This Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf is moist and delicious! It's vegan friendly, can be made gluten-free and even sugar free if you prefer. Top it off with a lemon frosting for an extra special sweet treat! Everyone will love this easy lemon poppy seed cake and no one will guess it's better-for-you!
My vegan and gluten-free lemon poppy seed loaf cake is a summertime treat that you won't want to miss out on. The combination of tangy lemon, crunchy and earthy poppy seeds, and a creamy lemon frosting make this cake a treat that everyone will love!
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake Ingredients
My lemon poppy seed loaf recipe uses pantry staples that you probably already have on hand! Here's what you'll need:
- Plant-based Milk: We like to use a plant-based milk like unsweetened oat or almond milk! If you're not dairy-free or vegan, regular milk will work.
- Vegan Butter: Vegan butter adds some moisture and creates a tender lemon poppy seed cake. If you're not dairy-free or vegan, regular butter will work.
- Lemon Juice: We like to use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor, but bottled lemon juice will work in a pinch!
- Sugar: You can use regular cane sugar or try using our absolute favorite purecane sugar substitute!
- Lemon Extract: For extra lemon flavor, a bit of lemon extract does the trick. A little bit goes a long way!
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Baking soda and baking powder are added to help the cake rise in the oven.
- Vanilla Extract: For added flavor!
- Flour: We recommend using regular all-purpose flour or for a gluten-free lemon poppy seed loaf, use King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-free Flour!
- Poppy Seeds: Just one tablespoon of poppy seeds goes a long way. If you aren't a poppy seed fan, you can definitely omit them for a classic lemon loaf.
- Lemon Frosting: You can whip up your own lemon frosting my combining lemon juice, powdered sugar and plant-based milk!
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Step 2: Mix the oat milk, melted vegan butter, lemon juice, purecane or sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla together. Add the lemon extract if desired. Then, add the flour and mix until a batter forms. Be careful not to over mix or the cake will be dense! Finally, fold in the poppy seeds.
Step 3: Transfer the batter into a greased 9x5 inch metal loaf pan and bak in the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the loaf has risen completely and is golden. While the loaf is baking, use a whisk to mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and oat milk together to make the frosting.
Step 4: Allow the cake to cool and then drizzle the frosting over the top. Enjoy!
- Don't over mix! For a tender, moist lemon cake, it is important not to over mix the batter. Mix the ingredients until just combined and gently fold in the poppy seeds!
- Eat it for breakfast! Don't be scared of eating this cake for breakfast. It is perfect to have along side your morning cup of coffee or chai!
- Let the loaf cool before icing! The frosting is more of a glaze that will stick to the loaf better if it is room temperature. If the loaf is too warm, all that beautiful glaze might slide right off!
- Measure your flour correctly! Too much flour can result in a dry lemon poppy seed cake. Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup without packing it down or shaking the measuring cup. Then, use the straight side of a butter knife to level the flour off!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my lemon loaf is done?
The loaf is done when it is risen and golden brown on top. You can know for sure that the cake is done by sticking a toothpick into the top. If the toothpick comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs, then the vegan lemon poppy seed loaf is done! If the toothpick looks wet like there is still batter in the middle, then the cake needs more time in the oven.
What vegan milk do you recommend using?
One of my favorite plant-based milks right now is Almond Malk. It has only three ingredients so you know exactly what is in it with no added sugars!
What other lemon poppy seed recipes do you have?
- To store: Store any leftover lemon poppy seed cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake can also be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, but might dry out a little bit in the fridge!
- To freeze: You can freeze this loaf for later by allowing it to cool and wrapping it in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge prior to frosting and serving.
More Cake Recipes to Try
- Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake
- Vanilla Birthday Loaf Cake
- Super Moist Strawberry Cake
- Healthy Zucchini Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
Lemon Poppyseed Cake
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, or regular milk
- ¼ cup melted regular or vegan butter
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup cane sugar or ½ cup purecane sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cup regular or gluten free all purpose flour If gluten-free, I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour. Please don't substitute any other flour such as almond flour, baking flour, etc.
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar or ¾ purecane powdered sugar substitute
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, or regular milk
How To Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Mix the oat milk, melted vegan butter, lemon juice, purecane or sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla together. Add the lemon extract if desired. Then, add the flour and mix until a batter forms. Be careful not to over-mix or the cake will be dense. Fold in the poppy seeds.
- Transfer the batter into a greased 9x5 inch metal loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the loaf has risen completely and is golden. While the loaf is baking, use a whisk to mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and oat milk together to make the frosting.
- Allow the cake to cool and then drizzle the frosting over the top. If you used purecane sugar substitute in the batter and frosting, you the cake will be 133 calories per slice.
The recipes on Peanut Butter and Jilly can easily be adapted to fit a vegan lifestyle, a gluten-free lifestyle, or both depending on the ingredients you use. Please review the ingredients lists carefully and refer to our recommendations in the Notes of the recipe card to make this recipe compatible with your needs. Nutrition information provided is an estimate, and will vary based on specific brands of ingredients used and cooking methods.