Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

Happy First Day of Spring!

Spring is here and Minnesota is FINALLY starting to warm up. Today it was 45 degrees and sunny and it felt like t-shirt weather. Arlo and I did our spring cleaning this week, opened the windows and broke out the spring/summer candles. Yeah, I have spring/summer candles. Judge me… but if you’re wondering, it’s Bath & Body Works Rose and Ivy, Bergamot Waters, and Turquoise Waters. So what better to do with a freshly cleaned kitchen? Mess it up by making a cake.

So in honor of the sunshine, I decided to make this bright, sunny cake. It came out great. The cake itself was perfectly moist. The lemon was sweet and refreshing and in the middle a tart burst of lemon curd. Plus the savory crunch of the poppy seeds to round it all out. Oh, and it was so gorgeous.

When To Make It

Honestly, I’d say this is a weekend project. It’s a great dessert for the first cookout of the year. After all that food, a light dessert is always nice. Also, it saves well. So breakfast the next morning is already made! I’d also say this cake is great for a crowd. That next dinner party when it’s your turn to bring the dessert, bring this one. Everyone will love it, even the picky eaters and the guests without a sweet tooth. More than anything, I’d save this one for Easter brunch. For the same reasons as I’d use it for the other occasions, but also because the color just screams easter to me. So, pin it, share it, bookmark it, just do whatever you need to do to remember this recipe for your Easter celebration.

Tips and Tricks

So, as awesome as bundt cake pans are, they can be difficult to use. I made this recipe a few times before it actually came out right. And if I’m being honest, the end result was a little smaller than I would have liked. First it stuck in the pan, then it was dry, then it was small.

So, to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the pan, make sure you grease it really well AND flour it. I personally never flour cake pans, mostly cause I always thought it was BS and teh cake would just taste like raw flour. But I gave it a shot and it worked out. So flour the pan.

As far as making sure the cake isn’t dry, I tried a couple things and the two best options were buttermilk, which is what I used for this particular cake, or 1 cup plain yogurt. If you don’t have either of those on hand you could also mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.


For the cake:

  • 1C unsalted butter, softened
  • 2C sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1C buttermilk
  • 1/4C lemon juice
  • 1/4C poppy seeds

For the lemon curd:

  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2C unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2c lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Grease and flour bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or kitchen aid, cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine salt, flour and baking soda.
  5. Add 1/3 C of the butter milk and 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Continue adding buttermilk and flour part by part until fully combined.
  6. Mix in poppy seeds.
  7. Pour an even layer of batter into the bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and ten minutes.

For the lemon curd

  1. In a bowl combine lemon zest and sugar. Rub the mixture between your fingers to release the oils of the lemon zest into the sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add eggs, lemon juice and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. Pour mixture into a sauce pan over low heat.
  5. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove from heat and pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Place the lemon curd in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is directly touching the lemon curd to prevent a film from forming.
  8. Place in the fridge to cool.

To finish the cake:

  1. After the cake has cooled, use a wide piping tip or an apple corer to poke holes in the cake. Save the scraps.
  2. Fill a piping bag with lemon curd and fill each hole 3/4 of the way full.
  3. Use the reserved cake scraps to cover the holes.
  4. Pipe the rest of the lemon curd on top of the cake and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

If you liked this recipe please share, save, and comment! Thanks for reading!


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