Yield: 1 lemon poppy seed bundt // Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Welcome summer with a light and fluffy lemon poppy seed bundt cake. This cake is seriously moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and filled with poppy seeds. Top it all off with a simple lemon glaze for an irresistible light dessert!
Lemon poppy seed bundt recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can turn your cake from soft and fluffy to tough and chewy. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Room temperature ingredients
It is important that the butter, eggs, and buttermilk are at room temperature so that they incorporate properly with the rest of the ingredients. Take out the butter, eggs, and buttermilk at least 30 minutes before starting the recipe. If you are in a hurry and need some tricks to getting room temperature ingredients quickly, you can check out this post here!
Mix the dough carefully
When adding in the flour, only fold the mixture just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the cake tough and chewy instead of soft and fluffy. When it comes to alternating the dry ingredients with the wet in this bundt, I like to do it by hand. Doing so means I have more control over the mixing, and that the ingredients don’t fly everywhere!
Get more lemon flavor out of your lemons
The majority of the lemon flavor in this cake comes from lemon zest. An easy trick to get more flavor from zest is to use your fingers to rub it in with the sugar. Doing so releases oils from the lemon peel, adding more flavor into the cake!
Ingredients and substitutions
All purpose flour: the structure of the cake. I would not recommend using cake flour as the cake is already super fluffy and tender using the all purpose.
Baking powder: for helping the cake rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the cake.
Poppy seeds: it wouldn’t be a lemon poppy seed cake without some good ole’ poppy seeds!
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the cake and keeping it moist. The sugar also helps aerate the butter to give this cake it’s rise.
Lemons: for flavor, of course! You will need approximately 3 large lemons, and will use both the zest and the juice.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake and giving it that classic buttery taste. You can substitute in salted butter, just be sure to reduce the added salt from 1 tsp. to 1/4 tsp.
Vegetable oil: for tenderizing the cake. You can substitute in any neutral oil, such as canola, in place of the vegetable oil.
Eggs: for moisture, structure, and binding the batter together.
Vanilla: I use and love this vanilla extract.
Buttermilk: for tenderizing the cake and adding moisture. I highly recommend using buttermilk but I know it can be hard or annoying to purchase, especially if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. It won’t be completely the same, but you can make a homemade buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, simply combine 335 mL of whole milk with 45 mL of lemon juice at the start of the recipe. This will fully replace the 30 mL of lemon juice in the recipe, so be sure to omit that if you are making the buttermilk substitute!
Powdered sugar: the base of the glaze. I use regular powdered sugar but if you would like a smoother, melt-in-your-mouth taste, use organic powdered sugar!
How to make this light and fluffy lemon poppy seed bundt cake
How to store this bundt cake
The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature after being glazed.
How to prevent the bundt from getting stuck to the pan
I use and absolutely love this pan and have never had a problem with the cake sticking. To make sure your cake doesn’t stick, generously butter it, making sure to get all of the crevices. An easy way to do this is to melt 1-2 tbsp. of butter and use a pastry brush to brush the inside of the bundt. Then, generously pour some flour or sugar into the pan and shake it around so that it completely coats the inside. Tap out any excess flour/sugar and then you’re good to go!
Can I make this in a different sized pan?
Yes of course! This batter makes enough to fit in a 10 cup capacity bundt. You can also pour it into a 9″ springform pan, or an 11×7″ rectangular dish. Be sure to keep an eye on the time as it may bake up differently!
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
10 cup capacity bundt pan: I have never had a bundt not come out perfectly from this pan, I love it!
Vanilla: I love using Rodelle vanilla extract. Not only is it a great quality product, but it’s on the lower end of the price that vanilla can be! This is the one I use.
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make this lemon poppy seed bundt?
If you made this lemon poppy seed bundt I would love to see it and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt
- 350 g all purpose flour (3 c.)
- 3 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 30 g poppy seeds (¼ c.)
- 300 g granulated sugar (1 ½ c.)
- zest of 3 lemons
- 140 g unsalted butter room temperature (½ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 90 g vegetable oil (¼ c. + 1.5 tbsp.)
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 250 mL buttermilk (8 ⅓ oz.)
- 30 mL fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 oz.)
- 180 g powdered sugar (1 ½ c.)
- 60 mL fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 oz.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and generously flour or sugar a 10 cup capacity bundt pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use your hands to rub together the sugar and lemon zest until well combined.
- Add in the butter and oil, and beat for 5 minutes with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add in one egg at a time, beating for 20 seconds between each addition. Add in the vanilla with the last egg.
- Stir together the buttermilk and lemon juice.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture. Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour, the remaining 1/2 of the buttermilk, and the remaining 1/3 of the flour.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the bundt comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Once the pan is cool enough to touch, flip the cake out onto a clean surface. Let the cake cool completely before glazing.
- Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Once the cake has completely cooled to room temperature, pour the glaze over it. Top with additional poppy seeds if desired, serve, and enjoy!