The Ultimate Lemon Poppy Seed Bread for Breakfast at Home

I feel the transition happening outside, from summer to fall, and it is so welcome.

A partially sliced homemade loaf of lemon poppy seed bread, on a piece of white parchment paper with crumbs and sliced lemon, with orange and white text.

The nights are getting cooler, the cool breeze is coming in, and I swear I can smell it. (Yes, autumn has a smell. I can’t quite describe it, but I recognize it each year.)

Here comes the season of apples, squash, hot meals, and baking – when turning on the oven is actually welcomed and comforting, comforting like a freshly baked treat cooling on a windowsill.

Closely cropped vertical shot of three slices and half a loaf of lemon poppy seed bread, on a piece of white parchment paper with decorative lemon slices.

Speaking of baking, I have a not-so-secret confession:

I can’t get myself to follow directions when baking. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m not alone, right?

I’ve always have great intentions to follow a recipe exactly as it’s written, but once I’m in the kitchen, I can’t explain what happens.

A little white whole wheat white flour here, a little almond meal there, a little agave syrup here, some coconut oil there… ta-daa! Fortunately, rather than creating dissatisfying recipe failures, these experiments tend to result in healthier versions of the basic recipe that I started with.

Sliced lemon poppy seed bread on a white crumpled piece of parchment paper, with lemon slices.

I have no problem eating someone else’s baked treats when they’re made with white sugar and bleached flour, but my conscience just won’t let me do it in my own kitchen. Especially when I have an arsenal of substitutes that, to me at least, taste great.

Full disclosure: Sometimes my substitutions to end in disaster. Cookies that are too flat, bread that is too dense, desserts that are too sweet, or sometimes, not sweet enough. But other times, they turn out just right.

A stack of sliced quick bread in front of a loaf with a cut lemon on pieces of parchment.

And this time, I think the recipe below is just right. This bread turned out with the right texture and flavor, moist and perfectly sweet.

Bake this and set it out on your windowsill to cool. Feel the cool air, smell the deliciousness, and smile. Once it’s cool, slice and enjoy with a cup of tea.

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Sliced lemon poppy seed bread piled on a crumpled piece of white parchment paper, with lemon slices, on a beige surface.

The Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Quick Breads
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Description

Moist and lightly sweet, this is the ultimate homemade lemon poppy seed bread, ideal for the transition from summer to fall.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
  3. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, and agave on medium speed until creamy.
  4. Switch to the whisk attachment and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and beat until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Keywords: lemon poppy seed, lemon, poppy seed

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Zest and Juice Lemons, Melt Coconut Oil, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Using a microplane or zester, finely zest 2-3 large lemons until you have 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.

Juice one of the lemons until you have 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Sliced butter on a waxed paper wrapper with two lemons and small square and round glass dishes of poppy seeds, agave syrup, salt, baking soda, and other ingredients, on a beige countertop.

Measure the coconut oil and melt it in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.

Measure the remaining ingredients, and lay them out as listed in the ingredients list.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and set it aside for later.

Step 2 – Combine Dry Ingredients

Piles of flour and poppy seeds in the bottom of a stainless steel mixing bowl, on a beige countertop.

Combine the flours, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl.

A whisk mixes a dry flour mixture that is speckled with poppy seeds in a stainless steel bowl, on a beige countertop.

Whisk these ingredients together, and set aside.

Step 3 – Combine Wet Ingredients

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together the softened butter, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and agave syrup on medium speed, until the mixture is creamy

Top-down shot of sliced butter, brown sugar, and agave syrup in the bottom of a stainless steel bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. I like to crack the eggs into a separate container first, to avoid adding any stray bits of shell to the batter.

A frothy batter mixed with lemon zest in a stainless steel bowl.

Add the vanilla, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice, beating until combined well.

Step 4 – Finish Making Batter and Fill Pan

A thick lemon poppy seed quick bread batter in a stainless steel mixer bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.

A black metal baking pan is filled with quick bread batter, on a beige countertop.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Step 5 – Bake

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

A loaf of homemade lemon poppy seed bread with lemon slices on a white piece of parchment paper.

Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Start the Morning with Something Sweet

I am a big advocate of starting the day off with something delightfully sweet for breakfast. Not sickeningly sweet like the colorful cereals we used to eat as children (although I will indulge in a bowl from time to time, if I’m being completely honest), but lightly sweetened with natural ingredients to provide a nice contrast from the usual savory options.

I’m talking about muffins, quick breads, pastries, and other baked goods that sweeten up the start of the day, and counterbalance the bitter notes in your coffee.

Sliced lemon poppy seed bread piled on a crumpled piece of white parchment paper, with lemon slices, on a beige surface.

This bread fulfills that craving with a hint of sweetness in every bite, without being overwhelming. The bright lemony bread is punctuated with the crunch of the poppy seeds, making it sweet and tender, but not extremely unhealthy.

The brown sugar really brings out the flavor of the lemon and the poppy seeds, so you get a burst of deliciousness in every moist slice. It’s delicious served warm, spread with butter or maybe a touch of homemade Earl Grey lemon curd.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy classic combination of lemon and poppy seed? Is it in muffins, breads, or something else? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate this recipe once you’ve tried it.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 28, 2009. Last updated: September 1, 2018 at 19:25 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

Moist and lightly sweet, this is the ultimate homemade lemon poppy seed bread, ideal for the transition from summer to fall with bright flavors and a luscious texture. Simple ingredients and an intoxicating aroma make this a treat to remember. Get the recipe now on Foodal. #bread #recipe #baking #lemonpoppyseed #foodal

7 thoughts on “The Ultimate Lemon Poppy Seed Bread for Breakfast at Home

  1. THAT looks marvelous! Thanks for sharing 🙂 My mom used to make us a lemon poppy seed bread that was just delicious, so now I want to try this!

  2. I love this bread because it doesn’t have too strong of a lemony taste.. I don’t LOVE lemon, but the subtle hint is good sometimes. I am happy to see a great recipe!

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