Lemon poppy seed bread is bursting with citrus flavor and subtle poppy seed taste. This quick bread is easy to make and topped with a sweet glaze!

lemon poppyseed bread on parchment paper and baking sheet. end cut off showing inside of loaf.

I love a good quick bread. They take minutes to make and are crowd pleasers. This lemon poppy seed bread is no different! The bright citrus flavor is complemented by the poppyseeds and sweet lemon glaze.

Why this recipe works: I did a few rounds of testing and found that sour cream helps the texture of this bread. It makes it moist without being dense. Also, soaking the poppy seeds in milk yields more flavor while softening the seeds a bit.

lemon poppyseed bread ingredients labeled

Overview: How to make lemon poppy seed bread

Lemon poppy seed bread is easy to make with just a few simple steps.

  1. Soak the poppy seeds in milk for about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
  4. Combine wet ingredients: Lightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add the sour cream and milk poppy seed mixture. Mix again until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool completely. Before cutting, make the glaze.
  7. Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until desired consistency is reached. Pour over cooled bread and wait a 5 minutes for the glaze to set. Slice and serve.
hand holding mini whisk stirring poppyseeds in milk
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon poppy seed bread in a mixing bowl

Helpful tips for this recipe

When making this recipe make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. This helps the batter be smooth and consistent without any lumps. I find the sour cream can be a little lumpy if it is not room temperature. Another tip: soak the poppy seeds in milk. This improves the poppy seed flavor while softening the seeds up a bit. Finally, use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Fresh lemon yields the most citrus flavor!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store lemon poppy seed bread: Keep bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze lemon poppy seed bread? Yes, let the loaf cool completely. Do not add the glaze. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag (remove any air). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature, adding the glaze and serving.

Can I make lemon poppy seed muffins with this recipe? Yes, you can! Check out my lemon poppy seed muffin recipe for the adjustments.

lemon poppyseed loaf with glaze and lemon slices on top. Loaf on parchment paper and baking sheet.

Here are some more recipes that call for lemon and/or poppy seeds…

glaze dripping off loaf of lemon poppyseed bread. Lemon slice on top.

Lemon poppy seed bread is perfect for when you are craving that citrus flavor. It is so easy to make and everyone loves it! What occasion are you making this bread for?

Be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can see your poppy seed bread!

lemon poppyseed bread on parchment paper and baking sheet. end cut off showing inside of loaf.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Lemon poppy seed bread is bursting with citrus flavor and subtle poppy seed taste. This quick bread is easy to make and topped with a sweet glaze!
5 (6 ratings)

Ingredients

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) milk,, room temperature (low fat or whole)
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs,, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter,, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup (120 g) sour cream,, room temperature

Lemon Glaze

  • ¼ cup (30 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions 

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk and poppyseeds. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch by 4-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs until yolks are broken. Add sugar, melted butter, lemon juice and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add sour cream and milk poppyseed mixture. Whisk again until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir with a silicone spatula until combined (avoid over mixing).
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely. Shortly before serving, prepare the glaze.

Lemon Glaze

  • Whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Start with 1 tablespoon to achieve a thick icing consistency. If you'd like a thinner consistency, add another tablespoon of lemon juice. Pour icing over the top of the loaf, cut and serve.

Notes

Storing lemon poppy seed bread: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freezing lemon poppy seed bread: Let bread cool completely and do not add the glaze. Wrap loaf in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag (remove the air). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature, adding the glaze and serving.
Lemon poppy seed muffins: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Divide batter evenly among liners. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
High altitude adjustments (Denver 5,280 ft): Decrease baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon. Decrease sugar by 2 teaspoons. Add an extra teaspoon of milk.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 171mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 436IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 2mg

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