Weeknight Almond Poppy Seed Cake

This Almond Poppy Seed Cake is quick and easy for any night of the week. Lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond meal complement the classic poppy seed flavor.

Maybe it’s just me.

But sometimes, by the end of the day, I need CAKE.  

(Have we talked about this before?)

The problem is, by the end of the day, who feels like making cake?

Maybe like one, contrary person with super-human energy.

But most of us probably don’t.

Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Almond Poppy Seed Cake: For When You Need Cake

And if you’re like me, no store-bought cake—and very few bakeries—cut it when the need for cake strikes.

That’s where this recipe comes in.

I developed this Poppy Seed Cake on one of those nights described above.  Baking was just about the last thing I felt like doing, but I really needed cake. So I made this recipe incredibly easy, simple, and free of mess.  

If you absolutely can’t stand juicing or grating a lemon, then perhaps you disagree with me. 😄

But I’m telling you, when the end cake tastes this good, preparing the lemon is nothing.  And totally worth it.

The classic poppy seed taste is beautifully complemented by the lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond meal in my recipe.  

And although I’m definitely an icing person, the icing here is optional—this cake can stand alone.

A Weeknight Cake

This cake comes together so quickly, you really can make it any night of the week.

It’s like a weeknight meal—quick, easy, very little effort, and absolutely delicious.

But it’s cake.

So next time you simply must have cake, make my Weeknight Almond Poppy Seed Cake.

Almond Poppy Seed Cake

One Thing!

Almond extract will really bring out the almond meal, and enhance the poppy seed flavor in my recipe.  It’s an optional ingredient, but if you have almond extract on hand, use it!  And if you’re up for getting some for next time, you can find my favorite almond extract here on Amazon [aff. link].

Almond Poppy Seed Cake
Almond Poppy Seed Cake
5 from 1 vote

Weeknight Almond Poppy Seed Cake

This Almond Poppy Seed Cake is quick and easy for any night of the week. Lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond meal complement the classic poppy seed flavor.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time47 mins
Servings: 2 loaves
Print Recipe


For the wet ingredients:

  • cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract, optional, but highly recommended

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk


Mix the wet ingredients

  • To a large mixing bowl, add the canola oil, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), and almond milk. Whisk until everything comes together.
  • Now add in the eggs, and whisk until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients

  • Now add the flour, almond flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Whisk until everything is just combined. Take care not to overmix.

Choose your loaf pan

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Oil one 9x5 inch loaf pan, or TWO 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  • (I prefer to use two 8x4 inch pans. I like the smaller size of each slice of cake.)
  • Pour the batter into the pan, or evenly between the two pans.

Bake the cake

  • For one 9x5 inch pan: bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the cake is slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  • For two 8x4 inch pans: bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the cakes are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out mostly clean.

Make the icing

  • While the cake bakes, make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and 1 Tbsp almond milk. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp almond milk if needed.
  • The icing should be thick and just barely pourable.

Icing troubleshooting

  • If your icing is too thick, keep adding small splashes of almond milk until the described consistency is reached.
  • If your icing is too liquid-y, add powdered sugar by the tsp until the described consistency is reached.

Ice the cake

  • Take the cake out of the oven, and let cool for 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes, ice the cake. I use a butter knife to lightly drizzle the icing over the cake. Drizzle as much or as little icing as you prefer.
  • Note: If you’re not a big icing person, or opted for one 9x5 inch cake, you will definitely have leftover icing, which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Let the iced cake cook for at least 30 minutes.
  • Slice the cake and enjoy!


This recipe makes one 9x5 inch cake, or two 8x4 inch cakes. (I prefer the smaller cake slice size of the 8x4 inch pan.)

© Copyright 2023 Vanguard of Hollywood

4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Oh, I totally hear ya! By late in the afternoon, I am totally shot – the last thing I want to do is make a cake. But I always WANT cake! This is the perfect solution, and I love the almond meal + poppy seed flavors going on here. This sounds like such a delicious treat for a Spring evening!

  2. I really love everything about this, from the gorgeous, delicate color and texture, to the vintage dish you baked it in, to the fact that you can whip it together on the fly. And yes, who doesn’t need a piece of cake at the end of a day?

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