Spring is coming! Spring is coming! If I say it enough times, maybe it will be true. This Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe is lemon perfection. Plus, its quick as a bunny to mix up! (You see what I did there? So clever, I know.) I'll be making this for Easter this year. It's the perfect centerpiece and a total hit!
Hints of Spring make me crave those lemons
As soon as we have a warm day here in Denver, I'm immediately craving light, citrusy recipes. Never mind that there's snow in the forecast for the next week. Today is warm and I'm soaking it all in with my favorite Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe. This originally came from my mom and I didn't change a thing. It's so easy to throw together and so incredibly delicious.
starting with a box mix makes this cake really fast
Making cakes that start with a box mix is my new favorite. It gives you a great, flavorful base to start with, and is easy to increase the wow factor! Most importantly, it saves us all some time, right?
Desserts that come together quickly can make entertaining more fun and relaxing. Plus, this Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is pretty enough to be a centerpiece for Easter or any Spring or Summer gathering!
How to make this lemon poppy seed cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all cake ingredients and mix on medium-high for 3-4 minutes.
Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake on the center rack for 45-55 minutes, until the top bounces back and is a medium brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn upside down onto a cake plate.
Mix up the glaze ingredients and pour over cake once completely cooled. Enjoy your (crazy easy) masterpiece!
Ingredients for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Box Yellow Cake Mix — Any mix will work well; Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, etc. See below for gluten free options.
- Instant Lemon Pudding — 3.4 ounce lemon pudding mix gives this cake a sweeter flavor and moist texture.
- Poppy Seeds — I love the look, texture and slight flavor of poppy seeds, but feel free to omit if you prefer a lemon cake without the seeds.
- 4 Large Eggs — Lots of room temperature eggs makes this cake light and deliciously full of flavor.
Can I make this cake Gluten Free?
I'm so glad you asked! Yes, you can! We love the King Arthur Flour Yellow Cake Mix, which we use in the Gluten Free Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe. The texture and rise are great! Most people cannot tell its gluten free.
how to get room temperature ingredients — fast!
Eggs — speed up the process of getting eggs to room temperature by dropping them gently into a bowl or cup full of hot water (not boiling) and let sit 5 minutes. Done!
Yogurt or Milk — To get yogurt to room temperature quickly, simple place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 50% power in 15 second intervals, stirring each time.
Butter — the best way to soften butter to room temperature is to get a tall glass and fill with hot water. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes until the glass is hot. Empty the water and turn the glass upside down over the wrapped butter. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. this will gently warm the butter through to the center.
What makes bundt cakes so delicious
I love Bundt cakes for a few simple reasons. First, the shape is beautiful. It makes a simple cake look fancy and unique. Second, they typically come with that soft, dripping frosting down the sides, and it's my favorite.
Mostly because I often find buttercream and cream cheese frosting to be a bit overwhelming for me. (I realize I'm in the minority there.) Last, It bakes up more evenly than a traditional two or three-tiered round cake. No troublesome dipping in the center, or difficulty removing and stacking.
I have this bundt cake pan (they don't sell the exact one anymore, but this is closest) by Nordic Ware and I LOVE it! I've used it for over 8 years now and it bakes a perfect bundt every time. I also have this mini bundt pan and it makes the cutest individual little bundt's, with the same effort as making a single bundt.
More Cake Mix Cakes that take the Cake!
Here are a few more recipes that start with a box cake and become something that really stand out!
Chocolate Caramel Cake
Gluten Free Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake
How to store bundt cake
Wrap leftover bundt cake tightly in foil or place in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. This will keep the cake fresh for up to 5 days.
If unfrosted, cake can be frozen and kept fresh for up to 4 months. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and then place in freezer bag if you can fit it. Be sure to date the container. Defrost at room temperature for 4 hours, frost and enjoy!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix or gluten free yellow cake mix
- 1 small package instant lemon pudding
- 1 C water
- ¼ C poppy seeds
- ½ C vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ C powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon softened butter
- 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour bundt pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine and mix all ingredients for 3-4 minutes.
- Bake on center rack for 45-55 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing from pan.
For the Glaze
- Mix glaze ingredients together until creamy. Pour glaze on top of cake so the frosting runs down the sides.
Can I make this without the poppy seeds?
Yes! Simply omit the poppy seeds to make a delicious Lemon Bundt Cake!