Healthy Flourless Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast Cake

A delicious healthy flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake with a subtle tang of citrus from the lemon! The light and fluffy filling is studded with poppy seeds, with a tender exterior! Made with no butter, it’s a keto and paleo breakfast recipe with an eggless and vegan option included! 

healthy flourless keto lemon poppy seed breakfast cake topped with a dairy free cream cheese frosting

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Bread with Glaze

Growing up, my mum used to make a healthy lemon yogurt bread. Every weekend morning, a fresh loaf would come out of the oven.

Every weekend morning, I’d refuse. 

Mum would try her best to make me eat it- Adding frosting to it, turning them into lemon poppy seed muffins but no. 

None of it would work.

I’m pretty sure I self-diagnosed myself with a lemon allergy, purely because I THOUGHT I didn’t like citrus in my baked goods. 

“Mum, you know the lemon poppy seed loaf you used to make growing up?”

“The one you said you were allergic to and never ate?”


“What about it?”

“Well, I’d like to know the proportions of lemon ride and lemon juice you used in it.”

“Why? Have you found a cure for your lemon poppyseed loaf allergy?”



Lemon Poppy Seed Cake With No Butter

I don’t actually know why I claimed to be allergic so said loaf growing up- I think it comes down to being blessed with mum making other sweet treats, in which the lemon flavored ones got the stink eye. That, and the fact that I associated citrus foods to only be reserved to savory recipes. 

I swear since being in Los Angeles, my inner lemon has come out to frolic and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. 

Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve gravitated towards all things lemon- 

Jamba Juice- Lemon Dream something... (the server told me it was a secret menu item he could make for me after I told him I was craving lemons…)

Baskin Robbins- Lemon Custard Ice cream

Whole FoodsLemon Sponge Cake

Safe to say, I need to pucker up and apologize to my mum. 

Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

After sharing a handful of breakfast cake recipes (let’s face it- It’s purely an excuse to advocate eating dessert for breakfast) recently, I knew it was only a matter of time before I shared one of the citrus variety.

As much as I am an advocate of (some) convenience foods or aids, using fresh lemon juice AND lemon rind is key- It’s also something my mum preached over and over again when she FINALLY gave me the proportions.

She told me not to use bottled lemon juice and definitely NOT lemon extract- She also advised me that some brands use coloring in it and after a quick scan at the supermarket- She was (unfortunately) right. Anyway, it’s high time you pucker those faces up to make this healthy flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake

Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A slice of healthy low carb flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake topped with a healthy cream cheese frosting!

This healthy flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake is light and fluffy on the inside, but don’t let that fool you- It’s insanely filling and a satisfying choice for your first meal of the day!

It’s full of slow releasing carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein to literally keep you satisfied between breakfast and lunch (but let’s face it- We’re not one to skip snack time, so save yourself a corner slice!).

An easy, one bowl recipe which is diet friendly! Not only is it keto, low carb, and paleo, there is an option to keep it eggless, flourless and vegan too. 


A slice of flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake topped with a protein-packed frosting

Healthy Flourless Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast Cake

A healthy, flourless lemon poppy seed breakfast cake- The light and fluffy filling is studded with poppy seeds, with a tender exterior- Keto, paleo and low carb with a vegan and eggless option! 
4.46 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: breakfast cake, flourless, keto, lemon
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 135kcal
Author: Arman


For the Gluten Free/Vegan/Flourless version

For the Paleo option

For the protein frosting

For the coconut butter frosting

For the basic cream cheese frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the lemon zest and poppy seeds and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and egg/flax egg. Pour into the dry mixture. Add the melted nut butter (and sticky sweetener and applesauce for paleo option) and mix very well until a batter is formed.
  • Transfer the batter to the loaf pan or baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven (Paleo option can take up to 50 minutes!), or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes on clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving or frosting, if desired.

To make the frostings (Except for the cream cheese one)

  • Combine all the ingredients and using a tablespoon, add dairy free milk until a thick, firm batter is formed. For the cream cheese one, allow to sit at room temperature until it softens. Mix with granulated sweetener and cinnamon.


