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An overhead shot of slices of French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake cooling on a rack.
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French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

You will surely get hooked with this one! A perfect balace of sweet and lemon flavor in every bite, French Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is great with coffee or tea. Try it for your next snack or dessert! (VIDEO ABOVE)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 16
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Neriz


  • 125 grams butter, softened (about 1/2 cup & 1 tbsp)
  • 1 pc lemon, grated zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 & 2/3 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup poppy seed
  • 4 medium egg whites


  • 1 & 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • In one medium mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey.  Use a mixer to combine.
  • Add egg yolk and milk.  Continue using a mixer to combine.
  • Add flour, baking powder and poppy seeds (but leave about 1 tbsp for later). Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until it becomes stiff.
  • Fold (gently) the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  • Pour the cake mixture into a cake pan.
  • Place cake pan in the lower half of the oven, for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool before adding the icing.
  • In a bowl, start preparing the icing by slowly adding the lemon juice and mixing.  It should be creamy, not watery. Taste to make sure that the sweet and lemon flavors are balanced.
  • Once the cake has completely cooled, pour the icing on top of the cake.  Use an icing spatula to spread the icing evenly.
  • Sprinkle the remaining poppy seeds on top.
  • Slice into squares.
  • Serve.



  • Feel free to use any 8-inch or 9-inch type and shape of cake pan.
  • Sift the flour.
  • If you have unsalted butter, then make sure you add a pinch of salt to the cake mixture.
  • If you are making the icing, use only 3/4 cup of sugar for the cake mixture.
  • For the icing, do not add all the lemon juice at once. Do it slowly to make sure that it’s not too watery.


Calories: 215kcal