Leto’s Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

It was this cake made by my friend Jackie that was the inspiration for my Three Citrus and Coconut Drizzle cake that used limes, orange and lemon that was posted earlier.

Jackie has shared her exceptional recipe for ‘Leto’s Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake.’ This cake highlights the wonderful flavour of lemon and has a great texture and a superb tangy syrup that penetrates this delicious cake.

IMG_20160511_105754 (1)-Lemons

Leto’s Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 3 cups SR flour or 3 cups Plain flour sifted with 6 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups castor sugar
  • 3 lemons – (1 zested, juice from 1/2 of that lemon kept separate, rest (2-1/2 lemons) juiced and reserved for syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2.5 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 6 tsp castor sugar, extra ( Jackie used less as liked hers more tart)


  1. Soften butter.
  2. Place in bowl of food processor, add flour and sugar and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon, eggs, milk and poppy seeds.  Process until combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into a prepared 20cm springform pan and bake in a preheated 175C oven for approx. 1-1/4 hours (or until a skewer into cake comes out clean).
  5. Just as cake is cooked, make a syrup by combining the extra castor sugar and juice of remaining lemons (2-1/2) in a saucepan.  Place over heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.
  6. Leave cake in tin and cool for approx. 10 minutes.
  7. Pour over cake and allow to stand until all lemon syrup is taken up and cake is cooled.
  8. If using as a warmed dessert cake, allow to stand for at least 1 hour before serving.

IMG_20160612_082629-Lemon Poppy Seed cake

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