Cake With Lemon and Poppy Seeds

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This Bundt cake won’t look like most fluffy, white poppy seed cakes due to the use of honey and whole wheat flour – instead, its luxuriously moist texture, and slight crunch of poppy seeds, is accompanied by a dark & golden hue. This is very similar to my recipe for walnut apricot Bundt cake, but with ricotta in place of some of the buttermilk.


  • 383 grams / approx. 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 145 grams / 5 ounces / 1 ¼ sticks butter, unsalted & melted
  • ½ cup mild honey, like clover
  • 3 eggs, at room temp
  • 1 ¼ cups / 296 milliliters buttermilk
  • 6 ounces / ¾ cup / 170 grams ricotta
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1-2 lemons (to preference)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use the melted butter to brush the Bundt pan, then lightly dust with flour. In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer), sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, ricotta, honey, lemon and vanilla extract.
  2. If you have opted for a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat on a low speed for roughly 30 seconds before adding liquids and beating for another minute (or until combined thoroughly). Stop the machine, use a spatula to scrape the bowl and bring up any unmixed flour, and allow to beat on low for another minute. If you opted for a whisk and bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, then whisk in the wet ingredients until smooth. Your final mixture should be thick and soupy. Stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest.
  3. Into your prepare Bundt pan, scrape in the batter and place it in the oven. Set a timer for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and let bake for an additional 25-35 minutes. The cake should be nicely browned, and is ready when an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly. Take out of oven, let rest in pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a rack where it can cool completely.


  • It’s recommended you weight the flour for accuracy.
  • The cake will keep for 2-3 days if wrapped well in plastic. Wrapped tightly, it will also freeze well.