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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Light, moist and zesty vegan lemon and poppy seed cake topped with a simple lemon icing. Packed with fresh lemon juice, zest and poppy seeds. 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #vegancake #lemon #poppyseed #recipe #cake

Lemon cake will always be one of my favourite flavours. It’s a british classic and I’ve grown up eating plenty of lemon drizzle cakes!

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Mixture

I love pairing lemon in cakes, this lemon and elderflower cake is one of the most popular cake recipes on the blog. 

Adding poppy seed to cake means it’s automatically healthy right? They add a lovely nutty crunch and pair with the lemon perfectly. 

The best thing about loaf cakes is that you don’t have to worry about layering sponges.

Simply spoon the simple lemon icing on top and you’re good to go! 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Mixture

This is the perfect cake to have with an afternoon cup of tea. Or breakfast. Or for dessert. Of course having three slices in one day is totally acceptable! 

You wouldn’t be able to resist this lemon poppy seed loaf either, it never lasts long in my house! 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #vegancake #lemon #poppyseed #recipe #cake

How to make a vegan cake:

My favourite swaps for a vegan cake are using plant milk and a neutral flavoured oil. They make for super moist cakes and you won’t notice dairy or eggs are missing.

Making this lemon poppy seed cake is so simple. For your dry ingredients you’re going to mix together self raising flour, baking powder, caster sugar and poppy seeds. 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #vegancake #lemon #poppyseed #recipe #cake

In a separate bowl mix together your wet ingredients – rapeseed oil (or canola oil), unsweetened almond milk (or soy milk), lemon juice and lemon zest. 

Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mixed until just combined. Pour into a lined loaf tin and pop in the oven for 45-55 minutes.

To make the simple lemon icing simply mix lemon juice with icing sugar and mix until a thick icing forms.

Once the cake has cooled, spoon over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon until some drips over the edges.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #vegancake #lemon #poppyseed #recipe #cake

Sprinkle some poppy seeds and lemon zest on top and voila! Dig straight in and enjoy with a cup of tea!

For more vegan cakes you may enjoy these:

Apple Cake with Maple Icing

Gin and Blackberry Cake

Upside-down pear and almond cake

Lemon and elderflower cake

As always if you make this vegan lemon poppyseed cake be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!

Don’t forget to follow along on FacebookPinterest and Instagram – I’d love to see you all there!


Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #lemon #poppyseed #cake #vegan
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake #vegancake #lemon #poppyseed #recipe #cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Light, moist and zesty vegan lemon poppy seed cake. With a simple lemon icing this is the perfect cake to serve for afternoon tea!


  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 120ml rapeseed/canola oil
  • 230ml unsweetened almond milk
  • Juice of 4 lemons (~125ml)
  • Zest of 3 lemons (~3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • 170g/3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line and grease a 9x5" loaf tin.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and poppy seeds and mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla,
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour into the loaf tin and place in the oven for 45-55 minutes. It should be starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Do the toothpick test and once it comes out clean, its ready.
  6. Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and lemon together until it forms a thick icing. Spoon onto the cake once cooled with the back of a spoon.
  7. Top with some poppy seeds and lemon zest ans serve! Will keep in an air tight container for 2-3 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gSodium: 529mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 3gSugar: 38gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram @cupfulofkale

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Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Hi there, I just made this and although it tastes delicious the cake collapsed. The mixture did seem too liquid and almost overflowed the correct size loaf tin although I used the correct amounts. Should there be less almond milk in the mix perhaps 130 ml and not 230?


Sunday 28th of February 2021

Nice flavour. Thought it would rise more, but cooked perfectly well and a nice light crumb. Thanks for the recipe, I will make it again as it's a good way to use up lemons and poppyseeds, neither of which keep very long.


Monday 1st of March 2021

Hi Dan, thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed it! It should rise, it may be that you over mixed the mixture, or it could be oven temperature! Thanks, Tamsin xo


Thursday 7th of January 2021

Going to make this tonight, going to try and substitute the oil for coconut oil. Have you tried that before? Wondering if I’m setting myself up to fail 😬. Only other oil I have is sunflower oil?


Thursday 7th of January 2021

Hi Kiki, I'm not sure how coconut oil would react in this. Sunflower oil would be the best bet, so go with that :) Tamsin xo


Tuesday 6th of October 2020

I bake a lot, made it, tasted of oil, not nice. Used sunflower oil perhaps that was unsuitable. Waste of time and ingredients.


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

@CAS, hi I’ve made this twice and used vitalite dairy free butter melted. it works just fine and you can’t taste it once baked.


Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hi - this cake should be fine with sunflower oil, although I do recommend canola/rapeseed for its neutral taste. I have made this cake at least 10 times with a lot of reader reviews and it definitely doesn't have an oily taste! The recipe only calls for 120ml oil so I'm not sure what went wrong with yours. Thanks, Tamsin


Thursday 24th of September 2020

Tried to follow recipe but there are hundreds of pop ups all over it...!


Thursday 24th of September 2020

Hi Jean, sorry that you found the ads obtrusive. I provide these recipes for free and as this is my job they help contribute to my income. I hope you were still able to make the recipe and I appreciate you stopping by, Tamsin xo