lemon poppyseed loaf

27 May

Part of Mum’s Birthday Picnic Feast Bonanza was this delicious Lemon Poppyseed Loaf, and let me tell you, it was delicious! If I have time I like to take a couple of swings at a recipe before dishing it out to my family. I had made this a while back, so this recipe here incorporates some of my changes to the original, which is very loosely based on the Cranberry-Orange Loaf from Veganomicon.

I like my poppyseed loaves extra poppyseedy, but my first batch was a bit overkill. For this one I dropped from 3 tablespoons to 2 heaped tablespoons: perfect! Also, in my first batch I used a full teaspoon of lemon extract and it took a full 24 hours to really acclimatise to the loaf around it. The first couple of slices were a bit lemon-heavy rather than lemon-fresh. For my second one, I split the teaspoon 50-50 between vanilla extract and lemon extract and it was so much better! As the weather has taken a definite turn towards becoming Officially Summer, I think in the future I’ll use maybe a tablespoon more lemon juice and some more lemon zest — to make it extra zangy!

DSC00242This was the very last piece, hence the extra-thick crust;
I should have snapped sooner!


1/2 c. milk (soya or whole)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium-sized lemon)
1/4 c. sunflower oil
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
2 c. plain flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
zest of one medium lemon
2 tbsp. poppyseeds


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, juice, oil, sugar and vanilla and lemon extracts, until the oil is fully incorporated. Sift in the four, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger, and mix until just smooth. FYI: this batter will be a bit heavier than dropping consistency.

Fold in the lemon zest and poppyseeds, then spoon as evenly as you can into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. You might want to smooth out the top a bit, but it doesn’t really matter.

Bake at 175 C/gas 4 for an hour, or until golden. When you remove it from the oven, leave it to cool for about a quarter of an hour before transferring it onto a cooling rack.

I find this loaf improves with ages, so if you can I’d definitely make it a day before you want to cut into it. However long you wait, be sure to have a jug of fresh lemonade handy!

ETA: You can sub in vanilla extract if you can’t find any lemon and boost the lemon zest — thanks, Nora, for prodding me!!

4 Responses to “lemon poppyseed loaf”

  1. nora 27 May 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    yummy – this sounds delicious! 2 questions – a 2lb or 1lb loaf tin? and from where do you buy lemon extract?

  2. emmms 27 May 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    2lb, I think! My computer is being weird, otherwise I’d change that in the actual recipe!

    You should be able to get lemon extract at any supermarket — my little corner shop sells it (if at twice the price, the cheeky bastards)!

  3. MelJay 27 May 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    This looks delicious. Hopefully it will go as well with Pimms as with straight lemonade…?

  4. nora 28 May 2009 at 7:15 am #

    thanks! I’m going to try this next week-end – I have always enjoyed citrus and poppyseed cakes.

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