Lemon Cake with Poppy Seed Buttercream

So, I’ve began tentatively dipping my toes into the fruity dessert world over the last year. My adoration of all things chocolate (except chocolate sponge cake, bizarrely) has prevented much of an exploration into the fruit themed dessert world. That being said, I’ve been making up for lost time. From the girl who ‘doesn’t like lemon desserts’, I present to you this lemon cake. I saw it on Joy the Baker‘s blog and just felt compelled to make it. I’m glad I did because it was lovely and I think it is beautiful; there’s just something about a simple rustic cake. I made it gluten free and I also halved the cake recipe because I was making three mini cakes for a joint birthday party; that’s why it is quite a shallow cake. It’d be twice as deep if you make the recipe below; it fills one 9 inch cake tin, or two 7 inch shallow cake tins, to make a layer cake.

Lemon cake



  • 225 g of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • The zest of one large lemon
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of gluten free flour
  • 0.5 tsp of xantham gum
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp of salt
  • 0.25 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • 115 g of butter
  • 2-3 cups of icing sugar, start with two and add more if the consistency isn’t right
  • 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • A splash of milk, if required for consistency
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease your baking tin(s).
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then mix in the lemon zest.
  3. Beat the eggs into the mix, one at a time.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract and then the flour, a bit at a time, followed by the xantham gum, baking powder and salt.
  5. Finally, mix in the lemon juice.
  6. Scrape the mixture into your cake tin(s). If making a layer cake, I like to weigh how much mixture goes into each tin, to try to get the layers as even as possible. Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the tin(s).
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on how many cakes you’ve making. If you’re making two layers, they may take a little less time than one bigger cake. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool for ten minutes, before turning them out onto a cooling rack, to cool completely. It is important to let the cake(s) cool completely before icing, as otherwise the icing will melt and make a horrible mess, as opposed to a beautiful cake.
  9. Whilst the cake is baking, make the icing. Do this by creaming together the butter and icing sugar, then mixing in the lemon juice and poppy seeds; adding milk if required.
  10. Spread the icing on top of your cooled cake(s). A thin layer will do on top of the bottom layer, if making a layer cake; I always think a nice thick layer on top looks the prettiest.

6 thoughts on “Lemon Cake with Poppy Seed Buttercream

  1. Pingback: Cranberry, Orange & Poppy Seed Cookies. | Noisette

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Orange Marble Cake | Noisette

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