Easy & Delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (From Cake Mix)

This incredibly easy, insanely delicious lemon poppy seed bundt cake literally bursts with flavor from a lemon cake mix, lemon pudding, and lemon glaze. 

Easy & Delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (From Cake Mix)


This is a “church potluck” cake.

If you grew up going to church potlucks or “dinners on the ground” like I did, you probably ate a version of this cake on more than one occasion. I’ve seen glazed lemon cakes at many such events, and almost all were laced with poppy seeds. When I eat this cake, it brings back those memories, and I hope this cake continues to live on for the younger generation who didn’t grow up as I did.

Lemon poppyseed cake + fresh strawberries + whipped cream.

Lemon poppy seed bundt cake is one of my favorite summer desserts and the first cake I make when fresh strawberries are in season. This cake tastes outstanding with fresh berries and freshly whipped cream. The bright flavors of lemon and strawberries taste perfect on a hot summer day, and freshly whipped cream takes it over the top.

lemon poppyseed cake

Can poppy seeds cause a positive drug test?

Well….they actually can. Even though they are harmless to ingest and won’t induce a “high,” they can affect drug testing. But unless you plan to undergo drug testing for some reason, don’t let this stop you from using these little gems in this delicious cake:-)

Almond extract makes a difference.

The almond extract adds a wonderfully warm, buttery, and slightly nutty flavor to this cake that perfectly complements the lemon and poppy seeds. Cook’s Illustrated recommends Nielsen-Massey pure almond extract and McCormick imitation extract, stating that the difference between the “pure” and “imitation” was barely distinguishable. The former is more bold and assertive, while the latter mellows a bit more during baking.

My favorite bundt pan.

My favorite bundt pan that you see in the photos is this party bundt pan made by Nordic Ware. I love it because all the slices are the same size, and the symmetry looks so lovely on a cake plate or stand. This bundt was “retired” for years, but now it is currently back in stock. I bought an extra just in case!!! I also have miniature versions of this bundt pan. It is wonderful to make two smaller cakes from this one recipe. Below are two cakes that I baked in these miniature pans.

lemon poppyseed cake

Helpful tools for making bundt cakes.

In the short video below, I share some helpful tools for making bundt cakes, including miniature bundt pans, a cake spatula, and a miniature cake pedestal. If you love baking cakes, these are tools that will up your game!!!

lemon poppyseed bundt cake

If you try this fabulous lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
lemon poppyseed cake

Easy & Delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake


  • 1 box lemon cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 TB poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice (roughly 1 lemon)


  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray bundt pan with floured cooking spray (I use Baker's Joy).
  3. Put cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, water, oil & eggs in a bowl.
  4. Mix with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Increase speed to medium-high; mix for 2 more minutes.
  6. Stir in almond extract and poppy seeds until well combined. Add in sour cream and stir to combine.
  7. Spoon batter into bundt pan.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Stir confectioner's sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  10. Set aside.
  11. When the cake is done, allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully invert cake onto a plate covered with parchment.
  13. Allow the cake to cool before glazing.
  14. Once cool, pour glaze over cake.
  15. Refrigerate or place in freezer for half an hour to "firm up" glaze.
Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 352Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 54mgSodium 322mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 1gSugar 32gProtein 4g

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  1. Hi Lisa, I LOVE all the variations of the cake that you’ve made!!! You are so talented! I can’t wait to try some of these~especially the limoncello option. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I just love.. love this!!! I’ve tried a few variances on your delicious cake that are also fun.. I make a blueberry compote in a small sauce pan then cool it down and serve in a bowl along side the cake .. people spoon it over the completed cake. Its also fun to poke tiny holes in the cooled cake and pour Limoncello liquor and let it soak in the cake.. 24 hours.. I’ve also tried a variation of your deliciously lemon moist cake using culinary lavender .. I grind it first them add it to the batter ( as you did the poppy seeds).. when I use the lavender, it is very complimentary with the blueberry.. I’m hoping you’ll show us some exciting ways to bake with herbs.. and also with fun slices.. I’d love to learn how to bake using mint, and cardammon.. thanks for sharing your cooking and baking tips.. you are so talented.

  3. Hi Jean!!! I am so glad you pointed this out. I edited the recipe to include the sugar. You are right~just add it with the other ingredients. So happy you enjoy the cake!!!

  4. This is my favorite cake and it is dairy free! But No matter how many times I read the recipe I can’t find where you are supposed to add the half cup sugar. I just throw it in with the mixes. It always turns out yummy!

  5. I made this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake today to take to work for the guys. My usual MO is to have 1pc to make sure it’s good enough to serve. Oh myyyy, this is very tasty.
    It will be my new “go to” recipe for all occasions. Thank you very much for sharing.

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