Lemon and poppy seed cake

Donal Skehan's lemon and poppy seed cake is a great recipe for afternoon tea or as a birthday treat for friends
By Donal Skehan
Lemon and poppy seed cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the cake:

  • 110 g wholemeal flour
  • 110 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 100 ml natural yogurt
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 ml vegetable oil

For the lemon icing:

  • 110 g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, use the lemons from


1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a loaf tin measuring 21x11 x6cm with butter, dust with flour or line with baking parchment and set aside.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, ½ a teaspoon of salt and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture onto the dry ingredients and whisk well to incorporate.

4. With a spatula, fold the sunflower oil into the batter, making sure it is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. This gives you time to prepare the tangy lemon icing.

6. For the icing: Combine the sugar and lemon juice until smooth, you may need to add a drop of water or a little more icing sugar to achieve the correct consistency.

7. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and spoon the icing over the top of the cake allowing it to dribble down the sides. Serve in generous slices.

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