract for the lemon juice & rind, and added a streusel of 1c chopped pineapple mixed with a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Then mixed coconut milk and pineapple juice with powdered sugar for the glaze. Tasty and summery! Pros: Moist, tasty, balanced
February 09, 2010
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By: luisgutierrezmock
Just made 22 mini lemon poppyseed bundt cakes and they're delish! I used meyer lemons. They're not overly sweet and the lemon flavor isn't too tart. The cakes really need the glaze because they're not very impressive without it.
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