Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

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This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is the perfect sweet treat for spring and summer! It’s so moist and tender, subtly sweet, and combines the bright flavor of lemon with the nutty flavor of poppy seeds. It’s finished off with a simple homemade lemon glaze!

Sliced poppy seed bread on a cutting board.

Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Glaze

Quick breads are some of the most versatile recipes! You can enjoy them with breakfast, as a snack, or as dessert! And one of the best parts is that most of them are basically effortless to prepare! 

This lemon poppy seed bread is one of my favorites! It’s made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen and requires just 15 minutes of prep! 

This mouthwatering sweet bread is flavored with the freshness of lemon and the nuttiness of poppy seeds—a combination that is truly delicious. 

And it’s so darn easy! Just mix everything up in a bowl, pour it into a loaf pan, bake, then top it off with your simple and sweet lemon glaze.

Looking for more quick bread recipes? Try my chocolate chip loaf cake, peanut butter bread, apple cinnamon bread, and orange cranberry bread!   

How to Make Poppy Seed Bread with Glaze

This delicious lemon poppy seed loaf with glaze requires just a few basic ingredients and a little bit of hands-on time! Here’s a summary of the recipe.

Scroll to the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.

  1. In a bowl, sift the flour, then whisk in sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
Sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon  zest and poppy seeds in a bowl.
Milk, eggs, canola oil and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  1. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then stir until just combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan, then bake at 350ºF until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Lemon poppy seed batter in a bowl.
Lemon batter in a loaf pan.

How to Make Glaze for Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  1. In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the texture as needed.
  2. After the bread is cooled, drizzle the top with the glaze, then slice and serve.
Lemon glaze in a measuring cup.
Top down view of lemon poppy seed bread with glaze.

Tips for Poppy Seed Bread

  • To find poppy seeds, check the baking aisle of your local grocery store. They will likely be there. You can also order them online.
  • If you can’t find poppy seeds, simply omit them and make plain lemon bread with lemon glaze! 
  • Use whatever milk you have on hand. Any kind will work! Just be aware that the texture may change depending on the fat content of the milk you use.
  • Grease the pan. This makes it easier to get the bread out and prevents it from burning on the bottom. Or line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup!
  • Sift the flour. This helps prevent it from clumping up in the batter.
  • Don’t over-mix. Overworking the mixture can result in tough, dense bread. 
  • Check for doneness. The cooking time can vary depending on your oven and your pan. To make sure your loaf is done, insert a knife into the very center. If it comes out clean, then your bread is done.
  • Cool before glazing. If you add the glaze while the loaf is still hot, then it will just melt off.
  • If your glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar (one tablespoon at a time) until your desired consistency is reached.
  • If your glaze is too thick, add more lemon juice or warm water until your desired texture is reached.
Lemon slice on two pieces of lemon poppy seed bread.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Store any leftovers from your lemon poppy seed loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge as it will get dried out more quickly.

Freezing: If you plan to freeze your lemon poppy seed bread, I recommend doing so without the glaze. Simply let it cool completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for 2-3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw overnight on the counter or in the microwave, add the glaze, then serve.

Poppy seeds are used in lemon bread for a couple of different reasons! First and foremost, they have a nutty flavor that offsets the bright, tanginess of the lemon deliciously. They also add a nice color contrast speckled throughout each slice of bread! 

That’s up to you! Supposedly, soaking poppy seeds before baking makes them more easily digestible by softening the harder outer shell of the seeds.

If you do want to soak your poppy seeds before adding them to the bread, feel free. I usually skip the extra step though!

Yes, of course! Simply leave out the poppy seeds. This bread makes an amazing lemon loaf!

To keep the bottom of the bread from getting too dark, place the loaf pan on baking sheet prior to baking. If the top starts to brown too quickly, make a tent out of aluminum foil and loosely drape it over the bread.

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Sliced loaf of lemon bread on a cutting board.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil, or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, or more for thicker glaze
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • warm milk, or water as needed, for a thinner glaze


For the Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and whisk in the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds.
    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    2 teaspoons lemon zest
    1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • In a second bowl, combine the milk, eggs, canola oil and vanilla extract.
    ½ cup milk
    2 large eggs
    ¼ cup canola oil
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, and smooth into an even layer.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until the surface cracks and has a golden color. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when the bread is cooked through.

For the Lemon Glaze

  • While the bread bakes, make the lemon glaze. Combine the powdered sugar with the lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. If needed, add warm water one tablespoon at a time until the desired texture is reached. For a thicker glaze add more powdered sugar.
    1 cup powdered sugar
    4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    warm milk
  • Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • After the bread cools completely, drizzle with the lemon-sugar glaze.
  • Slice and serve. See post for storage options.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of bread. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*Adjust the cooking time accordingly depending on your oven and loaf pan.
*Photos courtesy of Shannen Siramarco Photography.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
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