Lemon, Poppy seed, Yogurt cake

lemon poppy cake.jpg

I love a cake with some crunch. A little crunch. Like this lemon cake, baked with these small, black speckles, filling your mouth with the right amount of flavor and “bite”. It’s as if you want something to interrupt the tenderness of a cake, but not too much. Poppy seeds are great in sweets and this cake is no exception. Lemon is the right partner in flavor and yogurt adds moisture and tang. Finish it with a light drizzle of lemon syrup and start texting friends to come over for coffee.


  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest (I used 1 large, Cyprus lemon. If your lemons are medium, you will most probably need 2)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup full fat, greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds

For the syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice


Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter and flour a 23 cm cake pan with a hole in the middle.

Cream butter and sugar together, in a bowl of a stand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add zest and vanilla and beat to combine.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add about a cup of the flour to the mixture and beat until incorporated. Add yogurt and beat again. Add the remaining flour and beat until mixture is smooth. Don’t over beat. Add poppy seeds and beat briefly until mixed through.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Make syrup while cake bakes. Put sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it boils, take syrup off the heat.

As soon as cake comes out of the oven, brush with some of the syrup before you take it out of the pan. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then invert into a cake platter. Brush all over with the remaining syrup. Cool completely before slicing and serving.


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