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Recipe for lemon poppyseed cake with lemonade glaze

An easy lemon poppyseed cake, with lemonade in the glaze.

If you drive around Rhode Island in the summertime, you'll spot a green-and-white Del's Lemonade truck, emblazoned with a bright yellow lemon, on every corner, at every Little League game, alongside every public beach. Hundreds of college students earn tuition money by driving those little trucks, and serving up the famous iced lemonade to thirsty athletes and happy children. In the off season, you can buy Del's in the supermarket, in a cute plastic bucket filled with packets of the powdered mix, and that's the mix I use in the glaze for this lemon poppyseed cake. Sounds crazy, I know, but combined with real lemon juice, powdered lemonade adds a bit of fun, and an extra pop of lemon, to the icing. (You can use your favorite lemonade mix if you don't have Del's.) The basic sour cream cake recipe comes from Lorna, a reader who sent it to me along with a handmade ceramic cake pan. The cake isn't fussy, which suits my lack of natural baking ability, and it freezes well. Serve it with coffee or tea or -- why not? -- a glass of champagne.

Serve this lemon poppyseed cake with coffee or champagne!

Lemon poppyseed cake with lemonade glaze

From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, lemon, sour cream, confectioners sugar, baking spray.

Adapted from a recipe sent to me by Lorna, this recipe serves 8-10.


2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest (the zest of 1 lemon)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
Juice of a whole lemon
1 Tbsp dry lemonade mix (I like Del's Lemonade, from Rhode Island)
Baking spray


Preheat oven to 350°F. (Note: if using a ceramic pan, do not preheat the oven.) Spray the inside of a small (5-cup) Bundt pan or loaf pan with baking spray, and set aside. If you're using a Bundt pan, roll a small piece of parchment paper, an inch or so taller than the pan; place the pan on a sheet pan, and insert the parchment paper in the hole. If the cake rises above the top of the pan, it won't slide down in the center.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds.

In the bowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and the eggs, until the eggs turn light yellow. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add to the egg mixture, alternating, the dry ingredients and sour cream.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Note: the batter will be a bit stiff, so you won't be pouring as much as stuffing it into the pan.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes (if using a ceramic pan, place the pan in a cold oven, set to 350F, and bake for 60 minutes), or until a tester comes out clean.

Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert the pan and remove the cake. Let it cool completely on the wire rack.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, lemonade mix and lemon juice. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Serve, or wrap and freeze.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More easy baking:
Lorna's sour cream cake, from The Perfect Pantry
Yogurt coffee cake with pecan filling, from The Perfect Pantry
Meyer lemon whipping cream pound cake, from Cooking On the Side
Sour cream coffee cake muffins with streusel, from Just a Taste

Lemon poppyseed cake made in a Bundt pan, and glazed with a lemonade mix. What's not to love?

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Lemon poppy seed is my favorite! Now I HAVE to try Del's! As a food truck aficionado, I'm kind of intrigued by a lemonade truck!

I love simple cakes like this!

TW, I don't often bake lemon cakes, but when I do, I love the moist sour cream cakes like this one. And if you visit Rhode Island, you can't miss the Del's trucks in the summer. They're everywhere.

Pam, same here.

Nothing says Spring to me than a bright, cheery lemon dessert!!

Bellini, I agree! I don't make lemon cakes often enough.

You've inspired me. My spouse does not eat poppy seeds, so I never cook with them (and enjoy my everything bagels all by myself). But he'll be away this summer, so I may make this the Summer of Poppy Seeds and bake a lot of poppy seed items while I can. I've had such good success with sour cream in cakes, I bet this one is delicious.

Kirsten, you can make this cake without the poppyseeds, and it will be just a darned wonderful lemon cake. Or maybe you can sneak a few in and he wont' notice!

I love lemon anything and this does sound easy! Up here in Boston "Ritchie's Slush" is the equivalent to "Del's" - He has a shop in Everett (with aline that clogs traffic on hot days!) and you can get his slush at many if not most stores in the area!

Carol, any lemonade mix will work in this glaze, which really does add the final kick to a very simple cake. I've had Ritchie's Slush -- delish!

Yummm Poppyseed! This recipe has just what all of the other lemon cakes I've seen today are missing. I also love the idea of using the lemonade mix instead of handling messy lemons - thanks for some great ideas!!

Any thoughts about whether or not this recipe will make good cupcakes?

TJ, yes, it makes delicious cupcakes!

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