Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf


Date Published: March 5th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 5th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dessert
Serves: 1 loaf | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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This is my copycat version of Starbucks’ lemon poppy seed loaf. It’s pretty much the only food item I buy from Starbucks back home. I don’t usually like loaves, but this one draws me in every time. It’s a moist fluffy cake bursting with lemon flavour topped with a lemon icing drizzle overtop. It pairs wonderfully with a coffee or better yet, a London Fog (essentially a vanilla earl grey latte). The loaf is delicious and full of lemon flavour on its own, but the lemon icing is what gives it an extra punch. If you’re not a fan of sugar, feel free to skip the icing but to me its my favourite part!

There aren’t many Starbucks in Australia and the ones that are here don’t sell this cake so I actually don’t know how close this recipe is to the ones at Starbucks since I don’t have one to compare it to, but when I have it it brings me right back to those memories – so I must be pretty close, right? Let me know what you think in the comments!

This recipe uses lemon juice. You can choose to use fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice. You’ll need lemon zest for the recipe so I tend to just use the juice from the rest of the lemon and top it up with bottled lemon juice if I don’t have enough. The lemon extract is optional in this recipe but I do find that it does have a slightly stronger lemon flavour with it.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

Cake:

  • Dry Ingredients:
    • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsps baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (~1.5 lemons)
    • 2 Tbsps poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice, sit until curdled)

Lemon Icing:

  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsps milk

Directions:

(If you don’t have buttermilk, step one should be to mix 3/4 cup milk with 3/4 Tbsp of lemon juice. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-15mins until curdled and use it in place of buttermilk.)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F)

Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. You don’t need the parchment paper but it makes it a LOT easier to remove the cake cleanly from the pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds (optional). Set aside.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment or an electric beater, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 mins).

Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice while on medium speed.

On low-medium speed, add the dry flour mixture and buttermilk in alternations: add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk, and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Allow each of the ingredients to be incorporated before adding in the next.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing it onto a wire rack to let it cool completely.

Tip: If the top of your loaf is browning too quickly before the loaf is cooked, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil on top to protect it while the rest of the loaf bakes.

While the loaf cools, make the lemon icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl, then add in the lemon juice. Mix until combined. Add in 1 tsp of milk at a time until you get the desired consistency (thick and not too runny).

If you prefer a thinner icing to make it less sweet, then add more milk. If you want a thicker one, then add less milk (or no milk at all).

When the loaf is completely cooled, slowly drizzle the icing onto the loaf or pour it down the centre and let the icing flow off the sides. Set aside to let the icing harden. Once the icing dries and sets, slice up the loaf and serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Date Published: March 5th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 5th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dessert
Serves: 1 loaf | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • Dry Ingredients:
    • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsps baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsps poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (~1.5 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice, sit until curdled)

Lemon Icing:

  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsps milk

Directions:

  1. (If you don’t have buttermilk, step one should be to mix 3/4 cup milk with 3/4 Tbsp of lemon juice. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-15mins until curdled and use it in place of buttermilk.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F)
  3. Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paperYou don’t need the parchment paper but it makes it a LOT easier to remove the cake cleanly from the pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment or an electric beater, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 mins).
  6. Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice while on medium speed.
  7. On low-medium speed, add the dry flour mixture and buttermilk in alternations: add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk, and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Allow each of the ingredients to be incorporated before adding in the next.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing it onto a wire rack to let it cool completely.Tip: If the top of your loaf is browning too quickly before the loaf is cooked, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil on top to protect it while the rest of the loaf bakes.
  9. While the loaf cools, make the lemon icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl, then add in the lemon juice. Mix until combined. Add in 1 tsp of milk at a time until you get the desired consistency (thick and not too runny). If you prefer a thinner icing to make it less sweet, then add more milk. If you want a thicker one, then add less milk (or no milk at all).
  10. When the loaf is completely cooled, slowly drizzle the icing onto the loaf or pour it down the centre and let the icing flow off the sides. Set aside to let the icing harden. Once the icing dries and sets, slice up the loaf and serve!

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