Breakfast cake is freezer friendly- It's best kept in the refrigerator. If you decide to use the frosting(s), it's best to keep them separate.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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Healthy Double Chocolate Overnight Baked Oatmeal- The taste and texture of real baked oatmeal, minus ALL the fuss- Secretly healthy and SO easy! {vegan, gluten free, sugar free recipe}-

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Breakfast Breakfast cakes and muffins Gluten Free Keto Muffins and Cakes Paleo Vegan



161 thoughts on “Healthy Flourless Lemon Poppy Seed Breakfast Cake

  1. You know if you make that lemony pucker face too often, your face will freeze in that shape. Just sayin’. But I’m also saying that I want this lemon poppyseed cake like you wouldn’t believe right now! Your mum is a genius for this one. She invented lemon poppyseed cake AND she makes amazing Indian food. 🙂

  2. I’ve heard of secret menus at fast food places but honestly the combinations in there don’t sound all that good. This cake though, sounds amazing! I am totally a fan of lemon poppyseed, or anything lemon really. Great idea Arman!

  3. Pinned.

    I will never get tired of Arman’s family stories and conversations. Honestly. Can you an Niki (and your Mom) create a YouTube channel? Please. I am unemployed and need good entertainment.

    Also: ‘my inner lemon has come out to frolick and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. ‘ – now you know my yearslong relationship to my inner egg.

  4. Woweeeeee. I love lemon poppyseed cake! That was the kind of muffin I wanted (after blueberry) when I was a kid.
    My parents make fun of me for liking sriracha and wasabi these days because I would literally CRY if one morsel of wasabi made it onto my sushi and I hated spicy foods when I was little. Now, you can find sriracha on my face/literally in my backpack.

  5. I must save every single one of your dessert remakes haha. This one I can’t wait to try out and share! We love lemon poppyseed muffins and the added frosting makes it sound amazing!

  6. I’m going to try it this week! Can I use pb instead of almond butter? Also, can I use regular milk instead of dairy free? I’m just trying to use what I have in my pantry. 🙂 Thanks so much!

  7. iIn the winter I go for all things chocolate but in the spring I start to gravitate to all things citrus! This could not come at a more perfect time as spring is approaching. If only the weather would behave with the seasons!!!

  8. Okay so I said I was going to try your blueberry cake but since I have a huge bag of poppyseeds sitting around [and taking up valuable space] this will come first. Also because you got me craving poppyseed anything. I could usually do without lemon but I’m willing to try the combination here.
    Also, yes, I’ve heard of secret menues – namely Starbucks’ – but since there’s no store close to where I live haven’t tried anything off them yet.

  9. I need to put poppy seeds on my list because this cake has me salivating! I don’t quite get the “flourless” description, though, if you use oats ground into flour or coconut flour.

  10. I’m so excited you set up a shop page! I’ve been wanting to get the Norbu sweetener that I’ve been seeing everywhere and have tried in baked goodies! 😛 This lemon cake looks to die for BTW–I LOVE poppy seeds but I’d probably get opiate-high if I eat too much1

  11. I love lemon! Everything lemon. Sweet and savory. Putting poppy seed on my shopping list. This is due on Sunday as a breakfast for the next week 🙂

  12. Hi Arman! I’ve read most of your recipes and I can’t wait to try all of them. There’s only one problem, I’m from Mexico and I’m not very familiar with the cook language. What does the “T” stand for, eg. 2 T lemon juice.

  13. This looks so good! Quick question, am I measuring the oats before grinding them into flour or after? I can’t wait to try this 🙂

  14. Your recipes look delicious but I don’t understand how you are calling them flourless when they call for cups of oat flour? Every cup of oat flour contains 480 calories and 78 grams of carbohydrates.

      1. Oh well, OK. That is how bloggers mislead people. Your recipe clearly states to grind them into flour. I guess if your recipe called for whole wheat and grind it into flour that would be flourless too. I am a blogger too, but also a dietitian and I don’t believe in misleading people into thinking foods are healthier than they are. Ground oats are oat flour and have a ton of carbs.

        1. Gloria,

          ‘Flour’, for decades in the U.S, is generally a term used to refer to ground whole wheat grains. Because so many people have become severely allergic to wheat, or developed an intolerance, alternatives have become widespread.

          The term ‘flourless’ in unbelievably common among those of us who must avoid traditional ‘flour’, it’s also used hundreds of times a day on food blogs, in cooking magazines, on TV, on Pinterest and other popular sites. I’m sorry if you personally are not familiar with this term, which is quite shocking since you claim to be not only a dietician but a blogger as well. You can easily do some research on this, which sounds like it will be beneficial not only to your career and clients, but possibly to your blog.

