Lemon & Poppy Seed Traybake


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This year I’m supporting the Colossal Cake Sale  sponsored by Whitworths Sugar for Bake4Heroes.  We all know that cake sales are always hugely popular and are a great way of raising much needed funds for good causes.  When you’re baking for a cake sale it’s useful to choose your bakes to maximise volume (ie. £££’s) and minimise your time getting there, leaving you free to bake much more, hence sharing this recipe with you!

This Lemon and poppy seed traybake does exactly that – plenty of slices  and a thoroughly lovely crunchy drizzle on the top – no faffing around with a tricky frosting or decoration.

Find out more about the Colossal Cake Sale campaign here at Bake4Heroes.



235g butter, softened

235g caster sugar

4 eggs, large

210g self raising flour

1 lemon, whole

2 tsp poppy seeds


Juice of 1 lemon (or 50ml bottle juice)

110g granulated sugar


Prepare the traybake tin, I’m using a roasting type tin with straight sides roughly 9” x 13”.  Line the tin with non-stick baking paper.  (A quick grease of the tin before the paper will help the paper stick in place)lemon poppyseed traybake 011

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.

Place 1 lemon in a microwaveable bowl and cover with clingfilm.  Microwave on full power for 2 minutes.  The lemon should have turned soft and squishy – careful it will also be super hot.  Set it to one side to cool for now. (If you don’t have a microwave place it in a small pan and cover with water, bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes instead)

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In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add the self-raising flour and fold in until the mixture is even.

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Now for the lemon, slice in half carefully and remove any pips you can see. It needs to be blitzed up roughly so use what you have – a stick blender, food processor or chopped by hand with a knife.  Not quite to a puree but definitely small pieces.

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Add the lemon pulp to the cake mix, along with the poppy seeds and mix through until it’s all evenly dispersed.

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Transfer the mixture to the lined baking tin and roughly level with the back of a spoon.

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Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until lightly golden on top and springy to the touch.

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Whilst the cake bakes mix together the drizzle, the juice from 1 lemon with 110g granulated sugar.

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Remove from the oven and leave in the baking tin. Prick the top of the cake all over with a fork.  Spoon over the drizzle spreading it gently with the spoon to coat the top of the cake fully.

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Leave to cool fully in the tin before removing, slicing and serving.

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 Lemon & Poppy Seed Traybake

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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15 Responses to Lemon & Poppy Seed Traybake

  1. Rhonda says:

    Sounds lovely!

    Quick question about the lemon, I’m assuming the skin as well as the pips are removed?

  2. Shazza says:

    yum, will try this. I made the Raspberry Ripple cake today….scrumptious x

  3. I love easy traybakes. These are good to cook with the kids too. Great idea to put the lemon in the microwave. Two of my favourite things in a cake lemon and poppy seeds.

  4. I can’t wait to try this! Looķs so yummy

  5. anne says:

    make this today was fab, scoffed by everyone think i will try it with orange next time am hoping it will be as good

  6. Blue S says:

    Hi ruth, as always loving your yummy creations, and so happy for all the success that has deservedly come your way! Re: the recipe above and the ‘cooking’ of the lemon- have you got any suggestions how to prep if you don’t have a microwave… would simmering in boiling water achieve the desired effect? thanks

  7. Blue S says:

    Hi Ruth, sorry to waste your time… I have just read the recipe in full which gives the info I enquired about… my hubby read me his own edited version… if he’s lucky i’ll still save him a slice or 2 when I bake at the weekend. thank you for the recipe x

  8. Granny Moo says:

    Made this tray bake today absolutely delicious, light and very moist, yummy!

  9. Louise Moore says:

    This is utterly delicious. So fresh and lemony. Perfect for summer tea parties. I made this for toddler group and they loved it. Thanks for another fab idea.xxx

  10. Therese says:

    Hi Ruth going to try this at the weekend, I went to buy the lemons tonight and all I could manage to get were really small lemons!! I was thinking id use two but I am worried my batter will be too runny! Maybe one and half will do? Would yo have a weight approx of the weight of lemon we should use? Or weight of pulped lemon to be added?
    Thanks so much!

  11. Sarah Plant says:

    Hi Ruth, I’ve made these a few times now and they’re gorgeous! Just wondering if you think they’d freeze ok?


  12. Poppy seeds? cool! I would like to know how it tastes.

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