Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake

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Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake is a delightful creation, boasting a moist and tender lemon-infused crumb with a subtle crunch and nutty undertones from poppy seeds. Drizzled with a sweet glaze and treated to a warm milk mixture, this cake achieves a super soft and delicate texture, making it the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee, tea, or a satisfying snack.

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Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake

Ingredients & Substitutions


  • I utilized all-purpose flour for this recipe, but if you lean towards a gluten-free option, feel free to substitute an equal amount of gluten-free flour.

Baking Powder:

  • Ensure you have 2 1/2 teaspoons of fresh baking powder (not expired) for optimal results.

Poppy Seeds:

  • These tiny seeds, sourced from the poppy plant, add a delightful crunch and flavor to the cake. Easily found in your local grocery store, they are a key ingredient in this recipe.


  • You’ll need 2-3 lemons to yield 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Remember to zest the lemons before extracting the juice. While freshly squeezed lemon juice is preferable, bottled juice can be a convenient alternative.

Milk Mixture Topping:

  • A blend of whole milk, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar creates a sweet and flavorful liquid. This mixture is poured into holes punctured into the baked cake, enhancing its moisture and taste.


  • While optional, the glaze introduces an extra layer of sweetness to the cake. However, the cake is equally delightful without it.

Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake

Can I Use A Different Pan?

Absolutely! While I opted for a springform pan to encourage a lofty rise, an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking dish is a suitable alternative. Note that the cake may not achieve the same height but will retain its deliciousness. Line your chosen pan with parchment paper and keep a close eye on the baking time. For those craving more cake, double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch (23*33 cm) dish.

Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake


Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour (about 125 g)
  • ⅓ cup (67 g) granulated sugar (about 67 g)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder (about 12.5 g)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (about 2.5 g)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil (about 109 g)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ cup lemon juice, about 2-3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, about 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • ½ cup (122.5 g) whole milk (about 122.5 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners’ sugar (about 125 g)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk (about 30 ml)

Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper, extending it up the sides, and apply cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend.
  3. In a small bowl, mix eggs and oil until well combined.
  4. Add the egg and oil mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until fully combined. Introduce poppy seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.


  1. In the last few minutes of baking, heat milk, butter, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter and sugar dissolve completely.
  2. Remove the cake from the oven and insert a skewer into the top, creating 25-30 spaced holes all the way to the bottom.
  3. Pour the milk mixture over the cake, ensuring it fills the holes and covers the top.
  4. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes to allow the milk mixture to absorb. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.


  1. In a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake, making sure it enters the holes created by the skewer. This may take a moment as the glaze settles into the cake. Alternatively, dust the cake with confectioners sugar.


How To Store Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake:

  • Store the cake at room temperature, lightly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, for up to 2-3 days. While refrigeration is an option for slightly longer storage, it may expedite the cake drying out.

How to Freeze Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake:

  • If freezing, do so without the glaze.
  • Let the cake cool completely.
  • Once cool, tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
  • Label and date the packaging.
  • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To enjoy, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle the cake with the glaze (if desired).

Zesty Lemon-Poppy Symphony Cake

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