It’s a little hard to believe that it took me 5 years to finally blog on this cake, a classic that I’ve made quite a few times in the past decade to take to graduate students in our lab. The funny thing is that I thought it was already in the blog, so whenever I made it, I never bothered taking a picture. Last month, searching through my index to retrieve the recipe, I was shocked to realize the harsh reality: it was nowhere to be found.   Better late than never, this is the cake-challenged dream.  One bowl, one whisk, absolutely nothing can go wrong. Except of course, if you tip the bowl…


(from Alpineberry)

for the cake:
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/3 cup canola oil

for the glaze:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line with a parchment circle and butter the paper.

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, sugar, and lemon zest with a whisk. spoon. Add the eggs and mix well.  Add the flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Mix until flour is just incorporated.

Add the oil and mix well. The batter will look curdled at first but it will come together. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until your cake tester is clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Allow cake to cool in pan on a rack for about 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and set on a rack to cool completely.

Combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.


to print the recipe, click here

Such a perfect little dessert or morning treat with a cup of cappuccino.  Not too sweet, not too rich, poppy seeds are of course optional, but they add a very unique flavor, and look pretty cute in their random distribution through the cake.  If you have kids, it will be hard to find a recipe more appropriate for their first lesson in baking. By starting them early enough on this path, they won’t turn into cake-o-phobes like certain food bloggers you may know 😉



Disclaimer: No bowls were tipped during the making of this cake.
Isn’t that something?


ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen – July 2013

TWO YEARS AGO: Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

THREE YEARS AGO: Ina Garten’s Banana Bran Muffins

FOUR YEARS AGO: Beer Bread with Roasted Barley

FIVE YEARS AGO: Tomato Confit with Arugula and Zucchini


  1. I love the flavours in this cake. And in a strange coincidence, I made a lemon poppyseed bundt cake today. No yogurt, I used ricotta cheese instead. It’s a small world … 🙂


  2. Haha! I love this cake. The simple wonderful flavors sound amazing. I have everything right now and I’m looking for a relaxing bake so this is perfect!!


  3. This sounds *so* good Sally! I’ve always loved the combination of lemon and poppy seed and the glaze has got that pucker inducing appeal to it too ;-). What a great idea to add the creamy, delicious texture of yogurt… So simple too – heavenly. Our whole family would fall for this one!


  4. This sounds delicious. I may try my 6-cup bundt pan. I love the bundt look.

    @A_Boleyn would share your bundt cake recipe.


  5. I will definitely have the kids make this cake! Mr. N will love it. In our old hometown we frequented a coffee shop on weekend mornings and he always ordered the lemon poppy seed cake. He will be very excited about this one. And like you, I love that it’s an easy cake recipe. Phew!


    • It’s always nice to have an easy cake in the repertoire… because we both know too well what happens when the cake is NOT easy. No need to even think about outcomes…


  6. Omg….just stumbled across your blog via Cottage Grove. I hail from Manhattan, KS and am a K-State Alum. What were the chances of this today?! Never mind your cake looks absolutely lovely. I have two children attending K-State, my oldest working on his grad degree at Emporia. Manhattan is such a super town; I hope you are loving it and meeting wonderful people.


    • We are enjoying it very very much! Great town, great people, great university – cannot complain about anything. Ok, about one thing: parking situation at work. Pathetic.

      oh, well – nothing can be perfect, right? 😉


  7. Wow this cake looks delicious and simple to make. I will have to try it soon! Also, my boyfriend is working on his phd and also spends much time in a lab doing research so I like hearing you mention your lab here and there. I may even get him to read this blog with me! 🙂


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