Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Recipe

Serve slices of this citrus-infused bread at brunch or as a light dessert for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 tsp grated lemon rind (or more for a stronger lemon flavour)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup 2% milk
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup 2% yogurt, Greek yogurt, or light sour cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″ × 5″ loaf pan with cooking oil. (If you prefer muffins, just spray 12 muffin cups with vegetable oil, pour in the batter and bake in a 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes.)

Step 2: For the cake, combine the granulated sugar, oil, egg, lemon rind and 3 tbsp juice in a large bowl or a food processor; mix well. Add the milk, mixing thoroughly.

Step 3: Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the wet mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

Step 4: Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out dry. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. The centre of the cake may sink slightly when it cools.

Step 5: For the glaze, combine the icing sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Prick holes in the top of the loaf with a fork or wooden skewer and pour the glaze over the loaf. You can bake this loaf a day ahead and keep well-wrapped to serve the next day, or keep frozen for up to 4 weeks.

Reprinted with permission from Rose Reisman’s The Complete Light Kitchen (2007 Whitecap Books).