Mastering Air Fryer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread: A Zesty Recipe!

I love making quick breads because they’re, well, fast! Just mix everything together, pour, bake, and enjoy! I’ve even ditched the big oven for this air fryer lemon poppy seed bread. Now I don’t have to heat up the whole house in the summer to enjoy this bright, citrusy sweet bread!

air fryer lemon poppy seed bread recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lemon poppy seed bread is a sweet bread (and really closer to a cake than the name implies) that’s packed with lemon flavor from both lemon zest and juice.

You can use pudding mix for extra lemon flavor and moisture, just like I do in my Box Cake Hacks. However, I prefer to use sour cream here because the flavor is perfect for a citrus bread.

mini loaf of glazed air fryer lemon poppy seed bread

Thanks to your air fryer, there’s no need to turn on the big oven! You still need a loaf pan, but you can pop it in the air fryer basket instead. It only takes around 30 minutes to bake as well, which is about half the time of a conventional oven recipe!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make air fryer lemon poppy seed bread

For the Lemon Poppy Seed Bread:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Equipment Note: You’ll need a loaf pan that fits in your air fryer basket for this. Any loaf pan you’d use in your oven will work, or you can opt for a disposable loaf pan if you need to grab something else to fit.

Ingredients Notes and Substitutions

  • The milk can be swapped for buttermilk or non-dairy milk such as almond milk if preferred
  • You can use other types of oil such as vegetable or sunflower, or you can swap in melted butter or applesauce as alternatives
  • Vanilla extract can be swapped for almond extract, or lemon extract if you prefer an even stronger lemon flavor
  • You can use lemon instant pudding in place of sour cream, but you should up the milk to 1 cup if you do so

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Bread in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has) and spray your loaf pan with nonstick baking spray
spray oven safe pan with nonstick oil
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl until well blended
beat eggs and sugar in mixing bowl
  1. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate
add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir to incorporate
  1. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan (don’t fill the pan higher than ¾ full to allow for expansion)
add batter to oven safe pan
  1. Place filled loaf pan into the preheated air fryer basket
place batter in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 30 minutes at 325°F (or 20 minutes for 2 mini loaves). Bread is done when a toothpick in the center comes out clean (a few wet crumbs but not raw batter is fine). Add additional time in 5-minute increments if needed
  2. Allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn lemon poppy seed bread out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before glazing. If it’s not releasing, run a butter knife or a silicone spatula around the edges to remove any stuck spots
let lemon poppy seed bread rest to cool
  1. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl
mix lemon glaze in a small bowl
  1. Spread the glaze over the cooled bread, using a spatula to assist if needed
two fully glazed loafs of lemon poppy seed bread
  1. Slice and serve
overhead view of slices of air fryer lemon poppy seed bread next to glazed loafs

What to Serve With Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

  • Grits
  • Bacon
  • Quiche
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Ham
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit jam
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Coffee 
  • Tea

Lemon poppy seed bread is delicious on its own, but you can enjoy it for breakfast or dessert as well! There are a lot of great accompaniments for your lemon loaf cake depending on the meal.

Try air fryer lemon poppy seed cake with my recipe for creamy Microwave Grits, easy Air Fryer Mini Quiche With Crust, quick Air Fryer Jimmy Dean Sausage Patties, and wash it down with a Green Apple Smoothie.

Recipe FAQs

Should Poppy Seeds Be Toasted Before Baking?

Toasting poppy seeds before baking can help add depth of flavor to them, but you don’t have to do so if you don’t want to.

Largely, it depends if you’re using them more for taste, or for texture and appearance. For the latter, toasting is really not necessary.

Do Poppy Seeds Go Bad?

Yes, due to their high natural oil content, it is possible for poppy seeds to go bad. Storing them in the refrigerator can prolong their lifespan.

This is typically why they are sold in smaller quantities. You should plan to use whatever you purchase within a few months for best results.

How Do You Know if Poppy Seeds Have Gone Bad?

Typically, you know if poppy seeds have gone bad because they are discolored, stuck in clumps together, or have a smell reminiscent of old oil.

Even if none of those signs are present, you can always taste one before adding it to your batter just to be sure.

How Do You Store Lemon Poppy Seed Bread?

Store lemon poppy seed bread covered on the counter for up to 4 days, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The cake may also be frozen for up to 3 months. However, it is recommended to freeze it prior to glazing for best results.

What Do Poppy Seeds Add to a Lemon Cake?

Poppy seeds primarily add texture and visual appeal to a lemon cake.

Toasting or grinding them helps to add a slightly nutty flavor to the mix.

How Much Poppy Seed Do You Add to a Lemon Cake?

