A heavenly recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake!
A seriously amazing lemon cake recipe! Much like lemon poppy seed muffins and quick bread, this super moist Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake is loaded with delicious lemon flavor. Topped with a wonderfully creamy lemon icing, this pound cake recipe is a keeper!
While a student at the University of South Dakota, I lived on campus for my first two years. Nearly every day I would make my way through the student union, where the was a small convenience store/shop called “The Bump.” The Bump stocked your usual junk food staples that every college kid consumes, but they also had several fresh bakery items made by the local university cafeteria. I would typically grab myself a cup of coffee and a slice of their Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake. To that 19 year old who painfully missed the flavors that came from her mom’s kitchen, this cake was absolute heaven. Incredibly moist with wonderful lemon flavor, that slice of cake made my homesickness go away almost instantly. (Yes, I have a long history of eating my feelings.) 🙂
While my time at USD has long since past, and after a major student union re-model The Bump no longer exists. However, that didn’t stop me from recreating my favorite Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake.
There were two objectives in recreating this lemon cake; 1) the cake had to be seriously moist, but not under done, and 2) the lemon flavor had to be spot-on, without being too overpowering or too sweet. With these goals in mind, I started experimenting by combining two of my recipes – my Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and my Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf which is featured over at Lil’ Luna.
Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how I recreated my favorite college:
Step 1: Start with the Dry Ingredients
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients:
- lemon pudding mix
- baking powder
- baking soda
I like using a whisk to combine dry ingredients. I’ve included the lemon pudding mix to add another dimension of lemon flavor, without having the batter become bitter or overly acidic.
Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients with the wet
Like most cake batters, you’ll separately mix the wet ingredients aside from the dry. Start the wet ingredients by creaming together the following:
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- lemon extract
- lemon juice
- vegetable oil
- plain Greek yogurt
Then, using my stand mixer, I gradually added the dry to the wet, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 3: Add the Poppy Seeds
Once the batter has come together (it should be slightly thicker than a regular cake batter), then fold in the poppy seeds. The seeds look especially beautiful with their black contrast against the bright yellow batter.
Step 4: Add the batter to a prepared loaf pan
Before I pour in the batter, I line the bottom of a 5×9″ loaf pan with a piece of waxed paper that has been cut to size. Additionally, I’ll spray the pan with non-stick baking spray. This basically guarantees that the cake will come out of the pan after baking.
As you can see, the batter is beautifully smooth, thick and studded with those tiny black poppy seeds. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 55-58 minutes. Your house will quickly fill with the warm aromas of lemon, and in my case the friendly and familiar smell of ECON 201.
Once the cake has finished baking, it will turn a beautiful dark golden brown on the outside, but will remain a pretty yellow on the inside. Let the cake cool completely before icing.
For clarification, my favorite Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake from college did NOT have an icing or glaze. However, I couldn’t resist putting a thick, delicious layer of lemon icing on this pretty lemon cake. If it is possible to make my collegiate treat even better, this icing made it happen!
Feel free to omit the icing, should you want to serve this as a breakfast bread or coffee cake. However, if I had to choose, I think the cake is even more amazing WITH the icing.
Slice this fantastic lemon cake, and serve for dessert. It’s also great served with coffee, just like I enjoyed it back in my college days at USD. Enjoy! ~Erin
Did you absolutely love this recipe? Be sure to check out some of my other fantastic cake & pie recipes:
Here’s the simple, delicious recipe for this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake:
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. lemon extract
- 1/3 c. lemon juice
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 3/4 c. plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg., instant lemon pudding mix
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
- 3 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 5x9" pan with waxed paper. Spray the pan with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
- With a hand or stand mixer, in a large mixing bowl cream together the granulated sugar and butter. Add in the eggs one at a time with the mixer running on the lowest speed. Add in the vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon juice, oil and yogurt. Mix until ingredients are completely combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)
- To the wet ingredients, gradually add in the dry ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time. Stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once all the dry ingredients have been mixed into the wet, batter will be thick. Fold in the poppy seeds to the batter.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 55-58 minutes or until toothpick inserted to the loaf comes out clean and crumb-free. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, and invert to release the cake from the pan. Make sure to peel off the waxed paper from the bottom of the pan. Let the cake cool completely.
- For the frosting: To a mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter. Gradually add in half of the sugar. Beat together. Add in the lemon juice, and continue to beat together. Add in the remaining sugar, and beat together until thick and creamy. Spread on the top of the cooled cake.