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Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is a super easy and delicious loaf cake recipe filled with fresh lemon zest and plenty of poppyseeds!

Loaf cakes like this Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake have that soft and tender cake texture, but 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.

Baked vegan poppyseed cake in a loaf pan
Inserting a piece of parchment paper into the loaf pan like this to create a sling makes for easy removal.

Ingredients for Making Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Vegan Butter: Fat is an essential ingredient for any baked good. And don’t let anyone tell you its not. For some cakes I use oil, but for most loaf cakes I prefer vegan butter. My two vegan butters of choice are Earth Balance SoyFree Buttery Sticks and Country Crock Plant Butter. I use Country Crock here.

Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is important for structure in addition to sweetness. Sugar adds moisture and softness.

Non-Dairy Milk: I’ve been using Chobani Zero Sugar Oat Milk Lately and I love it. If you’ve been here before, you know that I have been a So Delicious Coconut Milk stan in the past. And I do still keep it on hand. But, today I used Chobani Oat Milk.

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. But NOT a greek style yogurt.

Lemon Juice and Zest: Can’t have a Vegan Lemon Poppyseed 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.

Glazed Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Loaf
This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake has THE PERFECT texture.

Mixing Method

The mixing method of this poppy seed loaf may seem complicated, but I promis 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, half of the dries, the remaining liquid, then the remaining dries.

This alternating addition method helps ensure the batter for this Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is homogenous while not activating the gluten, which creates a tough loaf. So, we are able to keep everything nice and light.

The most important note is be sure the 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.

Portrait of plates with slices of Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake
The lemon glaze adds a just the right amount of acidity.

Making the Glaze for Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

The glaze for this Poppy Seed Loaf 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.

A gold fork sticking into a slice of vegan lemon poppy seed loaf
Serve this loaf cake up on its own or add some fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream.

How to Store the Cake

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.

Fork picking up a bite of vegan poppyseed cake
The perfect bite.

Looking for More Loaf Cake Recipes

Vegan Strawberry Pound Cake

Blackberry Lemon Bread

Chai Spiced Apple Loaf

Gingerbread Coffee Cake

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Megan Calipari
This Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is a super easy and delicious loaf cake recipe filled with fresh lemon zest and plenty of poppyseeds.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 8×4 loaf


  • Stand Mixer
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • 8×4 Loaf Pan
  • Parchment Paper


  • 10 Tbsp Vegan Butter I used Country Crock Plant Sticks
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Large Lemons, Zested
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Yogurt I used Forager Plain Unsweetened Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Plant Milk I used Chobani Zero Sugar Oat Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Poppy Seeds

For the Lemon Glaze

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 6-7 tsp Lemon Juice


  • Preheat oven to 350* F. Prepare an 8/4 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, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 8×4 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 tbsp 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.

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.
Keyword Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf, Vegan Poppyseed Cake

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