This Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake is a super easy and delicious recipe filled with fresh lemon zest and plenty of poppyseeds!
Cakes like this Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Loaf Cake are perfect for beginner bakers. There is no frosting, just a simple two ingredient glaze that is poured over the top. And there is no stacking layers. Simply slice and serve.
Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is important for structure in addition to sweetness.
Non-Dairy Milk: Any non dairy milk will work.
Vegan Yogurt: Vegan Yogurt adds moisture and a little acidity to this recipe. I used Forager Plain Unsweetened Yogurt. Any plain, unsweetened yogurt will work here.
Lemon Juice and Zest: Can't have a Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Loaf Cake without fresh lemon. I add zest in while creaming the butter and sugar to pull all the oils out. Lemon juice goes in with the liquids and helps activate the baking soda to leaven the loaf.
Flour: Regular old all-purpose here.
Leaveners: A combination of baking powder and baking soda help this loaf rise high and keep the texture soft and light.
Salt: To balance out the sweetness.
The mixing method of this poppy seed loaf may seem complicated, but I promise its not! And its worth the extra additions of flour and liquid.
Start by combining liquid ingredients in a small bowl and dry ingredients in a separate small bowl.
Then, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest. This action incorporates air and helps extract oil from the lemon zest.
Next, add half of the liquid, and stir.
Then, half of the dries and stir on low.
Next add the remaining liquid.
Finally, add the remaining dries with the poppyseeds.
This alternating addition method ensures the batter for this Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is homogenous while not activating the gluten, which creates a tough loaf.
Top Recipe Tip
The most important note is:
Be sure to scrape the bowl down after mixing each addition of liquid and dries in.
Batter will get stuck to the sides of the bowl and on the paddle.
And if you don't scrape diligently, you will end up with a loaf that doesn't bake evenly.
Make the Glaze
The glaze for this Vegan Poppy Seed Loaf Cake is two ingredients: powdered sugar and lemon juice. The glaze is quite tart on its own, but when poured over the loaf its the perfect combination.
Simply combine sifter powdered sugar with lemon juice with a whisk until you reach a pourable consistency. I used exactly 7 teaspoons.
To glaze the cake, pour the glaze along the center and spread toward the edges with a knife
Keep this cake in an air tight container for up to four days at room temperature. I don't recommend refrigerating as it can dry the cake out.
Also, its best to only slice how many slices you need and leave the rest of the cake unsliced. This is because like any cake, air can dry it out.
Looking for More Loaf Cake Recipes?
Vegan Cinnamon Loaf by: Liv B
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
- Stand Mixer
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 8x4 Loaf Pan
- Parchment Paper
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Yogurt I used Forager Plain Unsweetened Yogurt
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Plant Milk I used Chobani Zero Sugar Oat Milk
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 10 tablespoon Vegan Butter I used Country Crock Plant Sticks
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ Large Lemons, Zested
- 2 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 6-7 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Preheat oven to 350* F. Prepare an 8"x 4" loaf pan by greasing it with coconut oil and lining with a parchment sling for easy removal- see photos for reference.
- In a small bowl, combine vegan yogurt, plant milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.½ Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Yogurt, ½ Cup Unsweetened Plant Milk, 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.2 Cups All Purpose Flour, 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder, ½ teaspoon Baking Soda, ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream vegan butter, sugar and lemon zest together until it is well combined and fluffy.10 tablespoon Vegan Butter, 1 Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 ½ Large Lemons, Zested
- Into the mixer add half of the milk and yogurt mixture. Mix on low to combine and scrape the bowl down.
- Now add half of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl down.
- Next add the remaining liquid mixture and mix on low again until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl down.
- Add the poppy seeds and the remaining dry mixture to the bowl. Mix until just combined.2 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the bowl down and fold the mixture a couple of times to ensure everything is homogenous.
- Scrape batter into prepared 8x4 loaf pan, smoothing the top out with the back of the spatula.
- Bake in a 350* oven for 50-55 minutes turning the loaf halfway through. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. Its done when it comes out clean.
Make the Glaze
- In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar with 4 teaspoons of lemon juice and whisk to combine. Add 2-3 more teaspoons of lemon juice whisking between each addition until the glaze reaches a pourable consistency.1 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted, 6-7 teaspoon Lemon Juice
Glaze the Cake
- Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan using the parchment sling. And place onto a cutting board or serving plate.
- Pour the glaze along the center line of the loaf and use a knife to spread it towards the sides.
- Allow the glaze to set for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.