Lemon-Olive Oil Poppy Seed Cake

  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


for the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds

for the lemon glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 34 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Add olive oil to sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time until incorporated but do not over mix. Add lemon juice and vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, alternating with the buttermilk until just combined. Stir in poppy seeds.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven Let cool in pan 15 minutes and then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up.
  5. To make the glaze, whisk together remaining powdered sugar and lemon juice until a slightly thick glaze forms. Adjust sugar and lemon juice until you get desired consistency. Glaze the cake evenly and sprinkle with additional poppy seeds if desired. Cool completely before slicing.