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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze

Meet your new favorite quick bread! This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is easy to make, full of zesty lemon flavor and crunchy poppy seeds, and has a moist, tender texture. Drizzle on a simple lemon glaze for the perfect finishing touch. This bread is simple, satisfying, and sure to brighten your day!

lemon poppy seed bread on wire cooling rack with two slices laying in front with two slices on white plates with lemon behind, jug of milk, white napkin, and vase

This lemon poppy seed bread is more than just a loaf – it’s a burst of summer flavor inside a delicious quick bread! With the zesty tang of lemon and the crunch of tiny pops of poppy seeds with every bite, it’s the kind of bread that makes you want to skip breakfast and go straight for a slice. 😉

But wait, there’s more! This recipe isn’t just about throwing ingredients together and hoping for the best. We’ve got some secret tips to make sure your bread turns out light, fluffy, and bursting with lemon flavor.

Let’s Talk Ingredients

First things first: Room temperature ingredients are key. Cold butter and eggs will make for a dense, sad loaf. So take your butter out of the fridge a good hour before you start baking, and let your eggs come to room temp on the counter.

Next, the magic touch: Don’t forget to zest that lemon! The zest is where all the concentrated lemon flavor lives, and it’s what makes this bread so special, just like our lemon pound cake.

Lastly, poppy seeds: These tiny black seeds aren’t just for decoration. They add a delightful little crunch that takes this bread from good to great. Plus, they’re packed with nutrients, so you can feel good about indulging in that extra slice (or two, or three…).

lemon poppy seed bread on wire cooling rack with lemon twists, flowers, a knife, jug of milk, a glass, plates, and vase behind

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • All-Purpose Flour – We wanted a moist, tender quick bread but one with enough structure to hold its shape without going to pieces. That’s where the all purpose flour comes in. It has the perfect amount of protein to create that structure.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The leavenings used in this batter, baking powder and baking soda each make their own contributions to the texture and structure. Baking powder both starts and finishes the process of rise in this quick bread, starting as soon as it is mixed with liquid and continuing more robustly once it is in the oven. Baking soda reacts with the acidity in the lemon juice to give the rise a boost while also neutralizing enough of the acidity to keep the quick bread from tasting sour.
  • Salt – Just a bit of salt enhances the flavor and balances the sweetness.
  • Lemon Zest – Adding concentrated citrus oil for aroma and tartness, lemon zest amps up the lemon flavor.
  • Unsalted Butter – With a bright, fresh flavor that adds richness, unsalted butter also adds moisture and flavor and allows us to control the level of salt.
  • Sugar – While adding the perfect amount of sweetness and balancing the acidity, sugar also helps with the texture and structure of the quick bread.
  • Eggs – The binder and emulsifier that holds all the ingredients together, eggs also contribute structure, stability, moisture, and richness.
  • Milk – The higher fat content in whole milk is ideal for helping to tenderize this quick bread as well as contributing to the structure and helping keep it moist.
  • Lemon Juice – Adding acidity and enhancing citrus flavor, lemon juice also activates the baking soda for additional leavening.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adding a subtle undertone, vanilla extract is the perfect choice to enhance the flavor of the lemon.
  • Poppy Seeds – They add tiny textural contrast and subtle nutty flavor.
vanilla, poppy seeds, salt, flour, lemon juice, butter, milk, eggs, baking soda, sugar, baking powder, and lemon zest in glass bowls on marble counter

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread – 3 Easy Steps!

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix in lemon juice, vanilla, and poppy seeds. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until loaf tests done.

A little trick we learned during recipe testing: Similar to our cinnamon walnut pull-apart bread, we’re going to cover the bread partway through baking. This helps prevent the top from getting too brown while the inside bakes to perfection!

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A Few Quick Tips!

  • Use fresh lemons for the best flavor.
  • If you don’t have poppy seeds, you can substitute with chia seeds.
  • Get creative with the icing! Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a pinch of lavender for a floral twist.
  • This bread is also great toasted. Spread it with a little butter or jam for an extra-special treat.

P.S. Don’t forget to share a slice (or two, or three) with your friends and family. They’ll thank you for it!

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When you make this Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze, be sure to leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

lemon poppy seed bread on wire cooling tack with two slices laying in front, two slices behind, lemons behind, a vase, white napkin, and jug of milk
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze

Just as delicious as it is pretty! This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze is sweet, lemon-y, has a slight crunch from the poppy seeds, and is oh so delicious. It's perfect for all the bright summer days ahead!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8


Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  • 2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup poppy seeds


  • ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice



  • Heat oven to 350℉.
  • Spray a 9 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Mix in lemon juice, vanilla, and poppy seeds.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until loaf tests done, covering after 30 minutes, if needed, to prevent over browning,
  • Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn out on cooling rack.


  • Whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl.
  • Spread on cooled bread.

Notes + Tips!

*This recipe was written using an average of the dip and sweep method for measuring flour and the spoon and level method. If you are using a scale, you will need to add 3/4 oz or 22 g  to the measurement for each cup of flour.
How To Store: 
Wrap any leftover bread tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Tips For Sucess:
  • Room temperature is about 70℉. Set the eggs and butter out on the counter prior to baking. They work best at room temperature!
  • Fresh lemon juice is always better!
  • For extra citrusy flavor, rub the lemon zest into the sugar before adding it to the batter.
  • The batter is very thick. Be sure to tap the pan on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles!
  • Be sure to cover this loaf about 30-40 minutes into cook time with foil. This prevents over-browning while it finishes baking!
  • You can make one large loaf or two smaller ones, but you will need to adjust baking time.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 461IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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One Comment

  1. This is such a great recipe. The cake is easy to make and very delicious! I did add a little lemon extract to the batter to give it a little more lemon flavor.