lemon poppy seed cake on cake stand

Hey y’all. It’s currently 2pm on Wednesday and I leave for Europe at the crack of dawn. I haven’t even pulled my suitcase out of the closet, and I have like ten errands to run. And yet I feel weirdly peaceful.ย Maybe it’s because this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is pretty fantastic and it’s calming me down through the screen. Or maybe it’s because I just got my nails done. I don’t know.

In life news, my dear friend Nancyย interviewed me on her blog. It’s all about how I stumbled into food blogging, as well as tips for those wanting to get into blogging. Highly recommend for those of you looking to take your career to the next level!ย 

slice of lemon poppy seed cake on plate

Tips for making this lemon poppy seed cake

Making this cake is pretty straightforward, especially since there’s no special frosting technique involved. Just make the cake batter, bake, and let cool completely before frosting! When making the batter for this lemon poppy seed cake, make sure the eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature before you add them to the batter. This will ensure that the cake batter cooks evenly throughout.

The one ingredient you might not have on hand to make this cake is buttermilk. If that’s the case, there are a few buttermilk substitutes you can use in a pinch. When in doubt, combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of regular milk (whole milk or 2% is best for baking). 1 cup of plain yogurt might also work, but I didn’t test either of these buttermilk substitutes with this recipe so I’m not 100% positive what the results would be!

Besides the buttermilk, you probably have all the ingredients for this easy cake recipe in your pantry already. So what are you waiting for? Go make this!

lemon poppy seed cake being cut


OK but I should definitely start packing. So I’m going to sign off early. Love you all and be sure to follow along on Instagram to keep up with my travels!


Lemon Poppyseed Cake

  • Author: Sarah Fennel


for the cake

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (canola works, too)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

for the frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 tablespoons milk
  • more poppyseeds, for outside
  • edible flours for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐF. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour , baking powder, lemon zest, poppyseeds, and salt. Alternate pouring the flour mixture and buttermilk into the wet ingredients, mixing only until combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the cake tester comes out mostly clean. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make frosting, cream butter and cream cheese in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add in powdered sugar and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on high speed.
  6. Frost the cake, adding about 1 cup of frosting in between each layer, using the remaining frosting for the outside of the cake. Sprinkle poppyseeds around the sides of the cake, then decorate with edible flowers!

More lemon desserts from Broma Bakery:

Boozy Lemon Mojito Cupcakes

Lemon Coconut Tart

Ginger Lemon Bars

One-Bowl Lemon Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

lemon poppy seed cake with flowers



This looks incredible Sarah – lemon poppyseed is my FAVOrite! Have a wonderful time in europe, travel safe, and I cant wait to follow along! xo


Bon voyage! The best thing about travel is coming home with all the memories bowing your cake stands await! Love the fork on the stand….that says comfort all by itself.-Laurel Bledsoe

Liz S.

Safe travels! And thank you for sharing this delicious cake recipe.

Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen

Gorgeous looking cake Sarah! Have an awesome time on your trip!!

Liz | Flour de Liz

Thanks for sharing your blogginng tips with Nancy, and thanks to Nancy for sharing them with all of us!!! The advice you gave me when I had the pleasure of meeting you in Boston inspired and motivated me to get my blog up and running, and I can’t thank you enough for that!!! Have a great trip! I look forward to following your journey!!!

Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper

this. cake. is. everything…

carlos at Spoonabilities

Cake has such a beautiful classic look and the filling between layers look so yummy!


Oh,my! How elegant! Thank you, Sarah, for sending us recipes that are always amazing! Enjoy Europe!

Nichol LaFontaine

This cake is fantastic. I filled with a lemon curd buttercream. I plan to turn it into a wedding cake for my friend next month!

Sofi | Broma Bakery

YUM. That sounds absolutely delicious and it would be the PERFECT wedding cake ๐Ÿ™‚

Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen

Incredible photos! this cake looks amazing!

Audrey | Pardon Your French

Have a wonderful time in Europe Sarah, eat lots of incredible food and say hello to France for me if you can. Can’t wait to see your photos!


I LOVE lemon poppyseed! This looks incredible.. also a great Spring cake! Beautiful photos, as always ๐Ÿ™‚

Abby @ Heart of a Baker

have SO much fun! This cake is a beauty and would keep any sane person calm ๐Ÿ™‚


What a great interview! I read the whole thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve always wondered who did the photography for sava’s/adventura (because I feel like they are the only Ann arbor restaurants with good photography!) and it was YOU!! How awesome. Buttermilk cakes are the best- this one’s a beauty. Have a fabulous trip!

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Awwwww omg thank you SO much Emily! Yes, I did it from 2013-2014. It was a lot of fun, and a fantastic way to hone my food photography skills. Let’s chat more about it at the workshop ๐Ÿ™‚

skylar allen

lemon poppyseed is my favorite flavor combo next to chocolate and peanut butter and I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for this recipe! Now I just need a reason to make a cake…or maybe just a friday night will do… thanks for sharing!


I love the interview! Now I just need a huge piece of that cake!

Georgie | the home cook's kitchen

this cake looks amazing!!!! lemon and poppyseed , can’t go wrong!


Just made this in cupcake form… they are deeeeelicious! Thank you for such an amazing recipe! Saving to use again sometime!

Laura | Tutti Dolci

So pretty, those layers are perfection! I have a feeling this cake could calm me down too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gaby Dalkin

Such a beautiful cake!


I want to make this! Can we use loaf pans, and if so, how long will it bake for? Thank you!

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Yes, definitely! I have not made it in a loaf pan, but I would say about 50 minutes. I would not do the full recipe, as this would be too much batter. Instead, I would do the following amounts:

2 eggs plus 1 egg white, room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (canola works, too)
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
ยพ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk

The recipe will vary sliightly, but only slightly ๐Ÿ™‚


I made this yesterday for my sister’s birthday today. It was such a hit! Unbelievably moist, with a perfect lemon flavor that was not overwhelming. I made an apple crisp as well (big family), thinking that we might not have many takers for a lemon cake–they devoured it, kids and grown ups alike. Simply delicious. Thank you!

Ladye Ann

What type of edible flowers did you use to decorate this cake?

Sarah | Broma Bakery

I used ones I found growing wild on a bush!!!! Ha! But I’m sure you could find some amazing ones at your local garden center. Or you can call your local Whole Foods and see if they have any!

Lady Proper

What a lovely cake! ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!
Just to let you know that on the ingredients list for the frosting where it should say, “edible flowers” it says, “edible FLOURS”.
Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Haha, thank you!!


Do you think this cake would work with 8″ or 9″ cake pans instead?


is there lemon in the frosting?

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Hey Kurt!

I didn’t use any in the frosting because the flavor was so good in the cake and I liked the contrast of the creamy frosting with the tart cake, but if you wanted it to be super lemony you could add some lemon zest and swap out half of the milk for some lemon juice!

Happy baking ๐Ÿ™‚


Hi Sarah! Iโ€™m planning on baking this for Easter this year. My in laws would love it! However, Iโ€™m hoping to convert the size a little bit. Is it possible to convert this into a bundt cake pan?

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Absolutely! This would be the perfect Easter treat! We’ve never tried it in bundt cake form but it should be just fine!


What is the depth of the 6 inch cake pans you used? I’ve seen a lot of 6 inch pans be 2-3 inches in depth.

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Ours is 3 inches deep!

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