Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This soft and tender Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is truly simple to make—just stir everything together. And, it has a secret ingredient that brings out the lemon flavor even more!

three slices of lemon poppy seed bread stacked up.

This old fashioned recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a classic: a soft and tender quick bread, lots of lemon flavor, with poppy seeds throughout.

It also has a sticky-sweet glaze that seeps into the bread to make it extra lemon-y and delicious. (Love sweet lemon treats? Don’t miss my Lemon Poke Cake and these Classic Lemon Bars!)

I love serving it straight out of the oven while it’s still warm. But, it’s also delicious on day two or three because the flavors meld together even more.

This delightful lemon loaf is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Love quick bread? Don’t miss my decadent Banana Bread with Pecans or an easy Cherry Bread made with maraschino cherries!

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The secret ingredient

The secret ingredient in this lemon poppy seed bread recipe is almond extract!

Almond complements the flavor of lemon really nicely, so it’s a lovely pairing in this quick bread.

The extract is used in both the bread and the glaze.

Other ingredients

flour, lemons, almond extract, and more ingredients on a white table.
  • Dry ingredients include flour, baking powder, salt, and poppyseeds.
  • Wet ingredients include eggs, milk, and oil.
  • We’ll use both lemon zest and lemon juice from the lemons.
  • Almond extract adds a hint of nutty flavor to the loaf.

How to make lemon poppy seed bread

I love quick bread recipes with simple instructions, and this is one of them!

For this recipe, simply whisk the wet ingredients together, then stir in the dry ingredients.

batter with poppy seeds in a glass bowl.

Pour the batter into a 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake the lemon poppy seed bread for 55–65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the bread is baking, add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond extract to a small saucepan.

lemon glaze in a saucepan.

Cook the mixture JUST until it reaches a boil, then pour it over the bread after it’s done baking. It’ll seep into the center and run down the sides to glaze the bread with extra lemon flavor.

loaf of lemon poppy seed bread with slices cut off.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze lemon poppy seed bread?

To freeze the bread, make it according to recipe directions and let cool. Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil, then slide it into a gallon-size resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature overnight before serving.

Can I make it with less sugar?

You can use ¾ cup of sugar instead of 1 cup for a less-sweet bread. I don’t recommend using any less.

How do I know when the bread is done?

The center of a loaf of quick bread is the last section to bake. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of the loaf. The toothpick should come out dry or with a few crumbs. If there is wet batter on the toothpick, bake it in additional 5 minute increments until it’s cooked through.

How do I avoid the loaf from over browning on top?

If the top of the loaf is getting brown before the center is done, place a piece of aluminum foil on top (no need to tuck it around the loaf pan—just lightly rest it on top of the loaf). It’ll prevent the bread from additional browning.

loaf of lemon poppy seed bread with a slice cut out.

More quick breads

If you love this Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, you have to try these other quick breads!

slices of lemon poppy seed loaf falling over.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

three slices of lemon poppy seed bread stacked up.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Published by Kate
This easy quick bread recipe is packed with lemon flavor, both inside the loaf and in the sweet glaze.
4.64 from 58 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 386 kcal


For the bread:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 1½ large lemons)
  • cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

For the glaze:

  • cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from about ½ large lemon)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, almond extract, and lemon zest. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppyseeds.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55–65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond extract. Heat on the stovetop just until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the warm poppy seed bread.
  • Let cool completely before slicing.


You’ll need 2 large lemons for this recipe. Three-quarters of the zest will go in the bread, and the other quarter will go in the glaze. And you’ll just need one of the lemons for juicing (for the glaze). 
Don’t have almond extract? You can use vanilla extract instead. It obviously won’t have the same nutty taste, but it’ll still be delicious.
To freeze the bread, make it according to recipe directions and let cool. Wrap the loaf in foil and then put into a resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Let defrost at room temperature overnight before serving.
You can replace the poppy seeds with chia seeds, or leave them out altogether, if you’d like.


Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 97IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 2mg
Keyword lemon poppy seed bread
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

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  1. 5 stars
    Second time making this in one week! Absolutely love it. Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that—thank you for taking the time to write a review!

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