          In the meantime, Arman has hundreds of followers who are fully educated as to what ‘flourless’ does and does not mean. I’m glad that we could help you learn something new.

  15. I enjoyed your family lemon story and would LOVE to know which version is your Mother’s, as well as which version is so beautifully shown in the photos? (I get a bit muddled with all the options!) Thanks, ahead!

  16. As usual, this looks like another delicious recipe that I can’t wait to try! Great post! I just have one question – in general. Instead of using (chemical-laden) cooking spray to grease the pan, why not wipe the pan with coconut oil? It is an excellent coating for baking and does not detract from the benefits of healthy recipes.

      1. Yes, 50 minutes is about how long I ended up baking it for the Paleo version. It was really good! I left out the poppy seeds and added blueberries.

  17. Hi, I was so happy when I saw this lemon poppyseed cake! I have been desiring lemons the past few days for some reason LOL .
    Could you please tell me how much of the cream cheese is used for the frosting? Thanks!

  18. Hello (i’m frech sorry if it isn’t a good english) for the paleo version there isn’t milk in the list ! Is it normal or how much we need ?

  19. I did the first recipe with some little changes (rapadura sugar, lemon essential oil). So it’s brown but DE-LI-CIOUS!!
    I did small cakes instead of a big one, but 1/4 broke when I took them out of the tin. Maybe it wouldn’t happen with 2 eggs? What do you think?

      1. lol – you didn’t actually state which one it was – there’s a big difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon.

          1. haha, thank you Arman. I actually just read through all the comments to see if it was in there, and found it just as you posted. Can’t wait to try this, and I think I’ll try another version with oranges instead of lemons. LOVE orange and poppy seed!

  20. This looks delicious! I’m just wondering – what brand of coconut palm sugar do you use? I use Wholesome, but it usually turns my recipes an unappetizing shade of brown (especially for a lemon dessert :)). How do you keep the cake such a nice lemony color? Is there any way to prevent it from turning brown?

  21. This was delicious! I added blueberries to it. AMAZING. I made the paleo version and it did take 50 minutes to bake, I used a bread loaf tin. I am sad to say that I did not like the protein frosting option nor did I enjoy the coconut butter frosting option. I enjoyed this with out frosting thought with a cup of earl grey tea. This was quite sweet. Next time I make I think I will omit the maple syrup and opt for tiny bit more lemon flavor. I do not eat processed foods or sugars at all or pre packaged food and I do not eat sweets often so I think I am just sensitive to sweet things.

  22. Well…I’m italian and I’ve fibromyalgia, so I can’t eat gluten and nightshades. I’m eating your AMAZING lemon poppyseed cake right now and I’m so happy I can’t tell *_*. I’ve used Werz glutenfree mix insted of rolled glutenfree oats flour because my mixer is broken and I couldn’t ground them. And your cake is D E L I C I O U S. My boyfriend loves it. And usually he doesn’t like sweets. I need to do the frosting tomorrow, but I don’t know if the cake will be still there. I’m afraid I’m gonna eat it all right now :D. Thank you very much! <3

  23. I lovelovelove lemon poppy seed and I’ve been looking for a HEALTHY, vegan breakfast muffin option (I’m hard to please, don’t judge haha). Do you think this recipe would be suitable for muffins? If so, how many would it yield? Like a dozen maybe? You’re the best!

    Greetings from Denmark

  24. Hi – this looks awesome! I plan on making it, but I was just wondering – I have PCOS, and so would like to make it as low-sugar and high-protein as possible. Would the gluten-free or paleo option suit me better? Thanks!

  25. I just made the GF version of this, with some substitutions. Always with the substitutions…. Less sugar, lemon extract instead of vanilla extract, and chia seeds instead of poppy seeds because that’s what I had. Very tasty! Thank you! I was dubious of the nut butter, but you really can’t taste it. More to the point, my super taster of a kiddo couldn’t taste it either.

  26. I have four kiddos with lots of food allergies and a personal obsession with all things lemon and poppy seed so this was a massive success! However, I have a question for you, what is the purpose of the nut butter in the recipe? We used sunflower butter and the flavor of it overpowered the wonderful lemon. My daughter gobbled it up but I’m wondering if I could use something else that is not an allergen that doesn’t overpower the fresh lemon flavor. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Lydia! I like adding nut butter as it really elevates the flavor profile, and avoids them from being too gummy or cake-y- I’ve also found the added fat to help with the staying power. You could use coconut oil if you don’t want the overpowering flavor 🙂

      1. Thank you! I’ll try it with homemade hemp seed butter. I thought it might be for binding purposes which is why I asked! Thank you!! My family enjoys all of the recipes we have tried from your blog. Thank you for what you do!

