Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe

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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious easy quick bread recipe with a lemon cream cheese frosting! Every slice of this moist loaf delivers tangy lemon flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness.

Love lemon desserts? Try our lemon meringue pie for a classic slice of sweetness. Or give our lemon curd recipe a try, so easy and delicious!

Two slices of lemon poppy seed bread on a white plate.

Why this Lemon Bread is Best

I’m obsessed with Lemon right now. It all started with this copycat Starbuck’s Lemon bread recipe! Then came these lemon poppy seed muffins. Put them together and that’s how today’s Lemon Poppy Seed Bread recipe was born!

You’ll love this bread for it’s bursting citrus flavor. We used SEVEN lemons!

  • Incredibly moist. Simple syrup is drizzled over the top of the baked bread!
  • Fresh lemon glaze. Rich, tangy and sweet.
  • Two loaves of freezer friendly bread. Eat one now, save one for later.

Zucchini also pairs nicely with lemon! Try our Lemon Zucchini Muffins or lemon zucchini bread.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make lemon poppy seed bread.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread includes the usual quick bread ingredients like flour, sugar, butter and eggs. These other additions give it its unique flavor and consistency.

  • Lemon. You will the zest for the bread batter and the juice for the syrup and glaze. Zest lemons before juicing to get the most juice!
  • Greek Yogurt. This adds tons of moisture to the bread that keeps it soft and springy! In testing, we found that vanilla Greek yogurt tasted best but you can use any kind of vanilla or plain yogurt with good results.
  • Vanilla extract. Fragrant vanilla elevates the lemon flavor in this bread perfectly. We love using our homemade vanilla extract in this recipe.
  • Poppy seeds. These tiny black seeds look so perfect speckled in the pale yellow bread!
  • Cream cheese. Combined with powdered sugar and lemon juice, it creates a thick icing that makes the Lemon Poppy Seed Bread even better.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make lemon poppy seed bread.

This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread recipe starts by mixing together a simple batter. The batter is divided into two loaf pans before baking to create a pair of perfect lemon loaves.

When the loaves come out of the oven, it’s time to make a lemon simple syrup. Poke holes all over the warm bread and pour the lemon syrup on top.

Let the bread cool while you beat together the ingredients for the lemon cream cheese frosting. Spread frosting over the cooled bread and let it set for a few minutes before slicing!

Two loaves of lemon bread with simple syrup.

Tips and Tricks

  • Frosting consistency. The thickness of the cream cheese glaze is determined by the amount of lemon juice you add. For a more pourable glaze, add more juice. If you prefer a spreadable consistency, use less.
  • Cover with foil. Loosely cover the lemon poppy seed bread with foil during the last 20 – 30 minutes of baking. This keeps the top of the loaves from getting overdone while the center is still baking.
  • Storing. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. We like to store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it chilled!
  • Freezing. Wrap up your second loaf in foil then slide it into a zip top bag to store in the freezer. Frozen Lemon Poppy Seed Bread stays good for up to 3 months.
  • Cake. Try our Lemon Poppy Seed Cake next! Or give these easy lemon poppy seed scones a try soon. Of course you can never go wrong with lemon whoopie pies!
Lemon poppy seed bread on a white plate to serve.

Recipe FAQs

How much lemon juice do I need?

You will need about 1 cup of lemon juice for this recipe. We needed to juice a full 7 lemons to get the right amount.

How do I zest and juice the lemons for this recipe?

This guide to zesting and juicing lemons shows you our favorite ways to zest lemons for all kinds of lemon recipes, including this lemon poppyseed bread.

Can I make this as muffins instead?

Yes, this recipe can be used to make muffins too. Read my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins post to see how I make the muffin version of this moist lemon quick bread.

How do I keep bread from sticking to the pan?

Remember to spray your loaf pans with baking spray before adding the batter. If you don’t have baking spray, use the inside of your butter wrapper to lightly grease the bottom and sides of the loaf pans.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious easy quick bread recipe with a lemon cream cheese frosting! Every slice of this moist loaf delivers   tangy lemon flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness.

More Lemon Recipes

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious easy quick bread recipe with a lemon cream cheese frosting! Every slice of this moist loaf delivers tangy lemon flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious easy quick bread recipe with a lemon cream cheese frosting! Every slice of this moist loaf delivers tangy lemon flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness.

Ingredients

For the Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 7 lemons, zested and juiced (save the juice)
  • 2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

For the Syrup

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup reserved lemon juice (from your fresh lemons above)

For the Glaze

  • 4 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ reserved lemon juice (from your fresh lemons above)

Instructions

  1. Zest and juice all the lemons first. You should have approximately 1 cup juice from your lemons. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine your flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in lemon zest, ¼ cup of lemon juice, vanilla extract, and poppy seeds.
  4. Beat in flour mixture and yogurt alternatively until fully combined (in about 3 additions).
  5. Pour batter into TWO 9×5-inch loaf pans that have been greased with baking spray. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven. In a small saucepan, whisk together the simple syrup ingredients over low heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in lemon loaf using a toothpick. Pour syrup over loaves. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
  7. For the glaze, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add more or less lemon juice to get desired consistency. Pour over cooled bread. Allow to set (about 15 minutes). Slice and enjoy. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Frosting consistency. The thickness of the cream cheese glaze is determined by the amount of lemon juice you add. For a more pourable glaze, add more juice. If you prefer a spreadable consistency, use less.
  • Cover with foil. Loosely cover the lemon poppy seed bread with foil during the last 20 – 30 minutes of baking. This keeps the top of the loaves from getting overdone while the center is still baking.
  • Storing. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. We like to store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it chilled!
  • Freezing. Wrap up your second loaf in foil then slide it into a zip top bag to store in the freezer. Frozen Lemon Poppy Seed Bread stays good for up to 3 months.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    20

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving:

    Calories: 381Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 44gProtein: 6g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.


    Did you make this recipe?

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