Mum’s Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Decorating and Baking Tutorial

Tutorial Preview

Mum’s Lemon Poppy Seed
with Paul Bradford
Skill level: Easy
HD Lessons: 5
Decorating time: 3 hours
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Highlights of our Mum’s lemon poppy seed cake course

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1. Mixing the ingredients

Preheat your oven to 150C.


This is a delicious cake to add to your recipe book so watch how Paul brings the ingredients together, with his usual run of commentary offering extra tips along the way. He then scoops the mix into an 8” tin before placing in the oven.


NOTE: The bake takes 1hr and 45mins

Paul tested his cake at 1hr, which is why his sunk a little.

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2. Making the luscious lemon topping

Making this luxury topping requires icing sugar, lemons, vanilla extract, Philadelphia cheese and Paul’s secret ingredient! All will be revealed.


NOTE: Paul realises that his original guess of icing sugar needed to be doubled, which is reflected in the ingredient list.

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3. Other ideas

Paul shares with you some other ideas you can incorporate with this lovely cake

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4. Pro lesson

Everything a professional needs to know about a design like this

Learn how to make a tasty lemon and poppy seed cake…

Learn how to make a lemon poppy seed cake with Paul Bradford using his mum’s secret recipe. A beautiful tasting cake to add to your recipe book, this is a great tutorial to learn for any budding bakers!

In the following cake tutorial you will learn how to:

  • Bake with lemon and rind juice
  • Line and correctly fill baking tins
  • Test a bake
  • Make luxury lemon topping
  • and much, much more

Read why lemon cake is the nation’s favourite!

Don’t forget to share your interpretations of this wonderful cake with Paul and the rest of the CakeFlix community on our Facebook group.

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Mum’s Lemon poppy seed cake downloadable tools and ingredients

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To make an 8” Square cake:

Cake Ingredients

500g Self-raising flour

500g Castor sugar

500g unsalted butter

40g poppy seeds

2 Lemons grated rinds

3 Lemons squeezed juices

8 Medium eggs

Topping Ingredients

1 Kg Icing sugar

270g Philadelphia

110g Butter (Paul used salted, but you can use either)

Rind of 1 lemons

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cake Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150C
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add 1 egg at a time followed by one spoon of flour until all the eggs and flour are mixed through
  4. Fold-in the poppy seeds, lemon juice and lemon rinds
  5. Grease cake tin then add the mix, then pop in the oven for 1hr 45mins.

Topping Method

  1. Cream the Philadelphia and butter
  2. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and rind
  3. Slowly add the icing sugar to achieve the right consistency





Mixing bowls



Baking tins

Greaseproof paper


Large spoon

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford´s mission is to ‘Empower people to achieve their cake decorating dreams’ by providing a range of cake decorating courses and online tutorials through their website, which currently teaches 195,000+ students.  


  1. bjb19760

    I am new and very much a cake baking novice i have a 10inch square tin how much ingredients would i need please?

    • David Brice

      The target tin for the Mum’s Lemon Poppy Seed recipe is 8″. To upscale this or any other recipe on the site or even your own recipe please use our Recipe re-calculator which sits on the Resources menu.
      Select the Lemon Poppy seed recipe from the drop down box, then the new size you want from the selector options. The quantities you need will be displayed at the foot of the page.

  2. jacquiewatson

    Hello, I made this cake at the weekend. I made it without the poppy seeds as, when I started to make the cake, I realised I didn’t have any (doh! whoops!). The cake is absolutely delicious. The consistency of the sponge and the flavour of the cake is the loveliest I have ever had. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
    Love, Jacquie

  3. Nicoletta Mythillou

    Hi!I watched the video and Paul said that if we want to carve it to place it to freezer for best results is it ok to cover it in fondant ?thank you in advance

  4. Kim Johnson

    Can I substitute lemon for orange, ? in this recipe please. And would it be the same amount ?

  5. helenomara

    I made this cake last weekend and everyone loved it. I wondered if I could cover this cake in ganache and fondant and also would it be ok to fill the layers with the cream cheese frosting or would this make the cake unstable. Oh. Also how long roughly would the cake stay fresh if covered in fondant. Sorry so many questions. Thank you very much. X

    • David Brice

      Paul suggests covering the cake in white ganache as the flavours will compliment one another. It can then be covered in fondant, but he believes adding cream cheese frosting layers would make the cake unstable. Stored in a cool, dry environment the cake should last for about 7 days.

  6. hulsem31

    I’m using this as my lemon cake recipe, plus filling with lemon curd and white chocolate ganache. Question would you use white chocolate ganache as the crumb coat or dark chocolate ganache. Worried dark chocolate will interfer with the lemon flower, but wonder if white chocolate will stay firm under the sugar paste. Advise please, many thanks.

    • David Brice

      Dark chocolate has the higher melting temperature so will provide the most firm support. White chocolate ganache will work just as well, so long as the cake is not exposed to direct sunlight or the temperature is above 25C. Make sure that the ganache has set solid before covering. My preference would certainly be to use white chocolate ganache with lemon cake.

  7. hulsem31

    thank you so much David, especially the tip temperatures above 25C… its for this saturday so think I might just get away with the white chocolate crumb coat. fingers cross. You and Paul are so helpful and the tutorials have helped me so much xx

  8. Elsa Tweedale

    If I wanted to make a gluten free version of this would I just be able to substitute the flour for GF flour or would I need to change some of the other quantities?

    • David Brice

      GF flour should work in exactly the same way as the flour used in this recipe, but check the GF flour pack where it will often mention suitability for baking.
      There is no need to adjust any other quantities. Let us know how you get on as we haven’t tried GF flour, it would be great to hear how it turns out.


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