Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Curd will brighten your day! This year round lemon recipe for quick bread is full of lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon curd. A gluten free lemon bread recipe is an easy option too.
If you enjoy making quick breads, you’ll like recipes for gluten free banana bread, raspberry quick bread, strawberry bread, or cherry bread. All are great breakfast breads perfect for mornings or afternoon cups of tea.
Bring on the lemon flavor!
This Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with lemon curd originally from a Williams Sonoma recipe is elevated by a triple dose of lemon– lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon curd. It is bright and cheerful– even while you are making it the smell of lemon will make you smile and think that winter is nearly over.
There is a lemony, light crust to the top and then you find the poppy seeds dancing below throughout the bread. All of this in a quick bread that comes together with ease?
That’s right! So pour yourself another cup of tea, appreciate the sunshine and the melting snow outside and look forward to spring.
Lemon Zest and Juice
A few tips about zesting a lemon. The zest is the outer layer of a lemon. You’ll want to use a citrus tool or microplane to easily take only the thin, outer layer of the peel. Leave the white layer on the lemon– this is called the pith–and it is bitter and best left out of baking.
- Make sure you have the right tool. This is my favorite zesting microplane. My mother-in-law bought it for me years ago and it may be my most used kitchen tool.
- Zest the lemons FIRST before you cut them in half to juice them. It is really tricky to take the zest off a lemon that has already been cut in half
- Make sure to take any small lemon seeds out of your juice.
- Use meyer lemons or regular lemons. You’ll need more meyer lemons since they are smaller. Both work well in this recipe.
Lemon Curd Layer
The lemon curd packs a punch of lemon flavor in this quick bread. You can use store bought lemon curd or you can make homemade curd with this meyer lemon curd recipe, a lemon curd Vitamix recipe, or even a microwave lemon curd made in minutes!
The lemon curd mixes in the middle layer and, if you look closely, you’ll see that layer in your baked bread. The real lemon kick, though, is the glazing effect that the top layer of lemon curd creates on this bread.
No lemon curd?
So if you don’t have lemon curd, don’t fret. Go ahead and make this lemon recipe without the lemon curd. Double the amount of lemon zest to make up for the absence of the curd.
Ingredients for lemon poppyseed bread
- canola oil
- granulated sugar
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- vanilla extract
- all purpose flour (or gluten free if needed)
- baking powder
- poppy seeds
- lemon curd
How to make this lemon bread
This poppy seed bread comes together like most quick breads and is a breeze to make.
- Gently whisk the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl blend the wet ingredients.
- Combine both bowls and add the poppy seeds.
- Layer 1/2 to 3/4 of the batter into the pan. Layer with 1/2 lemon curd. Repeat.
- Bake for about an hour.
Is this recipe for gluten free bread?
When I first made this recipe I used all purpose flour. Now that I have been gluten free for a few years I bake this lemon bread with a gluten free flour blend. It works great!
I like using this gluten free flour blend. Do you have a favorite?
You won’t notice a change in taste whether this is gluten free or not. The top photo in this post is traditional poppyseed bread made with all purpose flour, while the second photo (and the video) are gluten free poppy seed bread.
Lemon curd is naturally gluten free with ingredients of eggs, butter, lemons, and sugar. Double check the label on store bought lemon curd to make sure no fillers have been added.
Do you have extra lemon curd? Find the perfect recipe in this list of more than forty uses for lemon curd! I can never have enough lemon recipes. This lemon cookie recipe made with almond flour is a favorite gluten free cookie too.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (or gluten free flour blend)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup lemon curd (store bought or make your own)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with baking spray; line the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
- You'll need two bowls. In one bowl combine the eggs and milk then add the oil, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. In the second bowl gently stir the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the poppy seeds.
- Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are just barely combined. Don't over-mix.
- Pour half to three-fourths of the batter into the pan. Drop tablespoons of half of the lemon curd around the batter then top with the remaining batter. You can swirl the batter and curd with a knife or just leave it be-- the curd will settle in the middle layer both ways. Finish off with the remaining lemon curd and spread gently over the surface of the batter.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, the edges will brown before the top is finished. Tent with foil towards the end of the baking time if needed.
I've tested both all purpose flour and gluten free flour blends in this recipe and both work well. I suggest Bobs's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten free baking blend.
If your gluten free flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum to the dry ingredients.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g
Post originally shared in 2015, updated in 2020.
Holly Baker started the food blog, A Baker’s House, in 2011. She is the writer, recipe creator, and photographer for the site. Holly loves to bake and shares recipes for gluten free food, canning recipes, as well as traditional desserts too. Her recipes and food photography have been highlighted by BuzzFeed, Reader’s Digest, and She Knows.