Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

Let’s just get it out in the open here and now.

This recipe should probably be called “Glazed Poppy Seed Cake” instead of bread since the ingredients lend themselves to something sweet, delicious, calorie-laden and splurge-worthy. The only thing bread-like is the loaf pans that the batter is baked in. However, if you are up for an unbelievably moist, decadent quick bread/cake glazed with a hint of citrus and studded with poppy seeds then this is just the thing for you.

Despite my disclaimer above, we didn’t enjoy this for dessert like a good cake should be enjoyed. No siree. The first loaf was long gone before dinner even came and went. Snack time, baby. I made up for the lapse in good-eating judgment by only letting my children eat carrot sticks for every meal the next day while I selflessly finished off the bread so as not to let them fall into unhealthy eating habits at such a young age. I try to be the best example I can.

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

One Year Ago: Berries and Cream
Two Years Ago: Sweet Heat Louisiana Chili

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

Yield: Makes 2 loaves (8 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pans), about 4-5 mini loaves or lots of muffins (sorry don’t know exactly how many!)

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

I couldn’t bring myself to buy butter extract after spying the list of unpronounceable ingredients so I subbed melted butter which is like, SO much healthier, but use whatever you prefer!


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter extract or 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon butter extract or 1/2 tablespoon melted butter


  1. Line the bottom of the loaf pans with waxed or parchment paper and then grease and flour the entire loaf pan well.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and oil. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir together. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the last half of the milk and stir. Finally add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix. Add the extracts and poppy seeds and mix well.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes checking often the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure the bread doesn’t overbake. When completely baked, a toothpick inserted in the middle should pull out moist crumbs but not wet batter.
  4. While the bread is baking, combine the glaze and ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  5. Let the bread sit in the pan for five minutes. Run a thin-edged knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove the bread from the pans onto a wire rack set atop a layer of paper towels. Brush the tops of the bread with the glaze while the bread is still warm. Continue brushing and/or gently pouring until all the glaze is on the bread. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Lisa C., an old high school friend

53 Responses to Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

  1. Brittany S says:

    Made this as a bundt cake for a baby shower and it got RAVE reviews! I baked it for about 55 mins.

  2. monica says:

    Iif I wanted to bake this bread in a 9 by 5 loaf pan would the whole recipe fit into a single
    9 by 5 or would I half the recipe? How long would the baking time be approximately, thank you

    • Mel says:

      No, I think it would be too much batter (but I haven’t tried it so you could experiment). I’d probably add 3/4 of the batter to the 9X5 pan and bake the rest as muffins.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Have you ever tried subbing coconut oil? I wonder if the flavor and texture would be the same?

  4. Sarah says:

    I just made this and it is fantastic. The glaze reminds me of an amaretto stone sour. Simply delicious.

  5. Mel says:

    Hi Molly – I know in many quick bread-type recipes, subbing applesauce for the oil seems to work out ok I think it’s worth a try!

  6. Molly says:

    I LOVE this recipe and it was a big hit with my husband the first time I made it. I am just curious… do you think substituting applesauce or something else for the oil would be a bad idea? I am tempted to try it, just to cut down on how rich this bread is, but of course I am afraid it won’t be as good! Let me know if you have any tips on this! thanks! 🙂

  7. Jamie says:

    Hi, I am making this today to send to family for Christmas. I was wondering if I glaze it should I first freeze it before shipping? Most packages are going close to us here in Florida but one is going to California so I’m concerned with how they will hold up to shipping. I thought maybe freezing them first might help.? What do you think? Thanks for any imput!

    • Mel says:

      Jamie – I’ve never shipped this bread, so honestly, I don’t know how it would hold up. If you decide to freeze it first, I think you could glaze it and then freeze it.

