Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake slice on white plate

This Lemon Poppy Seed 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.

4.0 from 2 reviews
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.

4.0 from 2 reviews
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.

4.0 from 2 reviews
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.


Previous articleBetter Baking Academy: Strawberry Roulade
Next articleSourdough Biscuits


  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.

  2. ok….i followed the recipe meticulously. put the streusel on top and popped into the oven. i’m watching the batter cover the streusel almost entirely? what happened?

    • Hi Pam,

      Thank you for your question, and I’m sorry your streusel sunk! There could be a couple of things happening here.

      1. Always make sure you’re weighing your ingredients to get the most accurate measurements. If there’s too much of any one ingredient in the batter, it will affect the consistency of your batter. In this instance, if the batter is too wet, it will not set quickly enough to prevent the streusel from sinking.
      2. Oven temperature is also crucial. Check your oven’s accuracy using an oven thermometer. If your oven runs below temperature, this could also cause your batter to not set quickly enough, giving the streusel time to sink.
      3. Be sure your streusel is evenly distributed across the surface of the cake, and that the crumbles themselves aren’t too large. Too much weight in any one area will most likely cause the streusel to sink.

      If none of these factors affect your cake, there is also always the option to sprinkle on your streusel after your batter has had an opportunity to set slightly in the oven (usually after about 20 min).

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

  3. My streusel sank also. I weigh my ingredients, always. Cake had a very wet texture even though it was done. Flavor was good though. Probably won’t make this again.

  4. In many of your recipes, you have the main cake or whatever that can be printed, then you have to separately print out the streusel and separately print out the glaze. Why can’t you just combine all 3 components into one recipe which would make it easier to print out?

    • Hi Davida,

      Thank you for your question!

      Unfortunately, that’s how the program we use formats the recipes. However, if you want everything in a single print out, I usually copy and paste any text from separate recipes onto the main recipe doc, then save and print from there.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

  5. This cake is great!! Came out beautifully. I didn’t have buttermilk so substituted with yogurt. I did bring eggs and yogurt to room temperature, is this necessary for this recipe?

  6. made this just few days ago; came out beautifully.

    Re how the recipes are formatted: I always do a copy and paste with all parts of the recipe, including the pix.. Then take a few minutes to format as Word doc, & waalaa, entire recipe all together., pix in top R corner usually or sometimes at end; depends on how the ingredients format.

    Did re-sign up for the Bundt of month – have done so in past but don’t think i receive a recipe each month.?? Love Bake recipes; can’t wait for ’22 Cookie book. to arrive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.