Lemon Poppy Seed Cake – Healthy Option

Lemon Poppy Seed cake is sweet, tart, moist and truly melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The Backstory: I’m a firm believer that you should be able to have your cake and not feel guilty about it. After all, life is about enjoying ourselves and that includes enjoying healthy foods that taste great and are made from wholesome, healthy ingredients. My recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake allows you to do just that. You won’t notice that it’s made with lighter, less fat-laden ingredients or that it’s got less sugar than most cakes. All you’ll notice is how zesty and scrumptious it tastes, and how much your guests are enjoying it too.  More of the Backstory after the recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake - Healthy Option

This delicious cake is moist, sweet, tart, and perfect with a cup of coffee, tea, or served as a dessert for a brunch or party. It also makes a perfect gift when wrapped in parchment and tied with a pretty ribbon.
Course Brunch, Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
  • 1 tbsp. lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup light margarine (50% reduced fat), soft/tub, zero trans fat
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 12 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar


  1. Lightly beat egg whites and whole egg together with a fork. Add sugar, lemon peel, and lemon extract and mix at high speed for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed and add remaining ingredients, mixing until completely blended.
  3. Pour batter into an 8-inch, non-stick loaf pan (or one sprayed with non-stick spray).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes and/or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Cool and remove from pan.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with the powdered sugar. Slice into 12 portions.

Recipe Notes


Nutrition Information Per Serving
Calories:  180
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrates: 35g
Sodium: 135mg
Fiber: 1g
Book cover image

…The Backstory continues: You can find this recipe and many more in my latest cookbook, Healthy Meals for Your Busy Life. In my new book, I’ve created a collection of delicious and satisfying meals from Beef Brisket with Gravy to Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Spirals — that you can prepare in 30 minutes or less. I know you’ll love them and that they’ll leave you feeling full, satisfied, and happy that you’ve made healthful choices that don’t sacrifice on taste!

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Franceen Friefeld, RD., LD., P.H.Ec.

Franceen Friefeld, RD., LD., P.H.Ec.

Franceen is one of country's leading voices in nutrition and health with 30 + years of experience as a senior food management executive, author, speaker, and TV host. Fran's followers adore her because she believes you should be able to have your kugel and not feel guilty about it. Her recipes, humor, and realistic approach to enjoying food and cutting through the hype of fad diets and quick fixes are what make her approach to a balanced lifestyle loved by so many.
Franceen Friefeld, RD., LD., P.H.Ec.

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