Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is summer’s sweetest wake-up call. Buttermilk in the batter gives this one-layer wonder a cakey crumb that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy streusel topping. You can find more quick bread inspiration in our May/June 2020 issue.

Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1½ tablespoons (7.5 grams) packed lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons (9 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons (14 grams) poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Streusel (recipe follows)
  • Buttermilk Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and melted butter; add eggs, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla bean paste, whisking to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, whisking to combine. Whisk in buttermilk just until combined. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing with an offset spatula. Sprinkle evenly with Lemon Poppy Seed Streusel.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and drizzle with Buttermilk Glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Poppy Seed Streusel
  • ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (3.5 grams) packed lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, lemon zest, poppy seeds, and salt. Using your fingers, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Buttermilk Glaze
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) packed lemon zest
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.



  1. Hey there! Sorry to reach you out but i have a doubt, you called this recipe lemon poppy seed coffee cake
    You stated
    ” This coffee cake is summer’s sweetest wake-up call. ”
    Question, where is the coffee in the recipe? I’m confused..

    • Hey Silvia,

      Sorry for the confusion. This cake is a coffee cake, which is just a general term for a cake you can enjoy with coffee for a brunch or breakfast. There isn’t any coffee actually in it.


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