  27. Hello there !This looks so yummy…! 🙂 Thank you for the recipe.Just one question..can I use liquid stevia? And if I can..maybe about 60 drops?How do you think? 🙂

  28. Arman,
    Hi. How much oat flour would I use (grams)? I know you say to grind your oats but since I already have oat flour, I would like to just use it instead.

  29. For the love of my sweet daughter, that truly misses lemon poppy seed breads and ogles them with envy in the bakery, I will try to make this for her. Thank you for the recipe! ~Niki

  30. I’m not sue if this has been asked because I don’t want to read through all of the comments but why in the Vegan/Flourless version there are 2T of lemon juice and zest and in the Paleo only 1T of each. I want to make the Paleo version but I want it to be lemon-y enough

  31. Hi Arman! This looks amazing ! Question , if I already have oat flour, do I still use 2 cups. I figured that 2 cups of oats ground down would be less. Sorry if someone else asked this already!:)

  32. This looks delicious – nice & fluffy. Two questions: 1) Does it matter if I use the off-the-shelf milk vs. refrigerated cartons? Any suggestions on which one (i.e. almond vs. cashew vs. ??) might work and taste better? I don’t use non=diary but am making this for a group that includes a vegan!
    2) I’d like to make mini loaves instead – Do you know approximately how many this recipe would provide? How much should I fill the pans?


  33. I don’t have rolled oats at the moment, but I have an all purpose gluten free flour blend – could I use that as a substitute or would it mess up the recipe? Just a pregnant lady on a craving streak trying to use what I have lol. Thanks!

  34. Making this cake for a friend and am unfamiliar with this type of frosting (coconut butter). It seems very thin at the moment, not beautifully thick and spreadable like in the photos…will it thicken as it cools? I have it in the fridge trying to cool it at the moment. Help! haha

  35. Have only just found this recipe and want to try it but could you please tell me what the amount T is? Is it tea spoon (tsp) or Tablespoon (tbsp). Some amounts do say tsp but not all. The amounts could make a big difference to the consistency of the batter and eventual taste. Thanks

  36. Hi Arman, my hubby is allergic to apples (I know ugh!!) can I sub the apple sauce for something else? Also, I currently only have an unflavoured protein powder would this work in most of your recipes? Thanks in advance. I want to eat everything you’ve made right now… all looks so good, LOL!!!

  37. Arman, this looks delicious!!! Going to bake it NOW… Please…… what size baking pan????? 4 servings means nothing to me!!!. :-0) Need alot of help in the kitchen dept.!!!

  38. sorry to ask this stupid question but i speak in spanish so im not sure about measures. “T” stands for tablespoon and “tsp” si for teaspoon?

  39. Hi. do i need to ground the poppy seeds or should they be whole? and also- instead of an egg in the vegan version can i use apple souse? thanks!!!

  40. All I can say is that I’m relieved and hopeful for my kids. I always say someday theyll realize mum was right all along 😝. It didnt take much arn wrestling with your mum , I’d probably prolong the agony a bit but she knows you’re reformed and that’s all that matters. for all its worth, I’ll give this a try and I also happen to love lemon this and lemon that (not the bottled ones coz I’m like your mum that way 😂)
    In all seriousness, thank you for this recipe and bravo to all the awesome mums out there!

  41. Hi,
    This will be my first attempt at Vegan/Paleo baking. Have some reservations, but have to start somewhere! Anyway, I’m wondering if I could bake this in a 8 x 8′ pan instead or there isn’t enough batter to make them thick or too thin?
    Thanks, Sally

  42. Hi! I’m making this right now! However, I don’t have coconut butter for the glaze. Nor do I have on hand any vanilla protein powder or cream cheese. I was going to make the coconut butter frosting and I made the paleo cake option. Is there something I can sub for the coconut butter? I have coconut oil and also canned coconut milk. Thanks!

  43. Just made these today, into cupcake cases. They’re so cute! Delicious without any icing! A little crumbly under the tops though, but still taste great.

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