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Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

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This Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake is deliciously bright, ultra-soft, and moist. Both sweet and slightly tangy, it’s a delightful anytime cake. Made with yogurt, it’s a bit healthier without sacrificing the lemon poppy seed flavors we love.

Sliced Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake on a Marble Cutting Board

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And baked in a loaf pan, this cake becomes a simple cake delicious for Easter or Mother’s Day, but easy enough for every day.

It’s another one of our Anytime Cakes.

Every slice is like a slice of sunshine… even on a rainy day.

Packed with bright lemon flavor, it’s a tender and ultra-moist cake you’ll love. Serve for afternoon tea, brunch, holidays, or simply whenever you’re craving something lemony and sweet.

Top view of sliced Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake with fresh lemons and lavender sprigs

What Does Yogurt in Cake Do?

Yogurt adds moisture and fat to a cake batter, which contributes to a super moist and delicious cake. Never dry, yogurt cakes are soft and moist. When you add lemon to the batter, it becomes seriously wonderful.

What Does Lemon in a Cake Do?

Lemon juice is a secret baking ingredient that adds flavor as well as loftiness to baking. Lemon juice serves as an activator to baking soda and baking powder. Just a dash of lemon juice added to a batter will result in delicious, lofty goodness.

Side view of unsliced Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

If you haven’t baked a yogurt cake before, you’re in for a treat.

Yogurt cakes are generally pantry cakes with origins in France. It’s a simple blending of plain yogurt, oil, eggs, flour, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

The results are a tender, delicately sweet flavored cake, with the tanginess of lemon. Similar to a pound cake, but much less dense.

Poppy seeds lend a nutty flavor to the lemon yogurt cake as well as provide a bit of crunchy texture that is simply wonderful when paired with lemon.

Unbaked Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake in a loaf pan

Ingredients for Lemon Poppy Seeds Yogurt Cake

These pantry-style ingredients make this cake a simple, humble, yet delicious cake to make all year, but especially wonderful in the spring. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Large lemons, both for juicing and zesting
  • Granulated sugar
  • Plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt) – Full fat yogurt works best
  • Large eggs
  • Neutral oil (like vegetable oil) but you can also use olive oil which will lend a more savory flavor
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Poppy seeds

For the Simple Glaze:

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Milk

How to Store This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon cakes tend to keep well. This cake can keep up to 5 days at room temperature if wrapped securely and well.

More Lemon Recipes You May Also Enjoy


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Slices of Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake on a white stand
Sliced Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake on a Marble Cutting Board

Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake is deliciously bright, ultra-soft, and moist. Both sweet and slightly tangy, it's a delightful anytime cake. Made with yogurt, it's a bit healthier without sacrificing the lemon poppy seed flavors we love.


  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine lemon zest and sugar; rub them together with your fingers until it resembles wet sand. Then cream together the sugar and lemon mixture with the yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and vegetable oil until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the batter and mix to combine. Fold in the poppy seeds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Make the Glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, salt, and milk until smooth. Thin with additional lemon juice or milk to desired consistency. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with additional poppyseeds if desired. Cool completely before slicing.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g

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    1. Hi Sherri! Yes, the lemon yogurt cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Slicing into individual servings and then wrapping each is an easy way to enjoy this cake. You can thaw in the refrigerator overnight or microwave the frozen slice for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

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