homemade dessert recipes Mar 18, 2021
Moist Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake with Crème Fraîche Frosting
Originally posted March 2, 2019


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Slicing this super moist, lemon poppy-seed cake with crème fraîche frosting is just the beginning of your delectable experience!

You will definitely get the sweetlemony aroma once your knife starts slicing into this moist lemon poppy-seed cake! Then you will take delight in the beautifully speckled loaf cake slice as your knife completes its journey!

Citrus season is in full swing and baking this moist lemon poppy-seed cake is certainly a way to honor it! The cake is sure to have an ultra light texture with a deep, aromatic lemon flavor. The addition of lemon pudding helps boost the lemon flavor along with the zest and juice from a lemon, for a natural, fresh flavor. And this lemon poppy-seed loaf is oh-so moist!

~Can I just tell you how I DESPISE dry cake! If you ever see me eating JUST the frosting from a piece of cake, then gently lay the napkin on top to lay it to rest, that means the cake is DRY! Ya’ll know that napkin covering trick, lol, I know I’m not alone!~

And the crème fraîche frosting compliments this lemon poppy-seed cake so perfectly! The frosting is made using a tangy french cultured cream that is super easy to make right at home! No need to be intimidated! 


Crème Fraîche is best made from high fat whipping cream and buttermilk. It’s best to use pasteurized whipping cream, as it has a little thicker consistency and it won’t take as long to firm up. However, most stores in our area only sell ULTRA-pasturized whipping cream to ensure all bacteria is dead. It’s actually better for our health, so we’ll have to deal with it and let our cream sit a little longer.

The same goes with the buttermilk. The higher the fat content, the thicker and tastier the crème fraîche will be. However, most of the buttermilk in our area has a fat content reduced to only 2%, so again, our cream will need to sit a little longer to firm up. But trust me, it will be worth the wait!


  • 1 TBSP of buttermilk mixed with 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Lightly cover the mixture and let it sit out room temperature for about 12-14 hours. (I have to put my mixture in the cabinet or else my cats will think I left them a little nightcap:)
  • If you’re worried about bacteria setting in because it’s not refrigerated, no worries, the good cultured bacteria in the buttermilk prevents the bad bacteria from taking over. It will be totally safe!
  • Once the cream firms up a little (pretty much right at the 12 hour mark), transfer it to the refrigerator, for another 4 hours, to complete the thickening process.
  • Now you have Crème Fraîche!

Buttermilk, heavy cream        Complete Creme Fraîche Frosting

You can impress your friends and family with the name alone! But adding it into the lemon poppy-seed cake batter and making your frosting with it will have them thinking that you snuck off to France and didn’t tell them!

Using the crème fraîche in the frosting gave it a richsweet and tangy flavor with a lightly whipped texture! I didn’t want a frosting that was too heavy for this delicate lemon poppy-seed cake.

Baking this ultra moist lemon poppy-seed cake is pleasantly an easy recipe to make. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when presenting this beauty for dessert!


Recipe Instructions


Moist Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake with Crème Fraîche Frosting

Pat yourself of the back when serving this ultra moist and fluffy lemon poppy-seed cake! It has a fresh and natural lemon flavor with a delicate french crème fraîche frosting! How impressive! 
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
16 hrs
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: French, Lemon Cake, Lemon Dessert, Loaf Cake, Moist Cake


Servings: 8 People


Author: Rob & Jen


Lemon Poppy-seed Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon pudding
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of a small lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • TBSP Canola Oil
  • 1 TBSP juice from a lemon
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 TBSP poppy-seeds

Crème Fraîche

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized
  • 1 TBSP buttermilk whole or 2%

Crème Fraîche Whipped Frosting

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP juice from a lemon
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche


Crème Fraîche

  • Add buttermilk to heavy whipping cream. Give it a little stir. Loosely cover the bowl with saran wrap or a kitchen towel. Let it sit, at room temperature, for 12-14 hours until slightly thick. Then put it in the refrigerator for another 4 hours to complete the thickening process. 

Lemon Poppy-seed Cake

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  • Lightly grease and flour a loaf cake pan
  • In a medium bowl, add: all purpose flour, baking soda, salt and lemon pudding. Mix to incorporate. 
  • In a separate mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and lemon zest. Mix on high speed until the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy. Scraping down your bowl in-between. 
  • Turn speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. 
  • Scrape down your bowl and add canola oil and lemon juice. 
  • Scrape down your bowl and add your dry mixture and Crème Fraîche. Mix on low speed, about 3 minutes, until incorporated. Stop and scrape down your bowl. Then continue to mix for about 3 more minutes or until batter is smooth. 
  • Add poppy-seeds and whip a little, by hand, until poppy-seeds are throughout the batter. 
  • Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 75 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, then gently go around the cake with a small rubber spatula to loosen the cake. Then flip onto a wire cooling rack or serving plate, to continue cooling. 

Crème Fraîche Whipped Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl, add heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Whip on high speed. Stop, to add lemon juice, once the cream starts to thicken. Then continue to whip until soft peaks form at the top.
  • Then gently fold in the Crème Fraîche until incorporated. 

Frosting your cake

  • Once the loaf is completely cooled, spread a heaping amount of whipped frosting on the top and spread evenly with a spatula or off-set knife. 
  • Decorate with lemon zest or poppy-seeds, flowers or leave plain and enjoy!