Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

For a smaller crowd, you can halve this recipe and bake in a 9x5-inch loaf pan for about 1 hour. This is the perfect cake to serve with ripe strawberries. I like to macerate strawberries with a little sugar--just enough to get the juices going. At the last minute, I added a chiffonade (oh how I love that word) of basil, which is purely optional but a nice summery touch.


Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake


One 10-inch Bundt cake (16 servings)


Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70°F. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Rub the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with softened butter and coat lightly with all-purpose or cake flour.

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment:

3 cups (595g) sugar

Finely grated zest of 4 lemons

Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Add:

4 sticks (1 pound or 455g) unsalted butter, softened

Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Beat in one at a time:

8 large eggs

beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again.

On low speed, add slowly, mixing only until thoroughly blended:

4 cups sifted (400g) cake flour

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

½ teaspoon salt

Add and mix until combined:

⅓ cup (80g) lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack and let cool completely.


To make a simple glaze (totally optional--I like it because it adds a really sour lemon flavor), combine in a small bowl:

1¼ cups (130g) powdered sugar, sifted

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup (45 to 60g) lemon juice

Stir until smooth. Pour over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Before the glaze hardens, sprinkle with:

Poppy seeds



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