With both sweet and tangy flavors, this gluten-free lemon poppyseed bread is a refreshing recipe you’ll want to keep on hand for holiday gatherings, bake sales, and brunch. Made with gluten-free flour (or regular flour), yogurt, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and poppy seeds, this quick bread has a moist texture and a tender crumb. It gets topped with a sweet lemon glaze to make this an easy baked bread loaf that’s bursting with vibrant lemon flavor.
A favorite year round, this lemon poppy seed bread has so much to love including:
- Minimal prep time and a total time of just an hour.
- A moist texture and a slightly spongy, tender crumb.
- A treat that’s gluten-free, nut-free, and lower in saturated fat than most sweet bread recipes.
- Bold lemon flavor that’s even better than your local bakery’s lemon poppy seed bread recipe.
A Delightful Addition To Your Collection Of Quick Bread Recipes
If you’re looking for a sweet bread recipe with lemon poppyseed flavors, this lemon poppy seed bread is just right for you. Light and refreshing, it’s sweet enough to enjoy as dessert yet satisfying enough to serve as part of breakfast. Especially if you pair it with a hot cup of coffee and some protein. Quick to prepare, it’s great to make ahead of time and simple enough for the kids to lend a helping hand. The only hard part is waiting for it to finish baking! In fact, you probably want to go ahead and make a double batch, because this bread loaf tends to disappear fast.
What Is Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Made Of?
Here are the ingredients to gather to make this recipe today and enjoy it throughout the week:
The Quick Bread Ingredients:
- Large eggs
- Yogurt – using yogurt in this quick bread gives it an extra tender crumb and perfect moistness. We recommend using regular (not Greek) yogurt in either plain or vanilla flavor
- Avocado oil – a great source of oleic acid and lutein (for eye and brain health), avocado oil is a fabulous healthy fat option that aids the absorption of other nutrients. Get 20% off of our favorite avocado oil with code REALFOOD20. May also substitute olive oil or melted butter or coconut oil.
- Vanilla extract
- Gluten-free flour blend – for gluten-free flour, we like to reach for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. If you don’t need a lemon poppy seed loaf that is gluten-free, you can use an equal amount of unbleached all-purpose flour. We’ve tested this recipe with both, and both flours achieve great results
- Cane sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest – a good source of vitamin C and potassium, lemons provide a vitamin and mineral boost along with their zesty taste
- Poppy seeds – we use black poppy seeds for a more pronounced flavor, allowing them to be the main ingredient that sets this bread apart from other loaves
The Lemon Glaze Ingredients:
- Powdered sugar (a.k.a. confectioners sugar)
- Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest – we call for both fresh lemon juice and zest to get that wonderful pop of lemony flavor
For the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include complete nutrition information, listing calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.
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Ingredient Spotlight: Poppy Seeds
Not only are poppy seeds known for adding nutty flavor to baked goods, but they’re also rich in antioxidants and nutrients including manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, thiamine, and iron. Plus, they’re a good source of healthy fats and contain a decent amount of fiber to keep you satisfied!
How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Here are the simple steps to make this lemon poppy seed bread:
- Preheat: Set the oven to 350°F, and spray in a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray before setting it aside.
- Whisk the wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla until smooth.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In the same mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients except for the poppy seeds. Stir to combine. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, stirring until the batter begins to bubble a little.
- Bake: Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.
- Cool: Allow the lemon poppy seed bread to cool slightly in the pan before removing it and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Glaze: In a small or medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze. Drizzle it over the cool bread before slicing and serving.
How to Check For Doneness
We recommend checking the bread loaf for doneness around the 30-minute mark. Do this by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf to see when it comes out without any uncooked batter or wetness sticking to it. If the top of the bread is starting to brown before the loaf is baked through, lightly cover it with foil, and continue to bake until the center is set.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, we don’t find it necessary to soak poppy seeds before adding them to this recipe.
Failing to soak poppy seeds won’t affect the taste of your bread or other baked goods. However, soaking them in water can help remove their hard outer shell, making them easier to digest.
We don’t toast the poppy seeds for this gluten-free lemon poppy seed bread in order to let the lemony flavor shine through. However, toasting poppy seeds is a technique used to release their natural oil and enhance their flavor if you want your bread loaf to be a little on the nuttier side.
Covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container, this baked lemon poppyseed bread will stay fresh at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You bet! If you plan on freezing this sweet bread recipe, we recommend leaving off the glaze until you’re ready to eat. To freeze, wrap the loaf in foil, transfer it to a sealable bag, and keep it stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. If you want to store the loaf sliced, place parchment paper between each piece to prevent them from sticking together.
We haven’t tested it, but it should work just fine. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with the batter, and bake as normal. Just be sure to keep a close eye on your muffins as the baking time will likely be reduced.
Sour cream makes a great substitute for Greek yogurt. However, we do not recommend using it in this lemon poppy seed bread recipe, because it will alter the taste.
When To Serve Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
We love to bake a loaf of this lemon poppyseed bread for many occasions, and we find that it’s appropriate to serve during many times of the day. However, we particularly love to serve it as part of a breakfast or brunch spread. It also makes for a crowd-pleasing addition to gatherings of all sorts, from baby and bridal showers to BBQs and holidays.
Make it Dairy Free
To make this Lemon Poppyseed Bread dairy-free, substitute the yogurt for a non-dairy vanilla or plain yogurt.
Make It Gluten Free
To make this loaf gluten free, use gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour. Our favorite measure-for-measure gluten-free flours are Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend and King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour.
For the Bread:
- Cooking spray
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup plain or vanilla yogurt* (may substitute dairy-free yogurt)
- ⅓ cup avocado oil (may substitute olive oil, melted butter or coconut oil)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (270-296g) we use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend and King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour (may substitute unbleached all-purpose flour if gluten-free is not needed)
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
For the Lemon Glaze:
- ⅓–½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the lemon zest, juice and poppy seeds, stir into batter (batter will bubble and foam a little).
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with spatula. Bake for 35-46 or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. We recommend checking the bread after 30 minutes. If the top is starting to brown too quickly, tent it loosely with foil.
- Remove loaf from the oven, let cool for 20-30 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Lemon Glaze:
- In a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest (if using). Adjust the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a drizzly consistency. Be sure the bread is fully cooled before drizzling with the glaze.
- Drizzle on cooled bread before slicing.
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*May use 2% or full-fat plain or vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt. We recommend full-fat vanilla yogurt.
- Serving Size: 1/12th loaf with glaze
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 8 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 218 mg
- Carbohydrate: 30 g
- (Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 10 g)
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 45 mg
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The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.
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