Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Cake

BY : PUBLISHED : March 1st, 2013 UPDATED: August 25th, 2021

From the author, Honor: With a bit less sugar and fat than traditional cake, I’m okay with slipping a piece into my kid’s lunchbox for a treat.

This lemon poppy seed cake can be enjoyed as is but I’m partial to a drizzle of that tangy lemon glaze.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Plant Based on a Budget 4 1

Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Cake

Do you love lemons? You're going to absolutely adore this lemon-flavored baked good! This cake is moist, delicious, and full of amazing lemon flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 260 kcal
DIET Vegan


  • 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • Juice and zest of 2 small lemons
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • cup of poppy seeds
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, applesauce, and vanilla until well combined. Add water and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir until just combined. (Your batter may have a few small lumps and that's okay. You don't want to overmix.)
  • Fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are golden and begin to pull away from the pan. Take a toothpick, insert it into the middle of the cake and make sure it comes out clean. If it doesn’t bake in 5 minute increments until it does.
  • In the meantime, prepare your glaze by simply whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Start with 4 teaspoons, and if it’s too thick, add another one.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely (or at least 15 minutes if you just can't wait!) before drizzling with glaze. Enjoy!


Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 285mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple sauce, cake, dessert, lemon, lemon cake, lemon juice, lemon zest, poppy seed, powdered sugar, vegan, vegan cake, vegan dessert, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Honor

Loves baking, gardening and preparing delicious, compassionate meals for her vegan family of four.

View all posts by Honor