Lemon poppy seed loaf

Lemon poppy seed loaf

With the weather gradually getting warmer, it's time to turn on the ovens and bake some of those delicious, summery goodies. This bright, zesty lemon poppy seed loaf is infused with chamomile tea that'll pair perfectly with your afternoon tea or coffee. It's the lemon poppy seed bread you dreamed of, a fine, closed crumb, rich but not too buttery, sweet and lively with a gentle crunch from the poppy seed, going perfectly with the kick from the lemons. Get your oven mitts and baking pan ready for this delicious recipe!

Chamomile Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

makes one small 8x4 loaf or about 12 muffines


  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp, 2 oz, or 57 g) Greek yogurt (or other yogurts; see Notes)
  • 1 tbsp milk, any kind (I love this 365 Everyday Value Soy Milk; you can also sneak in more chamomile tea here)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest (from about 2-3 lemons; Meyer lemons would be wonderful if you can find them, but any kind will work)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 oz, or 67 g) 365 Everyday Value Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Chamomile syrup:

  • 1/4 cup strong chamomile tea (see Notes)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x4-inch loaf tin or a 12-well muffin tin with parchment paper. If you haven’t already, brew a half-cup of very strong chamomile tea (see Notes below for the proportions I used) and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a Pyrex measuring cup or a small bowl, combine yogurt and milk and whisk until smooth. For a stronger chamomile flavor, use a tablespoon of the tea instead of milk.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant, about a minute or so. (This helps release the flavor more fully.) Add the softened butter and oil, and beat with an electric beater or plenty of arm strength until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated. Finally, add the lemon juice, and whisk again until combined.
  4. Add a third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and fold until just combined. Next, add half of the yogurt mixture and gently fold again. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining yogurt mixture, folding gently until just combined after each addition. Finally, add the remaining third of the dry ingredients and -- you guessed it -- fold gently until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin or muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full. For the loaf tin, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake is golden-brown, bounces back when touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For the muffins, bake 15-18 minutes, or until domed, bounces back when touched, and a toothpick comes out clean. The muffins should be paler when fully-baked, just gently golden on the edges.
  6. Meanwhile, bring the chamomile tea and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Let simmer for about a minute, until the liquid thickens just slightly, then remove from heat and let cool.
  7. When the cake is done, let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Brush the chamomile syrup over the loaf (you can poke holes in the top to let the syrup soak in more fully, if you like). And enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature; the cake will be just as good the next day and will keep for several.

And... That's it!

/Edit by Evelyn Han


A Brooklyn-based food blog by Cynthia, a full-time lawyer. She shares delicious recipes on her Two Red Bowls blog.

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