Lemon Poppy Seed Squares

Lemon Poppy Seed Squares ~ these tangy squares are packed with lemony flavor and a delicate crunch.

Lemon Poppy Seed Squares

If you ask me the relative success of any lemon cake resides in its glaze. It has to be thin enough to spread out and have a nice glossy sheen, but not so thin that it runs off the cake, or soaks right in. It has to be thick enough to have some body, but not so thick that it doesn’t droop fetchingly over the edge. It needs to be sweet, but oh so tangy and lemony. It’s a delicate balance between lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar. But once you get it right it you’ll have some super lip-puckering lemon flavor.

Don’t get me wrong, though, this cake has a lot going for it. It’s moist and spongy, with an unusual pairing of lemon and vanilla, along with TONS of poppy seeds. The whole jar, in fact. It’s also made with half almond flour for still more interesting texture. But even with all that, it’s really not complete without its companion glaze.

This cake is based on my Tangerine Poppy Seed Cake, one of my all time favorite sweets on the blog.

Lemon Poppy Seed Squares
3.78 from 9 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Squares

Course Breakfast, Cake, Citrus, Dessert, Favorites, Lemon
Yield 9
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 2.2 oz bottle of poppy seeds approx 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons about 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs

lemon glaze

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • juice of 1 1/2 to 2 lemons


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Mix the above ingredients together and set aside
  • Mix the above dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until completely blended.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool and then put a thick layer of lemon glaze over the entire cake.
  • To make the glaze, mix the sugar and lemon together until you get a spreadable glaze. Add more lemon or more sugar to get the right consistency.
SHARE BY TEXT! The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

And don’t be stingy with that glaze ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    ju li
    July 14, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Could you add the metric measurements like ml and g? Thank you!

  • Reply
    Shirley Hollick
    May 28, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Can you substitute the almond flour for regular flour?

  • Reply
    Dave in Melbourne
    July 29, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    This one has become one of our favourites, as have many of your other citrus cakes. Fantastic! Thank you.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2017 at 7:31 am

      This is an older recipe, so it’s great to hear for you Dave, thanks!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Lemon poppyseed–hooray! This is one of my favorite classic cake combinations. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    September 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Poppy seed cake with lemon icing is one of my favourites. That icing looks perfect.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    September 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

    beautiful beautiful cake and you’re so right, it is ALL about the icing… love this one, so tangy and fresh… stunning piccies too! (as usual) xx

  • Reply
    September 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

    i’m a poppy seed fiend, even if they inevitably stick between my teeth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    September 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    These look very moist and lemony! Very nice dessert any time. The lemon glaze looks so enticing!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    September 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Your squares look wonderfully moist, and with that shiny icing… I’m hungry.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    September 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Want. This. NOW! Seriously…I agree with you about the frosting, but all I can think about are those glorious squares right now. Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    September 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I am NEVER stingy with glaze, frosting, dips, or sauces – and that glaze alone sounds great. And love how moist this cake looks!

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