Lazy Girl Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


Last Thursday was the official start of summer, and to kick off the season our sweet friends hosted a “retro-BBQ” for our small group. We spent the evening in their backyard, under café lighting, eating burgers and tots from old fashioned burger baskets, and enjoying some root beer floats. It is times like these when I am really excited for the day when Alex and I can buy a house, with a backyard of our own to enjoy. But in the meantime we will be enjoying lots of BBQing in our apartment complex’s beautiful courtyard. In addition to summer BBQs, these are the things that I am most excited for during our (potentially) last summer in Minnesota:

Simply being outside!
Going to the drive in.
Kayaking or doing SUP on one of the lakes here.
Hammocking in the park.
Either going to a music in the park or movie in the park.
Riding my bike along the countless bike trails here.
Eating Sweet Martha’s cookies at the Minnesota State Fair.
Attending a Twins’ game.
And much more!

So in honor of the start of summer, I wanted to make a bright and colorful treat that anyone could make. This Lazy Girl Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is a favorite family recipe of mine, though we always refer to it as “bread” so can eat it whenever we want haha! My mom always makes this “bread” as part of her Christmas baked goodies baskets that she delivers to family and friends. We have always made this recipe in loaf form (hence why we can call it bread), but I wanted to create it as a beautiful bundt with a glaze instead.

The base is store bought yellow cake mix with lemon pudding powder, which makes for an incredibly easy preparation. Seriously, it takes minimal time and effort to make this recipe. Prior to adding the poppy seeds to the batter, you will soak them in water. This helps to soften the seeds’ outer coatings, allowing their flavoring to be released easier during baking. This cake is so incredibly moist and flavorful, and will fill your home with a mouth-watering aroma as it bakes. Topped with a strong but sweet lemon glaze, there will be no mistaking which fruit is in this cake. Alex and I  have slowly been eating away at this cake all week because Alex refuses to let me share it with friends or work, so that really tells me that it is good haha! So go on and see for yourself how easy and yummy this recipe is!

Lazy Girl Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Prep time:

Bake time:

Serves: 16


  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package instant lemon pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Using a pastry or basting brush, liberally brush the bundt pan with the melted butter, making sure to get into all of the crevices. Sprinkle with flour, and rotate the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, soak the poppy seeds in the water for 10 minutes. Add the cake mix, instant lemon pudding, eggs, oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir to combine.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.
  4. Make the glaze by stirring together the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. Pour glaze over cake.