  8. […] was amazing “cake.” Mel titled her post “bread” but conceded that it should have probably been called cake. I followed her […]

  9. Erin Takeuchi says:

    This bread was amazing!!!! Thanks so much!! 😀

  10. Mel says:

    Hi Jordan – thanks for the comment! In answer to your question, if a weight measure is given, I always weigh the flour (and other ingredients) with my kitchen scale. If there isn’t a weight given, I use a measuring cup. The standard of weight for a cup of flour is right around 5 ounces, but that isn’t a hard, fast rule since it can vary depending on who creates a recipe and how they test it. I think the safest way to deal with the flour conundrum is to weigh if a weight measure is given and use a cup measure if there is no weight measure. Hope that helps!

  11. Jordan says:

    I just made 2 loaves of this bread last night and sent it with my husband to give to my brother in law and mother in law. It smelled so good, but I couldn’t cut a piece off to try it 🙁 I’m going to make it another batch and do the mini loaves so I can try it and give the others away as a gift. I love you website and your enthusiasm about the recipes you post. I will be a forever follower. Keep posting!!!

    One Question: When you measure your flour do you use a cup or do you measure with a scale?? If so what is the exact weight bread flour per cup and all purpose per cup. I’ve seen several different weights for cups and don’t know which one to use.

  12. Katie L. says:


  13. Mel says:

    Katie – I’d start checking the muffins anywhere from 13-15 minutes and watch from there. Good luck!

  14. katie says:

    I was wondering what you would adjust the baking time to to make these into muffins?
    Can’t wait to make this…I (unfortunately for my waistline) adore poppy seed bread and this recipe looks wonderful.

  15. Heather says:

    Ok, I know this is an older recipe, but I had been searching and searching and finally stumbled onto this. A few years ago my landlord’s wife had given us a glazed mini loaf for Christmas and she wouldn’t give away the recipe. I finally found this one and I am IN LOVE WITH IT!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! This is the best recipe EVER!!! I took it to a Christmas gathering and everyone who tried it loved it. Thanks!

  16. Marisa says:

    AWESOME recipe as is and tweeked. Substituted rum extract for the almond, added 1 tablespoon dried valencia orange peel to sugar mixture, used 5 tablespoons poppy seed that had been soaked in hot water (drained water b4 mixed in) and used vanilla rum instead of OJ in glaze. It beat my mother-in-laws hands down. (which is hard to do.) Thx for sharing!

  17. Natalie Tycksen says:

    This are so yummy. Mel, I made muffins with this and I made 24 regular muffins and 24 mini muffins with this recipe :). Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. Tim says:

    I love this recipe and had lost my copy of it…so glad to find it again. Has anyone ever tried making a larger version as a cake? bundt cake? one of those sculpted cake pans? I’m curious whether it has to be loaves or not?

    • Mel says:

      Tim – I’ve never tried making it in anything other than the loaf pans. If anyone else has, hopefully they’ll chime in to let you know!

  19. Stephanie says:

    Do you think Wilton’s Butter Flavoring would be the same as butter extract?

  20. Amanda says:

    I made this recipe this weekend and everyone who tried it – home and work – loved it! Thanks for putting up a recipe that is simple and VERY good!

  21. Rene Schmeltz says:

    Hello Mel;
    I make poppy seed bread all the time and I was wondering how long it stay fresh? We give it away to the shut-ins in church at Christmas every year. So far it’s been 5 days and they are in the disposal containers and wrapped in saran wrap. should i throw them out or not.

    Thanks Rene’

    • Mel says:

      Rene Schmeltz – I would say if your bread has been at room temperature for five days, it is probably past it’s prime. I usually keep bread like this at room temperature for 1-2 days. If I want it to last longer, I seal it up well and freeze it for up to 2 months.

  22. Valerie says:

    Oh my, this is good! I’m making your no-bake lemon cheesecake for my mom’s b-day this weekend. I’m sure it will be yummy.

  23. Cathy Heckman says:

    OMG! I made this over the weekend and it is truly amazing. I took a loaf to work today and it was literally gone in less than 30 minutes, everyone loved it and asked where I found the recipe. This is the 3rd recipe I have tried from your site in the last 2 weeks and all have been amazing, keep them coming!!!!

