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Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake

This is based on a recipe from Diane Irvine, a coworker of my father’s. This produces batter for 2 pans (9 x 5 x 3 inches each); feel free to use another dish of equivalent volume.

Batter ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup poppyseeds
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon zest; or 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla; or 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

Syrup ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time to the cream sugar. Beat till light and fluffy.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix together the buttermilk, poppyseeds, zest and vanilla.
  5. Back in the large mixing bowl, stir in the baking soda and powder and half the flour. Then stir in half of the buttermilk mixture. Mix until well incorporated.
  6. Repeat with the remaining flour, followed by the remaining buttermilk mixture.
  7. Butter and flour the baking pan(s). Equally divide the batter betweenn the two pans.
  8. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or when the cake pulls away from the pan’s sides and a knive in the middle comes out clean.
  9. While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup. Over medium low heat, dissolve the sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan.
  10. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then remove it from the pan. Place on racks, under which wax paper has been placed.
  11. Poke the cakes all the way through with a long, thin stick, such as one used for kebabs, or a broomstick needle. Do so over the top and the sides, about every 3/4 inch or so.
  12. Using a pastry brush, baste the top and sides of the cake with the syrup.
  13. Allow the coated cakes to cool for at least an hour before serving.

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