Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a moist and flavorful loaf with a bright, lemony tang and a crunch from poppy seeds in every bite! Then, the loaf is topped with a sweet lemon glaze for even more lemon flavor. It’s a delicious way to start your day with a cup of coffee or tea or enjoyed as an afternoon snack. I would always order a slice of this loaf at my local coffee shop, so I love having a recipe to make at home! I also have Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins that you will love!

Slices of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread laying flat on a white table next to the loaf from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Room Temperature Ingredients: For the best results, be sure you are using room temperature ingredients (specifically eggs and sour cream).

Sour Cream: The sour cream adds extra moisture to the bread, as well as a little bit of richness and tang.

Lemons: You will need about 2 large lemons to contribute to the lemon flavor. Both lemon zest and lemon juice will be added to the bread batter. Then, more lemon juice is used in the glaze.

Lemon Extract: Look for lemon extract among other extracts (vanilla, almond, etc.) at your local grocery store. If you don’t have lemon extract, you could use an equal amount of lemon zest as a substitute.

Poppy Seeds: Poppy seeds come from the poppy plant and are used a lot in recipes. You can find them in your nearest grocery store or supermarket. They give a little added crunch and flavor to the loaf. If you just want a delicious lemon loaf, simply leave out the poppy seeds!

Baking Powder: Since this is a quick bread (no yeast), the leavening agent is baking powder to help the bread rise. Make sure it is fresh and has not expired!

Glaze: Although the bread is delicious without the glaze, I love the added lemon flavor from the citrusy glaze!

Pouring Lemon Poppy Seed batter into a pan.

How To Serve Lemon Seed Poppy Bread

Lemon Seed Poppy Bread is delicious on its own or paired with a cup of coffee or tea. However, there are other ways to enjoy a slice of this bread, too! Here are some options to try:

  • Serve slices with a side of fresh fruit or a fruit platter.
  • Dollop some whipped cream or Greek yogurt alongside a slice of bread.
  • Spread a thin layer of lemon curd over a slice for even more lemon flavor!
  • Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup over a slice.
  • Enjoy a slice of lemon poppy seed bread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Loaf of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with some slices cut and laying next to bread.

How To Store Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

To store lemon poppy seed bread, first, let it cool completely. Next, wrap it in plastic wrap. It will last up to 5 days or so at room temperature. Storing bread in the refrigerator will dry it out faster, so it is not recommended.

Loaf of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread cut in half showing inside texture.

Can I Freeze Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Yes, you can freeze lemon poppy seed bread. I recommend freezing it without the glaze. It’s easy to mix that up and add when ready to serve. When freezing the loaf, allow it to cool completely. Wrap the lemon poppy seed bread tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap and place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. If you prefer not to use foil directly on your bread, wrap it tightly with parchment paper, then place that into a sealable plastic bag. Label it with the date; it will last for two to three months in the freezer. To thaw bread, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter. Allow it to reach room temperature before you take it out of its packaging; it will re-absorb some of its moisture this way.

Loaf of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread on a white table covered in glaze from overhead.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a moist and flavorful loaf with a bright, lemony tang and a crunch from poppy seeds in every bite! Then, the loaf is topped with a sweet lemon glaze for even more lemon flavor. It's a delicious way to start your day with a cup of coffee or tea or enjoyed as an afternoon snack. I would always order a slice of this loaf at my local coffee shop, so I love having a recipe to make at home!

Ingredients

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (230 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, about 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add eggs, sugar, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Beat on low speed until creamy. With the mixer still on low, slowly drizzle in oil and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. (Some lumps are okay.)
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
  • Allow the loaf to cool completely (about 30 minutes) before adding the glaze.

Lemon Glaze

  • In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the glaze over the cooled loaf. Serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

So perfect! I love the tang of the lemon in every tender bite! The poppy seeds add a fun texture to the bread, too!

Elizabeth

I love poppy seed bread and muffins, so I was excited to try a homemade loaf of it. It was moist and delicious with just the right amount of lemon flavor. Yum!

Rachael

Lemon poppyseed is a staple flavor combination and it is wonderful in this bread. Good for a dessert, breakfast, or a snack!

Bella

So good! This bread is moist and tender with a lovely lemon tang. The poppy seeds add a nice little crunch to every bite! This loaf is worth trying!

Selena

Lemon loaf is so good and I adore the addition of the crunchy poppy seeds in this bread!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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