Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I warned you in the previous post for Tangy Lemon Bars that I was in my yearly lemon phase. This is recipe #2.

A couple of weeks ago I overheard two women talking. There was a nice woman and an ornery woman. The ornery woman kept making negative comments about everything from paint colors to the weather. On the other hand, the nice woman would try to counter with positive statements.

Apparently the two women were somehow related. They were talking about a family gathering that was to take place the next day and the nice woman said that she had been asked to bring a loaf of lemon poppy seed bread. She went on to say that she had never made lemon poppy seed bread–she had made a zucchini lemon bread and regular poppy seed bread, but not lemon poppy seed bread. She seemed distraught and obviously wanted to make the requested bread.

The ornery woman had a quick answer for her. “Just make poppy seed bread and put yellow food coloring in it. That’s what I’d do.”

Okaaaay. Since when did something taste like lemon just because it had yellow food coloring in it?

Of course as I was listening to the two of them talking, I started formulating this blog post in my head. So many random things are blog worthy, at least from my perspective. I hear or see things all the time which I’d like to work into a blog post. Sometimes I have to get a little creative in order to fit the food to the incident or the incident to the food. The story in this post worked out rather well!

I don’t have a recipe of my own for lemon poppy seed bread, so I had to find one on the internet. It turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had thought it would be. Somewhere in my head was the perfect lemon poppy seed bread. I had eaten it once. I just knew that I had eaten it, but where? When?

My daughter, Katie, came home for a couple of days. She ate a piece of the first bread I made–we both agreed it was garbage can worthy. “Mom, I remember that you made a really good lemon poppy seed bread once. I know I remember eating it. It was all crunchy on top and was really lemony.”

I remembered the same bread, but I honestly couldn’t remember ever having made it; I just had that lingering memory of having eaten it. For a while I thought that maybe I had just dreamed it up. Then, one day recently I finally remembered where I had eaten it–Costco. It had come from Costco. Bummer. Recreating that little jewel was going to be nigh unto impossible. At least I didn’t have to search in vain any more for “that” recipe. Somehow that seemed very freeing. Not.

I am not a baker. I don’t know the rules about baking quick breads. Baking is all about math and chemistry and which way the wind is blowing at any given second on a given day and how the planets are aligned and it takes a sixth sense or maybe a twelfth sense. So, the bottom line is this: I ended up making four different breads before I found one that passed muster. It’s one of those breads that actually gets better overnight. What more could a girl want?

The original recipe called for the bread to be baked in 4 mini loaf pans. I chose to use one 9-inch loaf pan.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


    For the Bread
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • For the Glaze
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of one 9-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the milk, eggs, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Do not over mix because the bread will have a tough crumb and will also form “tunnels”.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
  8. While bread is cooking in pan, make the glaze: In a small bowl mix together the sugar, melted butter, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  9. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. With a thin wooden skewer, poke holes in top of bread.
  10. Drizzle glaze over warm bread. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Note: It is best to place cooling rack over a cookie sheet, piece of aluminum foil, or parchment paper before glazing bread to catch the glaze which inevitably drips off of the bread.

You may also like:

Blueberry Lemonade Muffins
Blueberry Lemonade Muffins
Lemon-Thyme Turkey
Lemon-Thyme Turkey
Berry Trifle with Rhubarb Lemon Curd
Berry Trifle with Rhubarb Lemon Curd


  1. says

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I absolutely ADORE lemon poppy seed bread! Anything made with lemon is a favorite! I will definitely be whipping this up this weekend! Thank you!

    • says

      Sabrina, I was just thinking about you and your blog yesterday and about how I needed to pop over for a long over due visit. We must be on the same blogger’s wave length. So Twilight Zoneish. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

  2. Krystylolson says

    I used this recipe a few days ago the muffins were gone in one day. I forgot to pin or bookmark this page and was having a hard time finding the recipe again. But really enjoyed the muffins and was determined to find it. So I googled Lemon poppyseed ornery. It was the third entry. 🙂

    • says

      Now THAT’S funny! You added ornery to your search parameters. hahahahahaha Well, I’m glad about two things: First that you liked the recipe well enough to spend some time trying to find it again, and second that you had actually found it! Are you going to rename it “Ornery Lemon Poppy Seed Bread”? Thanks for sharing your story. 😮 ~Terri

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