If you are looking for a quick dessert that is "bright and sunny," this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is a great way to brighten up someone's day. This recipe calls for fresh lemon juice and zest because it makes such a difference in the flavor.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
This cake is pretty much a coffee cake, just cooked in a Bundt pan. It's not your typical coffee cake, it has a wonderfully tart flavor thanks to being moistened with a lemon simple syrup to enhance the flavor of the lemons. The glaze also includes lemon juice, which makes it even more flavorful. It sweetens it up with its citrusy tanginess that complements most everything. You may wish to leave off the glaze if you want a different taste but I find that adding this extra pop is well worth it.
- Butter - Helps make the cake fluffy
- Sugar - Sweetens the batter
- Vanilla Extract - Use the best you have, gives the cake a nice flavor
- Eggs - Use these at room temperature in the recipe
- Lemon Juice & Zest - I recommend using fresh squeezed juice for this, and since you are using zest, I'd also recommend organic lemons
- Sour Cream - If you don't have this, you could substitute with plain Greek yogurt
- AP Flour (King Arthur) - We love this brand and use it all the time. I wrote the recipes out in grams, but this would be the equivalent of 4 cups of flour
- Baking Soda & Powder - Helps the cake rise
- Poppy Seeds - You can leave these out if you don't have, you could also substitute in chia, hemp or flax seeds for these.
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
It's not always easy to make a cake. In fact, some say it can be downright tricky. The art of making the perfect cake starts with the mixing process and that is where so many go wrong. Overmixing can lead to the cake being dense and tough instead of light and fluffy.
We are going to use the creaming method to minimize the gluten development. It's a simple approach to mixing cake ingredients.
First we combine the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment we mix until fluffy on medium speed. We then add the eggs one at a time. Once fully incorporated, we add the remaining liquid ingredients and mix until smooth.
Next we combine all the dry ingredients into one bowl, and slowly add that to the mixer bowl until combined. Don't over mix. It's at this point once the flour gets wet we start activating the gluten.
How to Tell When it's Done
Every oven works differently. My 350 degrees may not be the same as your 350 degrees, although it should be close. Toothpicks definitely make telling if this Bundt cake is done a whole lot easier. Use a clean toothpick and poke it in as far as you can in the fattest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. If it comes out with some batter still on it, you need to keep cooking for a little while longer. At this point I start checking about every 2 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Don't overmix your batter.
- Make sure your Bundt pan is sprayed with cooking oil. Don't miss the crevices or you will struggle getting your cake out.
- The recipe should only fill about ⅔ of the pan. Otherwise the cake will rise and cook with rounded edges and will sit uneven once you remove it.
- If you notice cake is starting to brown in the oven, loosely tent foil over it to prevent more browning than necessary.
- Give your cake time to cool before removing from the pan, at least 10 minutes. As the cake cools it slowly releases itself from the sides of the pan.
- Before glazing, put a piece of parchment paper or foil underneath to catch the drips so you don't have a mess once done.
- Don't store this in the refrigerator, it just dries it out. Keep it in a covered cake plate on the counter.
- If you want to freeze it, go ahead, but do it without the glaze. Then when you are ready to eat it, just make a batch of the glaze.
This Bundt cake is a delightfully refreshing treat that will instantly brighten up your day. The moist, rich and buttery flavor of the cake combined with the tartness of lemon juice in both the syrup and glaze work together to create an unforgettable taste sensation. If you love Bundt cakes we have a few options you could try on the site, but one of my favorites is this Sweet Potato Bundt Cake.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- 226 grams Unsalted Butter (1 cup)
- 250 grams Sugar (1 ¼ cup)
- 7 milliliter Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon)
- 3 eggs Large Eggs Room Temperature
- 70 milliliter Lemon Juice (⅓ cup)
- 220 grams Sour Cream (¾ cup)
- 480 grams AP Flour - King Arthur (4 cups)
- 8 grams Baking Soda (1 ¼ teaspoon)
- 5 grams Baking Powder (1 ¼ teaspoon)
- 24 grams Poppy Seeds (2 tablespoons)
- 6 grams Lemon Zest (3 tablespoons)
- 100 grams Sugar (½ cup)
- 100 milliliter Lemon Juice (½ cup)
- 114 grams Powdered Sugar (1 cup)
- 26 milliliter Lemon Juice (2 tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Prepare a standard size Bundt pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Then the vanilla, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix until smooth.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Transfer the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Place it in the preheated oven for 40 - 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Once removed from oven, cool for 10 - 15 minutes in pan then flip out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool a bit
- Use a pastry brush and brush on the syrup onto the cake and let finish cooling
- Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix until combined and drizzle onto the bundt cake right before serving.
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