Moist Lemon Poppy Seed Cake – a German Cake Recipe

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This recipe for my moist Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is one of my most cherished German cake recipes. You will love this simple and delicious crowd pleaser. 

German Lemon Poppy Seed Cake extra moist

This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is one of the cakes I love to make when winter turns into spring. When you still dare to indulge in a big slice of bundt cake but are already craving fresher, brighter flavours.

Now, there are plenty of Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Recipes out there, but this one is different. First off, you can tell that it’s a German recipe – just look at the amount of poppy seeds! How all us poppy seed-loving Germans don’t have black stuff between our teeth all the time, is a miracle. Honestly, I sometimes believe that to be the reason for Germans not smiling more in public. We’re not unfriendly, we just can’t show out teeth when we walk out of a bakery (we go to bakeries a lot, a lotlotlot).

Extra saftiger Zitronen Mohnkuchen aus der Gugelhupf Form

Second, it’s seriously moist. (And no, I won’t apologise for using this word. I am German, I know way worse words, believe me. This one is just fine.). The moistness comes from the poppy seeds and all the freshly squeezed lemon juice we add to the cake batter. 

Saftiger Zitronen Mohnkuchen mit Gelinggarantie

I usually make the lemon glaze while my Lemon Poppy Seed Cake bakes and spoon a couple of tbsp over the freshly baked cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. I find, that the leftover glaze is just enough to decorate the cake. If you want more glaze, just add another 100 g powdered sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice.

Moist Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake - a German Recipe

Note that my German Lemon Poppy Seed Cake tastes best after it has had a good rest. It really tastes best after about 2 days. You can store it in a cake container at room temperature, where it will get more and more delicious day by day. If you feel that you might need to store it for more than 5 to 6 days, I recommend putting it in the fridge after a couple of days at room temperature. 


A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you. 


German Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Cook Time 1 hour
Author Kiki Johnson


  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Eggs
  • 300 g AP flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder -15 g
  • 2 tbsp wodka rum or milk
  • 75 ml lemon juice
  • 200 g ground poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • For the glaze
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 2 -3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Grate the lemon zest directly into the sugar and rub it into the sugar, using your fingertips, for about 1 or 2 minutes.
  2. Beat the butter and lemon sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and beat in 1 egg after the other. Mix baking powder and flour in a bowl and add to the batter, stirring just until the flour is incorporated.
  3. Halve the batter and add vodka, rum or milk to one part. Stir lemon juice, poppy seeds and 2 tbsp of sugar into the other.
  4. Line a bundt pan with butter and flour. Spread light cake batter in the pan. Make a deep groove in the centre of the batter by spreading batter up the sides of the pan. Spoon poppyseed batter in the groove. With a small spoon, gently swirl the two batters in small circular movements to create a marbled effect.
  5. Bake at 150 Celsius convection - 302 F for about 60 Minutes.
  6. Make the glaze by whisking the lemon juice into the powdered sugar.
  7. Spoon a couple of tbsp onto the hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  8. Let the cake cool in pan, before unmoulding it. Drizzle with the lemon glaze and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

You can get whole poppy seeds and grind them in your food processor.
The cake tastes best after about 2 days, as it needs some time to rest in order to develop its full aroma. Store it in a plastic container at room temperature for up to a week. If you store it in the fridge, it keeps up to 2 weeks.

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  1. Hach ja, Kiki, deine Beschreibung ist wieder sowas von herrlich mouthwatering!
    Und es passt so verdammt gut, weil ich gerade den Geschmack von meinem Faschings Havanna Cola mit Zitronenspritzer im Mund habe ­čśü
    Liebe Gr├╝├če,
    Kathi <3

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