Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This vegan lemon poppy seed cake is healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast! A moist and fluffy cake topped with a dairy free cream cheese frosting! No flour and no dairy needed, there is a low carb and keto option included!

vegan lemon poppy seed cake

We love our vegan lemon recipes around here. Our favorites include lemon cake, lemon loaf, and this vegan lemon poppy seed cake.

This truly is the BEST lemon poppy seed cake. Why? It’s secretly healthy! Like seriously, we have been eating slice after slice for breakfast. 

It’s completely vegan and gluten free, and there are instructions included to make it keto and low carb.

The texture of this poppy seed cake is incredible- Moist, fluffy, and with a tender crumb. Taste wise, it’s sweet, tangy and LOADED with lemon flavor. Topped with a creamy frosting, you will be obsessed!

How to make a vegan lemon poppy seed cake

The Ingredients

  • Rolled Oats– The oats will be ground up to form oat flour. Be sure to use gluten free oats, to keep them gluten free. 
  • Sugar– Any sugar of choice will work, including white sugar, brown sugar, and coconut sugar. Keep this sugar free by using monk fruit sweetener of erythritol. 
  • Baking powder– Gives the cake some rise and leavening. 
  • Poppy seeds– A must for a lemon poppy seed cake! Be sure to use good quality seeds, so the cake has a light, subtle flavor. 
  • Non Dairy Milk– Any plant based milk can be used- soy, almond, coconut, etc.
  • Lemon juice– Fresh or bottled is fine. For a stronger lemon flavor, you can reduce some of the milk and use extra lemon juice.
  • Lemon zest- Gives the poppy seed cake a stronger lemon flavor,.
  • Flax egg OR egg– Either a flax egg or standard egg can be used. To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon ground flasxseed with 3 tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes, for a gel to form.
  • Vanilla extract– A must for any delicious cake recipe.
  • Coconut Oil– Gives the lemon poppy seed cake a buttery and moist and fluffy texture. You can also use dairy free butter.
  • Yellow food coloring– Optional, but gives the lemon poppy seed cake a gorgeous yellow color. 

The Instructions

In a high speed blender or food processor, add all your ingredients and blend until a smooth batter remains. Transfer to an 8 x 8-inch square pan or loaf pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan completely. Once cool, frost the lemon poppy seed loaf. 

keto lemon poppy seed cake

Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Option

To make a keto lemon poppy seed cake, use these ingredients and instructions below.

The ingredients- 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup, 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 4 large eggs. 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until fully combined and a smooth batter remains. Transfer to a loaf pan, cake pan or square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool in the cake pan until cool, before frosting. 

Frosting Ideas for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • Cashew cream cheese– Ultra creamy and thick, and made with no dairy or refined sugar. 
  • Non dairy cream cheese– Mix 1 container of non dairy cream cheese with powdered sugar or sugar free sub, and thin out with a little non dairy milk. 
  • Powdered sugar– A simple glaze idea- Mix powdered sugar with water or milk, until desired consistency is reached.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Tips

  • Do not overbake the poppy seed cake, as it will continue to cook as it is cooling. Once a toothpick comes out ‘just’ clean, remove it from the oven.
  • Oven makes and models differ. Some may find their cake ready after 30 minutes, or longer. Do the toothpick or skewer test to check! 
  • Your lemon poppy seed cake must be cooled before frosting.
  • For a gluten free lemon poppy seed cake, either make the keto option or be sure your oats you use are 100% gluten free. 
  • For a more pronounced lemon flavor, sub out some of the milk for extra lemon juice. 

Storing and Freezing Tips

  • To store: Leftover vegan lemon poppy seed cake should always be kept in a sealable container, and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2 weeks. 
  • To freeze: Lemon poppy seed cake is freezer friendly and will keep well in the freezer, for at least 6 months. 
  • To thaw: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or microwave for 30-40 seconds. 

lemon poppy seed cake

More easy vegan cake recipes

vegan lemon poppy seed cake

Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

A healthy lemon poppy seed cake that is so moist, fluffy and with a tender crumb! This vegan lemon poppy seed cake uses just one bowl and is made with no flour- It's gluten free with a keto option.
5 from 29 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 182kcal
Author: Arman


cream cheese frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a loaf pan or 8 x 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a high speed blender or food processor, add all your ingredients and blend until a thick batter remains.
  • Transfer the batter to the loaf pan or square pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out 'just' clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan until completely cooled. Once cool, frost.


See the body of the post for the keto lemon poppy seed cake option. 
* To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. 
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake should be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealable container. Vegan lemon poppy seed cake can also be stored in the freezer. 

Key Recipe Equipment and Ingredients


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 17g
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!


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    Desserts Gluten Free Keto Muffins and Cakes Paleo Vegan



    163 thoughts on “Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed 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. I’m pretty obsessed with lemons or any tart citrus. This look so yummy! Panera used to have a secret menu, but I don’t know if they have it any more. Seemed kind of silly to me, especially since it was on their website.

    8. 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!!!

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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

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