Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe

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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is such a refreshing bread that’s perfect for any time of year. A quick bread that is easy to make with shortcuts like using a lemon cake mix. Full of flavor and delicious.

lemon poppy seed bread

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

What I love about this recipe:

  • it’s a shortcut recipe using a boxed cake mix
  • an old fashioned recipe shared by a grandma
  • full of flavor
  • a slice of great breakfast bread and delicious with coffee or a nice sweet treat before bedtime



Make Ahead and Storage:

How far in advance can I make this Lemon Poppy Seed Bread?

You can make this bread at least one week in advance

Storing: Store this bread for up to three days covered at room temperature or one week covered and in the refrigerator

Freezing: You can freeze this bread for up to 3 months. Cover tightly with non-stick aluminum foil and store in a freezer bag.

Thawing: Thaw at room temperature before eating

Can I substitute Poppy Seeds?

Yes! Toasted sesame seeds or chia seeds are both great substitutes for poppy seeds and still lend a nice nutty flavor to your recipe

Are Poppy Seeds Healthy?

Poppy seeds are very healthy for you. They are high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. They are also filling which helps you feel full longer.

How do you test for doneness with a toothpick?

  • When you think the cake or bread is baked through, insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake or bread. Lift the toothpick up. Some cake pieces might stick to the toothpick, but there should be no wet batter

lemon poppy seed bread

Tips and Tricks:

  • for a more robust flavor, add lemon zest to the recipe or shaved it on top of the icing
  • you can substitute poppy seeds for chai seeds or toasted sesame seeds. If you don’t want poppy seeds in your bread, feel free to just leave them out entirely
  • if you’d rather make lemon poppy seed muffins, just pour the batter into muffin pans, fill them about 2/3 of the way up, and bake for about 25 minutes
  • you can substitute freshly squeezed lemon juice for store-bought lemon juice
  • adjust the icing texture by adding more juice for thinner icing or more powdered sugar for a thicker icing

lemon poppy seed bread recipe

Are you ready to make this lemon poppy seed bread? Let’s make sure you have everything you’ll need: 


cake portion: 

  • lemon cake mix – you can usually find a box of lemon cake mix down the baking aisle of your grocery store
  • vanilla pudding mix – instant vanilla pudding mix but not sugar-free
  • water
  • oil – use vegetable oil like canola oil. It has very little flavor  and won’t overpower your recipe
  • eggs – large eggs at room temperature are best for this recipe
  • poppy seeds – find these among the spices in your local store’s baking aisle


  • powdered sugar
  • lemon juice – you could also use the juice from 2 freshly squeezed lemons

How do you make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread?


  • In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Whisk or use an electric mixer or a stand-alone mixer to mix the ingredients well
  • pour into 2 greased bread pans
  • and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  • use the toothpick method to check for doneness. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean without any wet batter, it is done
  • in a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice
  • drizzle the icing onto cooled-off cakes

More Bread Recipes: 

Easy Banana Nut Muffins

Old-Fashioned Apple Bread


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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe

  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x


An easy-to-make lemon bread that the whole family will enjoy.


Units Scale
  • 1 pkg. of lemon cake mix
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. of poppy seed


  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the cake ingredients together – whisk or use an electric mixer to make sure the batter is well blended
  • Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes
  • Let cool
  • in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the icing
  • drizzle onto cooled loaves of bread
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-40 minutes






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