*This post has been updated, originally posted in 2010*

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake has been in my recipe files for years. Too many to count. I’ve been married 36 years now, and I’ve been making it most of those years! Before you judge me for using a box mix (haha) read the rest of this post! I’ve never steered you wrong yet, have I?

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Boxed Cake Mix

Remember when we had that talk about using box mixes? And I told you I only have a few recipes I love, where I use a box and like the result? This is one. Actually, there are 3 or 4  total.  I always think to myself – I’m sure everyone already has this recipe… so for a long time, I didn’t post the doctored up box mixes!  But I decided I need to share this recipe with you because it’s THAT good! And everyone loves a good easy recipe that turns out fantastic each time, right? Right.

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake


Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake

I ran into my friend Marge the other day (don’t you love that name?) at the paint store. Yes, I was buying paint. Not a happy place for me. Let’s just say sewing is not my only challenge. Anyway, she asked me if I had a good lemon poppy seed recipe, and asked if I would post it ASAP. That’s what friends are for!
Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake is just what the name says, so simple. It’s also really moist and almost fail proof. Sounds perfect, right? Spring and summer is the ideal season for this poppy seed cake but you can make it anytime of the year.  The original recipe which I believe came out of a newspaper years ago, came with a boring icing, but adding fresh lemon juice and lots of zest makes this special. You will fall in love with this  lemon flavor and delicious moist cake! You won’t be able to each just one slice. Slice it up and deliver it to a friend to brighten their day.

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed CakeFresh Lemon Icing

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake

The icing on this Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake takes this dessert to the next level. The cake would be totally fine on it’s own, but what’s better than cake topped with a tart and smooth icing? I love that this icing has fresh lemon juice and zest in it. It pairs perfectly with the almond flavor of the cake. The fresh lemon juice in the icing is just the right amount.

You’ll  just need a little butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest, and a tiny bit of salt to bring this icing  together. Easy as that. If the icing is too thick for you, just add a tiny bit of milk to thin it out. Spread it over the cake and then enjoy a slice all to yourself. Mmmmm! The platter below is Simple Lemon Almond Poppyseed Cake and Foolproof Chocolate Bundt Cake with Fudge Frosting;  another cake made with a mix . It’s a super easy and delicious cakes well.  I often make the two cakes at the same time, then frost, slice and serve side by side on a platter! This one’s for you Marge!

Here are a couple other cake mix recipes you will love! Nan’s Coconut Cake and Funfetti Birthday Cake.

Simple Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Fresh Lemon Icing

5 from 5 votes
Author: Si Foster


  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 package lemon cake mix, I like Duncan Hines
  • 1 small 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons, about 1/4 cup juice
  • zest from lemons
  • dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously grease and flour a bundt pan. 
  • Mix all wet cake ingredients together with mixer until blended .
  • Add dry ingredients, including poppy seeds, mix until all ingredients are blended well, about 1-2  minutes. 
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, before inverting onto serving platter.
  • Prepare icing, and frost cake when cake is completely cooled.
  • Serve with fresh berries if desired. You may also leave the icing off and dust with powdered sugar before serving. Icing:
  • Melt butter, add to powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest, and salt in bowl.
  • Whisk or beat until smooth.
  • Thin with a little milk, water or lemon juice if too thick.


I use 1-2 lemons depending on the amount of juice extracted and the size of the lemon. You will need about 1/4 cup lemon juice to make the icing spreadable. If using one lemon, only take the zest from one lemon as well. If you want to thin the icing a bit, you may use a little milk.

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. I’d love to see a photo, tag @abountifulkitchen on Instagram!