Cakes Spring Winter

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake | The Vanilla Bean Blog

I know it’s spring, and I should be straying away from citrus and moving towards rhubarb, but I made this lemon poppy seed Bundt cake last week and wanted to share it.

Making Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

It’s a recipe inspired by a wonderful citrus Bundt cake from Yossy’s book (affiliate link), but I swapped regular lemons for Meyer, and cream cheese for sour cream. I also swirled in some poppy seeds and lemon curd for good measure.

It’s tender, moist, and full of lemon flavor.

I really love this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with the cream cheese, and have a few more variations planned with the base recipe (my family raved about it for days, and thought it was better each passing day, which was a win-win) so stay tuned for those.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake | The Vanilla Bean Blog

A few things:

*I often share what music I’m listening to in my Instagram stories, and I’ve made a playlist here on Spotify of some of the songs if you want to take a listen.

*I’m looking forward to:

  • Molly’s TV show! 
  • Seeing Jeremy Enigk perform Return of the Frog Queen
  • A whole summer reading PG Wodehouse (affiliate link) / (I’m addicted now – I don’t know if I love Blandings Castle or Wooster and Jeeves more. It switches with each book.)

(Sources: Bundt Pan | Nordic Ware)

More Bundt Cake Recipes:

lemon poppy seed bundt cake on glass cake stand

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
A delicious lemon poppyseed bundt cake made with lemon curd and cream cheese.
Sarah Kieffer
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600g)
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (227g)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (170g)
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup (8oz) lemon curd (I used store bought)


  • 2 medium lemons
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (360g)
  • Pinch salt


To Make The Cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF (160ºC). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan very thoroughly.
  • Scrub the lemons with warm soapy water to remove any excess wax, then dry the fruit. Put the sugar into a medium bowl and zest the lemon directly into the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until evenly distributed and fragrant.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and zest mixture and turn the mixer up to medium high. Mix for 3-5 minutes, making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula periodically. The butter and sugar should be light, fluffy, and fragrant.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each addition. Periodically stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  • On low speed, add the milk, followed by half the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add the lemon juice, and then the remaining flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the mixture a few more turns with a spatula to make sure it’s combined completely. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Take 1/2 cup lemon curd and drop it in circles over the cake batter. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, drag the lemon curd through the top of the batter, making swirls. Top with the remaining half of the cake batter, and repeat the swirls with the remaining 1/2 cup of the lemon curd. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.
  • Bake the cake until it is golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold it onto a rack to cool a bit more before glazing.

To make the glaze

  • Zest and juice the lemons. Add the zest, confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Whisk in about 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thick, but pourable. If the glaze seems too thick to pour, add a few more drops of lemon juice.
  • When the cake has mostly cooled, use a skewer to poke a few holes into its surface. Drizzle half of the glaze on top of the cake, let it soak in for about 20 minutes, then whisk the remaining glaze until smooth and pour it over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.


Inspired/Adapted from Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi.
Note: You can omit the lemon curd, but the cake won’t be quite as lemon-y. The cake holds well for several days (I prefer it on the second and third day).
  • Reply
    Friday, March 17, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    4 stars
    Hi! I’ve attempted this recipe twice now, and both times in getting the cake out of the pan the cake split clean in half where the first band of lemon curd was. I incorporated the lemon curd more the second time and the same thing happened. Do you have any tips for this? My pan was very well greased and I do not generally have problems getting Bundt cakes out.

  • Reply
    Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    I am looking forward to making this! Especially since I just made your Glazed Meyer Lemon Snack Cake. Two quick questions: (1) How does this cake texture compare to the snack cake? Mine was delicious although a little dense; I’d love to have an option that’s a bit lighter and airier. (2) Do you recommend regular lemons over Meyer lemons for this Bundt cake?
    Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 9:36 am

    5 stars
    My favorite muffin in bundt cake form! I’m buying some fresh poppy seeds to make this ASAP.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    do you sift the flour before or after measuring? great recipe, was a huge hit with my partner who hates dessert!

  • Reply
    Faridah Mansoor
    Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Sarah, oh my… i really must try this recipe of yours especially so with the addition of cream cheese and lemon curd… i have baked lemon poppy seed before but i always swiped poppy seeds with chia seeds. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It will be my weekend bake! Have a great day and a great weekend ahead Sarah!

  • Reply
    Anne McAlary
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Sarah, its a fabulous looking recipe. Can this be made in a regular springform pan ?

  • Reply
    Klis Cakery
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I love the classic combination of lemon and poppyseed with an extra hit of lemon with the addition of the lemon curd. This was an instant hit with the family. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I love these tweaks, cream cheese for sour cream, lemon curd and poppyseeds among them, thank you for this wonderful bundt cake, works for me for both spring and summer!

  • Reply
    Diana Lopes
    Monday, May 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    It’s the little things in life, lemon poppy seed cake, for example. Always enjoyable with a cup of tea or coffee.

  • Reply
    Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I just got back from the Amalfi coast. I didn’t know that many lemon trees existed in one place. Everything was lemon, which I loved. I can’t wait to make your wonderful cake. I will have it with a glass of Prosecco and dream of Anacapri.

    PS – I loved the PG Wodehouse Wooster & Jeeves series. it was such a fun romp. Hated to reach the last book.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    I love lemon and poppy seeds together! Such a great recipe! This cake looks so moist and delicious!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hanson
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I am so excited to try this cake. I love everything about it. I have been looking for a cake like this. I like to really be able to taste the lemon.

4.75 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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