How much poppy seed you add to a lemon cake largely depends on preference. An average amount is typically between 2 and 4 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

That said, you can add more or less to achieve your desired look for the cake. Just add a small amount at a time and mix through your batter until the density is to your liking.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • This recipe should fit a standard loaf pan perfectly. However, I have a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer with two smaller baskets, so I used one medium and one mini pan. If you do minis, reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes to start. Mine were perfect, but other air fryers may vary
  • If you aren’t used to zesting citrus, grab a little zester tool to help in stripping off the peel. Make sure to only zest the outside; if you get into the white pith underneath it will be bitter
closeup of a slice of glazed lemon poppy seed bread made in the air fryer

Storage and Heating Tips

  • Store lemon poppy seed bread wrapped on the counter at room temperature for up to 4 days. It may also be refrigerated for up to 1 week. For longer term storage, wrap and freeze the cake for up to 3 months prior to glazing
  • This lemon loaf is perfect enjoyed at room temperature. However, if you’d like to warm it, place a slice on a plate in the microwave for about 15 seconds

More Air Fryer Cakes to Try

Final Thoughts

This easy air fryer lemon poppy seed bread is a great way to bake up a citrusy treat that’s perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert!

In fact, if you’re still interested in baking with citrus, try my Air Fryer Orange and Almond Biscotti recipe!

Thanks to the air fryer, there’s no need to turn on the big oven, making it enjoyable all summer long. Plus, it only takes about half the time to bake, so it’s even quicker than your average “quick bread”.

I love how easy loaf cakes are to make, as they dependably come out well, even for someone who’s not typically a great baker. They’re a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth with not a lot of effort!

air fryer lemon poppy seed bread recipe dinners done quick featured image

Quick Air Fryer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread With Glaze

This delicious air fryer lemon poppy seed bread redefines quick bread, with only 30 minutes of baking time needed! It’s sweet and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Servings 8
Calories 340 kcal

Equipment

  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Zester
  • Juicer (if using fresh juice)
  • Loaf pan that fits in your air fryer
  • Nonstick baking spray

Ingredients
  

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 Large eggs
  • Cup sour cream
  • ¾ Cup milk
  • Cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh preferred)
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Lemon Glaze

  • ½ Cup powdered confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has) and spray your loaf pan with nonstick baking spray
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl until well blended
    2 Large eggs, 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate
    2 Cups all purpose flour, 1 Tsp baking soda, 1 Tsp baking powder, 1 Tsp salt, ⅓ Cup sour cream, ¾ Cup milk, ⅓ Cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tsp vanilla extract, 2 Tbsp lemon zest, 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • Pour batter into the greased loaf pan (don’t fill the pan higher than ¾ full to allow for expansion)
  • Place filled loaf pan into the preheated air fryer basket
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 30 minutes at 325°F (or 20 minutes for 2 mini loaves). Bread is done when a toothpick in the center comes out clean (a few wet crumbs but not raw batter is fine). Add additional time in 5-minute increments if needed
  • Allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn lemon poppy seed bread out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before glazing. If it’s not releasing, run a butter knife or a silicone spatula around the edges to remove any stuck spots
  • Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl
    ½ Cup powdered confectioner's sugar, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tsp lemon zest
  • Spread the glaze over the cooled bread, using a spatula to assist if needed
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

  • The milk can be swapped for buttermilk or non-dairy milk such as almond milk if preferred
  • You can use other types of oil such as vegetable or sunflower, or you can swap in melted butter or applesauce as alternatives
  • Vanilla extract can be swapped for almond extract, or lemon extract if you prefer an even stronger lemon flavor
  • You can use lemon instant pudding in place of sour cream, but you should up the milk to 1 cup if you do so
  • This recipe is designed for a standard loaf pan. However, I have a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer with two smaller baskets, so I used one medium and one mini pan. If you do minis, reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes to start. Mine were perfect, but other air fryers may vary
  • If you aren’t used to zesting citrus, make sure to only zest the outside; if you get into the white pith underneath it will be bitter
  • Store lemon poppy seed bread wrapped on the counter at room temperature for up to 4 days. It may also be refrigerated for up to 1 week. For longer term storage, wrap and freeze the cake for up to 3 months prior to glazing
  • This lemon loaf is perfect enjoyed at room temperature. However, if you’d like to warm it, place a slice on a plate in the microwave for about 15 seconds
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, any swaps made, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 124gCalories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 6.1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2.3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 529mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 77IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 1.7mg
Keyword air fryer lemon bread, air fryer lemon poppy seed bread, easy lemon poppy seed bread, lemon poppy seed bread, lemon poppy seed bread recipe, lemon poppy seed bread sour cream, lemon poppy seed bread with glaze, lemon poppy seed loaf, moist lemon poppy seed bread, quick lemon poppy seed bread
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Katie Vine