These 7 Lemon-Poppy Seed Desserts Taste Just Like Spring

If you thought this flavor was reserved for pound cake, think again.

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Vanilla and chocolate. Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and cream. Some things just work better together. And spring has its own can’t-miss flavor combination for you to add to your list: lemon and poppy seed. Bright, refreshing and oh-so-perfect for the warmer temperatures of spring and summer, the following seven desserts will turn you into a total lemonhead.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (pictured above)

Light brown sugar, grated nutmeg, poppy seeds, rolled oats, butter, all-purpose flour and kosher salt: These pantry staples come together to make the sweet topping for this one-of-a-kind coffee cake. You’ll also use poppy seeds and lemon zest along with sour cream, vanilla extract and a handful of other ingredients to make the super-moist cake portion, which pairs perfectly with a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a refreshing iced tea in the afternoon.

Trust us — you’re going to want to cancel any plans you have and make these glistening lemon poppy seed rolls on Sunday morning instead. Modeled after traditional cinnamon buns, these seed-packed spirals are full of a canned poppy seed pie filling and freshly grated lemon zest to give you a zingy burst of bright, fruity flavor in every morsel. The gooey cream cheese and lemon icing is also sure to make them a brunch favorite with kiddos of all ages.

Food Stylist: Christine Albano 
Prop Stylist: Karin Olsen


Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Karin Olsen

Photo by: Kat Teutsch

Kat Teutsch

This elegant torte is a chic way to dress up any table or countertop. Unlike other lemon poppy seed recipes, which often utilize the two ingredients together, this elevated dessert uses them separately and the flavors really shine. You’ll use freshly grated lemon zest and baking staples like sugar, flour and eggs to make the flaky, shortbread-like crust. Vanilla, poppy seeds, whole milk and heavy cream make the custardy filling, giving you a sweet treat that’s smooth and crunchy all-in-one. You can even make the crust one day in advance, if you’re short on time.

Just looking at these golden and delicious scones will have you thinking of sunshine. Not only are they stuffed with a generous helping of buttery lemon curd, each one is sure to have a fluffier texture thanks to the cake flour you’ll use to make them. Be sure to follow recipe developer Melissa Gaman’s lead and soak your poppy seeds in warm milk before adding them to your other ingredients — doing so will soften them just enough to give your scone dough optimal nutty flavor.


Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

“I got two thumbs up from my picky relatives.” That’s what one reviewer had to say about these ooey gooey braided nutty and lemony twists. Something tells us you’ll get the same reaction from your very own squad. The recipe is also a great way to use up all those yeast packets you might have stocked up on during your sourdough days. Make sure your sweet dough proofs for at least 20 minutes before baking to get your twists nice and puffy.

While you might need to carve 3 hours out of your day to make this ultra-comforting Bundt cake from start to finish, the end result is totally worth it. For starters — just look at those delectable tendrils of lemon infused glaze! Ina Garten uses buttermilk to give her cake a bit more heft and 1/3 cup of poppy seeds and grated lemon zest to give each slice a wonderful flavor without being too overwhelming.

Muffin of the Month Club



Muffins are probably one of the best-known ways to utilize the lemon poppy seed flavor combo in baking. This fun recipe from Food Network Magazine adds in an unexpected element: grated zucchini! Not only does it make your muffins super moist and spongy, it’s also an easy way to add a good-for-you surprise to your dessert hour.

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