Lemon And Poppy Seed Bundt Cake Recipe

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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I’ve been dying for an excuse to use my new Nordic Ware bundt pan. I bought it online and had to wait for ages for it to be shipped out from America. But, as it turns out, it was definitely worth the wait.

Why go to the trouble and expense? Because, frankly, I’ve had nothing but problems with first, my cheap non-stick bundt pan (we’re talking a good chunk of cake left inside the pan after I turned it out); and then, the even more pathetic silicon bundt pan which, even after two hours baking, never cooked the inside of the cake. So, when my Citrus & Poppy Seed Bundt Cake slipped quietly out of the pan without so much as a crumb left inside, I knew my  money was well spent. You certainly get what you pay for when it comes to bundt pans it seems.

To christen my shiny new Heritage bundt pan, I went with a nice and simple citrus and poppy seed cake straight from the pages of The Australian Women’s Weekly, March 2015. 


As promised, it’s a lovely tender cake which features the classic pairing of poppy seeds and the zesty combination of orange and lemon. And, topping it all is a simple lemon icing, which adds a further citrus punch and looks heavenly as it wends its way slowly down your cake like lazy lava.

The recipe suggests you serve this cake with fresh blueberries. Sadly, we’re all out of blueberries given we’re smack dab in the middle of winter down here in New Zealand, otherwise I most certainly would have. If, like me, you’re all out of fresh berries, I’d suggest serving the cake with a nice tart mound of unsweetened yoghurt to cut through the sweetness.

If you’re on the look-out for an simple cake to serve for afternoon tea, but one with lots of fresh flavour and outstanding good looks (especially if you have a fancy bundt pan!), I can definitely recommend this one. Enjoy!



Indulge in the flavors of summer with this Citrus & Poppy Seed Bundt Cake. Zesty lemon and sweet orange meet a hint of poppy seed in a tender cake, finished with a tangy lemon glaze.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 Slices
Calories 304 kcal



For the cake:

  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 tbspfinely grated orange rind
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (you may need more)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 8.8 oz butter, softened and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup plain flour NB: I used 335g plain organic Italian flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the lemon icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (you may need more)
  • 2 tsp boiling water

To serve:

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Optional: 2.1 oz fresh blueberries
  • Optional: Unsweetened yoghurt or cream


For the cake:

  • Place the poppy seeds in a small bowl. Add the rinds and juices and stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Liberally grease a 24cm fluted ring cake pan (or 10 cup bundt pan) with a pastry brush dipped in softened or melted butter. Sprinkle the pan with a handful of plain flour, shake flour around pan to coat evenly, then tap out excess flour.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions.
  • Fold in the sifted flours and poppy seed mixture in two batches.* Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake cake** for 45-50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Stand cake for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

For the lemon icing:

  • Sift icing sugar into a medium sized bowl. Add juice and water and stir until smooth.***

To serve:

  • Using a spoon, drizzle icing over top of the cake. Use a zester to scrape long threads of orange rind and lay over top of the icing. Can be served with blueberries and/or whipped cream or yoghurt.


* Even though I weighed my ingredients, I found the cake batter quite thick. I added juice from another half an orange till it was the right consistency (i.e. when you hold up a spatula loaded with mixture, the mixture slowly falls off leaving a ‘v’ shape of batter hanging from the spatula).
** The cake will dome and crack as it bakes – this is perfectly normal, though you can counter it somewhat – when adding the batter to the pan, spread it so that the sides are higher than the centre. If you still end up with a dome, you may want to level it off with a serrated knife once the cake has cooled so that it sits flat on your serving plate.
*** The icing should be fairly stiff, but just runny enough so that it slowly drizzles down the cake. You may need to add extra lemon juice or icing sugar to get the right consistency.


Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 156mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 613IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Bundt Cake, Citrus Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.

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