lemon poppyseed loaf with lemon glaze

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Citrus season is still going strong, and nothing beats a classic loaf! They are such a reliable go-to, and perfect to pair with a cozy drink on a cold winter day. Lemon is such a bright, zippy flavour, and is always such a joy to use in the kitchen. I will say, that if you don’t own a zester….invest in one! It’s one of those kitchen gadgets that - yes it only has one use - but it is sooooo difficult to make citrus-y things without it! I’ve tried using a peeler and a sharp knife to get the same result….haha. Nope. Just doesn’t work!

Also, you can play around with the thickness of your glaze if you’d like! I’ve included a couple options below, and love the versatility. In the photos I chose a thinner glaze, that could easily be thickened into frosting with a bit more butter and powdered sugar. Alternatively, I’ve also simply made a simple syrup with lemon juice and sugar, and brushed it on the loaf while it’s still hot. So delicious! And I don’t add too much sugar to mine to keep it nice and tart. So, have fun with it!

The poppyseeds can also be optional, if you don’t have them on hand….of maybe you have strong, negative feelings toward poppyseeds? Ha! I really love the extra texture and pop of colour they bring, so I added in tons to my loaf! Do be careful not to go too overboard though, since poppyseeds can have a slightly bitter taste if there’s too many of them

I hope you love this fluffy, zesty loaf as much as I do! And that it brightens up your day during this long Winter.

lemon poppyseed loaf

yields: one 9x5 inch loaf
recipe: Kelsey Siemens


1/2 cup milk + juice from half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

zest of one lemon

2 large eggs

2-4 tablespoons of poppyseeds (optional)

to make

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 loaf pan, and set aside.

First, cut one lemon in half, and squeeze the juice from it (save the other half to use for the glaze). You should get between about 1 tablespoon of juice. Place into a liquid measuring cup, and fill it with milk until it reaches the 1/2 cup line. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes on medium high.  Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix on medium until completely incorporated. 

Next, slowly stream in half of the milk mixture on low speed. Then mix in half of the dry mixture. Then the remaining wet, and finally the remaining dry. Mix on medium-low until batter has almost come together but there are still a few flour streaks. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in poppyseeds if using (use your discretion at how many you’d like in your loaf….I like a lot!), and fold into the batter with the spatula until everything is just barely incorporated.

Scrape the batter into greased loaf pan, gently smooth out so that it lays flat, and bake for 38-45 minutes, or until the top of the loaf gently springs back when pressed.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing from the loaf pan.

Prepare lemon glaze (recipe below), and drizzle over loaf.  Add lemon slices on top for garnish if desired.  Best served the best day, but will keep for several days in an airtight container.  


  • If you want a glaze that completely soaks in, brush it on the loaf right after removing from the pan, while it’s still hot!

  • If you want more of a frosting, allow loaf to completely cool and thicken up the “glaze” with more powdered sugar (see below)

  • Try not to overmix once the flour is added, as this is what can lead to exceptionally dense loaf.

  • Dry loaf? It was likely overbaked. You’ll really want to keep an eye on your loaf at the end of the cooking times, and take it out as soon as it’s set!

  • Why the variable baking time? Baking times will vary due to: dark pans vs light pans, thick pans vs thinner pans, inconsistent oven temperatures (buy a thermometer that hangs in your oven to find out exactly what’s going on in there!), altitude, etc. Always set your oven for the lowest bake time (or even a few minutes before!), and start checking for done-ness then.

lemon glaze


juice from half a lemon (about half a lemon)

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup icing sugar (more if needed)

milk or cream if needed to adjust consistency


In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, melted butter, and half a cup of icing sugar.  Adjust icing sugar as needed, can add a teaspoon of milk/cream if it gets too thick.  The glaze should slowly flow, but not be too runny.  

Pour over a cooled loaf.

lemon simple syrup


juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar (to taste)

to make

In a small bowl, stir together lemon juice and granulated sugar until dissolved. Test and add more sugar if desired. Brush onto the hot loaf evenly.

Happy loaf baking!