Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

5 from 126 votes

This lemon poppyseed cake is so moist, fluffy, and full of lemon flavor, you won’t believe it is vegan! Topped with a dairy free cream cheese frosting, it’s made without eggs, without milk, and without butter!

vegan lemon poppyseed cake

Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake

We love our healthy lemon recipes around here. Our favorites include lemon loaf, lemon cake, and this healthy lemon poppyseed 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!

lemon poppyseed layer cake

Ingredients to make a lemon poppyseed cake

The Ingredients listed and amounts indicated yield a single layer cake with frosting. If you’d like to make a layer cake, simple double or triple the ingredients. Bake them in 2 or 3 8-inch cake pans. 

  • All purpose flour– Sift your flour carefully, to ensure there are no clumps. If you’d like this cake to also be gluten free, be sure to use gluten free baking flour (a gluten free flour with added xanthan gum).
  • Sweetener of choice– White sugar or a white sugar substitute is best, like monk fruit sweetener. You can use brown sugar or coconut sugar, but your cake will be darker. 
  • Salt– A must to bring out the sweetness! 
  • Baking soda– Leavening agent that reacts with the vinegar to replicate the eggs. 
  • Poppy seeds– A must for a lemon poppy seed cake! 
  • Vinegar– White vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used. 
  • Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake recipe! 
  • Oil of choice– Use a neutral flavored oil, like canola oil, vegetable oil, or refined coconut oil. 
  • Lemon juice– Gives a delicious tangy flavor throughout. 
  • Water– Mixes everything together. 
  • Yellow food coloring– Optional, but gives the lemon poppy seed cake a gorgeous yellow color. 

How to make a healthy lemon poppyseed cake

Start by mixing together your dry ingredients. Next, add the rest of your ingredients, except for your food coloring. Mix well, until combined. Add 2-3 drops yellow food coloring, and mix until incorporated. Transfer the cake batter into an 8-inch cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely, before frosting. 

lemon poppyseed cake

Easy Frosting Ideas 

Can I make lemon poppy seed muffins? 

If you’d like to make this cake as healthy lemon poppy seed muffins, you can easily do that by making the following changes-

  1. Line a 12-count muffin tin with muffin liners. Distribute the batter amongst the 12-muffin pans. 
  2. Bake the muffins for 17-19 minutes, or until a skewer comes out ‘just’ clean. 
  3. Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes, before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost them. 

Can I make this low carb? 

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. 

lemon poppyseed cake recipe

Tips to make the best cake

  • 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. Otherwise, you risk the frosting slipping off. 
  • For a gluten free lemon poppy seed cake, be sure to use gluten free baking flour. 
  • For a more pronounced lemon flavor, sub out some of the milk for extra lemon juice. 

How to store the cake

  • 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: Place leftover slices of cake in a container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

vegan lemon poppyseed cake

More easy vegan cake recipes

healthy lemon poppyseed cake

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

This lemon poppyseed cake is moist and fluffy, you won't believe it is vegan! No butter, no milk, and no eggs needed, you only need one bowl!
5 from 126 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Arman

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Add your wet ingredients, except for the yellow food coloring. Mix everything together. Add your yellow food coloring, and mix until incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter into the lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely, before frosting.

Notes

* You can use brown sugar or coconut sugar, but your cake will be darker.
This recipe makes a single 8-inch cake with frosting. If you'd like a layer cake, double or triple the ingredients.
TO MAKE MUFFINS: Line a 12-count muffin tin with muffin liners. Distribute the batter amongst the 12-muffin pans. Bake the muffins for 17-19 minutes, or until a skewer comes out 'just' clean. Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes, before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost them. 
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: Place leftover slices of cake in a container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 29g
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Comments

164 thoughts on “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. Pingback: 10 Gluten Free Lemon Desserts you'll love! - Noshtastic
  5. 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.

  6. This looks delicious and I was drawn in by “paleo”. Unfortunately this really isn’t Paleo at all unfortunately.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. Pingback: Raspberry Cheesecake + Lemon Poppyseed Cake – New Song Women

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