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Lemon Poppy-Seed Tea Cake

This sweet Mother's Day treat comes to us from reader Angie M. Biggin of Lyons, Illinois.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, May 2008


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch (8-cup capacity) loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla and lemon zest. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in two parts and milk in one, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar; set syrup aside.

  4. Remove cake from oven. While cake is still in pan, poke several holes in top with a toothpick. Set aside 2 tablespoons syrup; pour remainder over cake. Cool cake completely in pan, about 2 hours. Turn cake out of pan; place, right side up, on a platter, and brush all over with reserved syrup. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cook's Notes

To freeze this cake: Wrap in plastic, place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to three months; to serve, thaw on counter, unwrapped, for two hours.

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