Lemon Blackberry Poppy Seed Cake

This is a delightful dessert for the spring and summer with tangy lemon and sweet blackberries, made beautiful by the design from any Bundt pan.

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Lemon blackberry poppy seed Bundt® cake on a white plate with blackberries and lemon slices around the side.

Moist Bundt Cake

A Bundt cake is any cake baked in a doughnut-shaped Bundt pan. It’s the easiest way to make a cake look beautiful because the pan does all the work for you. There are a ton of different designs of Bundt pans out there, so pick one that you like and let it get to work. This lemon blackberry poppy seed Bundt cake has the bright flavor of lemon poppy seed, but adds a swirl of blackberry for a sweet treat inside. Keeping it moist comes down to two thing – not over-baking the cake and the addition of yogurt to the batter.

Lemons and blackberries on a marble surface.

Lemons and Blackberries

Lemons and blackberries go together as well as lemons and blueberries and the deep vibrant color of blackberries is so nice to use in baked goods. Choose blackberries that are plump and fully black – the berries photographed above are not as ripe as I would have liked, but quite frankly it’s tough to find perfect blackberries in grocery stores. If they are still red or purplish, they still need to ripen fully. The best way to get ideal ripe blackberries is to go to a farmer’s stand or pick them yourself. The good news for this recipe, however, is that we’re making a blackberry sauce and adding sugar to the pot so we’ll be able to sweeten the berries ourselves. 

A hand pushing a blackberry purée through a fine strainer into a bowl with a saucepan in the background.

Make the Blackberry Purée

To make the blackberry purée, simply simmer the berries with sugar, lemon juice and just a little water to help them breakdown. Simmer and evaporate the excess water, smashing the berries as you go. Then, strain the purée through a fine sieve to remove the blackberry seeds.


Building a lemon blackberry poppy seed bundt cake with layers of cake batter and blackberry purée.

How to Swirl the Blackberry into the Cake

Once you have your lemon poppy seed batter and the blackberry swirl sauce, it’s time to put them together. Simply divide the cake batter into three portions and the blackberry sauce in half. Start with one third of the cake batter in the pan and add a layer of blackberry. Swirl it into the batter with a butter knife or spatula. It doesn’t have to be tidy! Then, repeat with a layer of cake batter and another layer of blackberry, swirl it in and top with the remaining batter. 


A skewer being inserted into a Bundt® cake with a blue and white towel around the side.

How to Tell When Cake is Done

The cake will take 50 t0 60 minutes to bake and it will crack along the top. That doesn’t matte since it will soon become the bottom of the cake. You’ll know the cake is fully cooked because a wooden skewer inserted into the cake will come out clean. Let the cake cool just ten minutes before glazing it with the lemon glaze.

Spooning lemon glaze on top of lemon blackberry poppy seed bundt cake sitting on a cooling rack over a sheet pan.

Glazing the Cake

The best and tidiest way to glaze the cake is to put it on a wire rack over a sheet pan. That way the cake never sits in a pool of glaze and if need be, you can scrape up the excess glaze and go back over the cake again. The glaze should be pourable, but not too runny. You can control that texture with the amount of sugar or lemon juice you add – adding more sugar to make it thicker and more lemon juice to make it thinner. The nooks and crannies of the Bundt cake design will grab the glaze in all the right places. 

Glazed lemon blackberry poppy seed bundt cake on a rack over a blue sheet pan.

Patience is a Virtue

Though the cake may look finished and ready to jump into head first, let it sit for 15 minutes or so so that the glaze sinks in and the cake cools fully. Serve alone with coffee or with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. To store the cake, store in a cake tin or cover it well and let it sit at room temperature for 2 – 3 days. If you’re storing it for any longer than that, pop it in the fridge.

A piece of lemon blackberry poppy seed bundt cake on a white plate with coffee and the rest of the cake behind it.

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Lemon Blackberry Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

  • Prep Time: 30 m
  • Cook Time: 55 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 25 m
  • Servings:


Blackberry swirl:
  • 12 ounces blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
Cake batter:
  • butter and flour to grease the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • zest from 3 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • juice from 2 lemons about ⅓ cup
Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • fresh blackberries for garnish


  1. Make the blackberry swirl by adding the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and water to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, smashing the blackberries with a spoon as they simmer. Push the blackberry mixture through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds and set it aside to cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt cake pan with butter and dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds in a bowl.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar in a second bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beating until the butter is light in color and fluffy. Add the yogurt, whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon juice and combine. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl in two or three stages, stirring only until you see no more streaks of flour.
  5. Pour one third of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Pour half of the blackberry mixture over the batter. Using a thin spatula or spoon, swirl the blackberry mixture into the cake batter. Repeat with another third of the cake batter and then the remaining blackberry mixture. Swirl the blackberry purée into the batter once again and pour the remaining cake batter on top to completely cover the blackberry layer.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold by inverting it onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
  7. Make the lemon glaze by whisking 1 cup of the powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together until smooth. Let the glaze sit for a few minutes and then stir again. It should form thick ribbons off the spoon. If it is too thin, add the extra tablespoon of powdered sugar.
  8. Place the cake on the cooling rack over a sheet pan. Slowly pour the glaze over the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake. Let it rest for a few minutes. If a lot of the glaze has dripped down to the sheet pan, scrape it back into the bowl and pour another layer over the cake. Let the glazed cake rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  9. Garnish the glazed cake with fresh blackberries and lemon slices and serve with some whipped cream if you like.
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Comments (4)Post a Reply

  1. This is the most delicious Bundt cake I have every made and I have made many over my life time. The flavours were amazing and got better everyday after it was baked. This is going to be my go to Bundt cake in the future and forget about all the other recipes I have baked in the past. This is a perfect cake in every way. Thank you BlueJean Chef.

    1. Hi Gordon. I’m afraid I am not a gluten-free cook and haven’t tried this with gluten free flour, but that would be the first thing I would try if I were you.

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