Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This cake is light, airy and has a lovely lemon flavour. It’s perfect for a summer’s day!


  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • For the lemon syrup:
  • 75ml lemon juice
  • 75g caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grease and line an 20cm/8in cake tin.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture, then the milk, until everything is combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. For the lemon syrup, mix the lemon juice and sugar together in a small pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. When the cake is cooked, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and spoon over the lemon syrup.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Potential changes & improvements

You could change the flavour of this cake by using different citrus fruits. Orange or lime would work well. You could also add a little bit of ground ginger to the cake mix for a bit of a different twist.

What other food it works well with

This cake goes well with a cup of tea or coffee. It would also be nice served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake when making this cake is to overcook it. Be careful not to overcook the cake or it will be dry. Another mistake is to undermix the batter. Be sure to mix the batter well so that all of the ingredients are fully combined.

Nutritional Information

This cake is high in fat and sugar. It is also a good source of protein and carbohydrates.


This cake contains milk, eggs, wheat and poppy seeds. It may also contain traces of nuts, soy and sulphites.

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