This wonderful cake is easy to make. It's a healthier version of the usual lemon and poppyseed loaf because we've got yoghurt, which keeps it moist, and also some wholemeal flour. 

1 loaf





Skill level

Average: 2.7 (41 votes)

Poppy seeds give this tangy cake a really interesting texture and colour.


  • 110 g (4 oz) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) natural yoghurt
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) sunflower oil
  • Flour to dust the tin

Lemon icing

  • 110 g (4 oz) icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 5-10 minutes.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin (21cm x 11cm x 6cm, or a 2 lb tin) with butter, dust with flour or line with baking parchment and set aside.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture onto the dry ingredients and whisk well to incorporate.

4. With a spatula, fold the sunflower oil into the batter, making sure it is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.  This gives you time to prepare the tangy lemon icing.

6. Combine the sugar and lemon juice until smooth, you may need to add a drop of water or a little more icing sugar to achieve the correct consistency.

7. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and spoon the icing over the top of the cake allowing it to dribble down the sides. Serve in generous slices.