  24. Sonya says:

    I made this over the weekend, along with several other baked goods, to share with some friends. The poppy seed bread/cake was the first thing to go off the tray. The glaze gave it a little crunch that was amazing. Thanks for another great recipe!

  25. must get off couch right now and make this. i even have all the ingredients already!


  26. Bobbie says:

    I make a version of this and it is so good- but I treat it like cake…. although I think it is a bread.

  27. grace says:

    now you’ve made me wonder–when’s a cake a cake and what makes a bread a bread? i’m curious, curious like a cat. 🙂

  28. Joanne says:

    I think with a bread this good, it’s basically transcends the label of cake or bread or whatever. And so you really just need to eat it all day every day. I love poppy seeds in baked goods!

  29. Poppy says:

    Oh gosh, I cannot wait to try this one. My husband and kids loves poppy seeds, so I am always looking for new recipes to try on them. Thanks for sharing! Looks AMAZING!

  30. Sue says:

    This recipe is yummy, I know because we make it all the time, and at Christmas and Easter, we make mini loaves and wrap them up and give as gifts. We also dont just brush the glaze on top, we make sure every side is covered, and I use melted butter too, way cheaper!! Thanks, Sue

  31. ingrid says:

    Cake, bread…I’ll take a slice!

  32. The Southern Cookbook says:

    Oh yeah! This looks wonderful. I will try this one soon. Excellent photo 😉

  33. Just came over to your site from Foodgawker, and this bread/cake looks fabulous! I just got some little mini loaf pans, and I think this might be just the recipe to try them out. 🙂

  34. Hannah V says:

    My husband likes lemon poppy seed ANYTHING, and his birthday is Saturday so I think I’ll be making this for a special treat. 🙂

  35. laura says:

    mmm, I love poppyseed bread! Thanks for the recipe~

  36. Lisa Hansen says:

    This is a favorite at our house and to all we give it to; it also makes great mini loafs if you are gifting them wrapped in cellophane. I have never tried the “real” butter but the butter extract makes it so yummy! Also, my husband usually takes over and makes sure all the glaze gets dabbed into the sides–he cracks me up; but we love our glaze in these parts and always vie for the top and sides!

  37. Krystal says:

    One of my favorites. . .extra glaze here please! I’m not surprised it didn’t last until dinner, that’s what happens at our house too.

  38. Heather says:

    Hi! I have a quick question about this recipe. In the glaze ingredients you list ‘sugar’. I’m assuming you mean ‘powdered sugar’? This recipe looks great…I’m just trying to decide if I can afford the calories! haha

  39. We love poppyseed and almond extract anything, the glaze looks great- agreed on melted butter for sure! I usually don’t even use oil while baking, cooled melted butter or coconut oil is great for baking muffins or bread. I think I will try these as a mini muffin.

  40. Laurel says:

    My mom made this bread for us growing up… the exact same recipe. It is one of my favorites. Absolutely HEAVENLY!!! I never tire of it, which is a problem. 🙂

  41. Lani says:

    I have had almost the exact same recipe for years, and we love it! It’s so yummy that my niece served it as cupcakes at her wedding, along with some other great yummy cupcakes. I was “honored” that she used my recipe. I will have to try the citrus glaze next time I make it. Thanks for sharing.

  42. This looks wonderful. I always think poppyseed desserts are so old-fashioned. I don’t know if that’s true, but they always remind me of my grandma! Thanks for sharing!

  43. CaSaundra says:

    Poppyseed bread has always been one of my favs–however, I’ve found that it more resembles a cake too!

  44. Kim in MD says:

    Ha ha! You are so funny, Mel! Thanks for the laugh this morning! Oh- and the cake (I mean bread!) looks amazing! I love the almond extract in both the bread and the glaze…yum!

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