Citrus and Poppy Seed Loaf: Baking for Easter with Pastry Chef Andreja Juknevicius

Andreja Jukneviciute
Andreja Juknevicius

This is not your average lemon poppy seed loaf. First, the combination of lemons and oranges together give extra brightness and flavour. Secondly, this loaf gets soaked with a tangy and sweet syrup giving it tons of moisture.

For an extra special touch, I topped the loaf with slices of quick homemade candied oranges and lemons making it a perfect addition to your Easter celebration.





(Skaityti šį receptą lietuviškai)

Citrus and Poppy Seed Loaf

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
2 eggs

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

¾ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
Juice of ½ a lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan (or two smaller loaf pans) with butter, then parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper. All ingredients should be at room temperature before starting.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, lemon zest and orange zest until fluffy.
  3. Mix in eggs one at a time.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to blend.
  5. Combine all remaining wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, lemon) in another bowl.
  6. To the first wet mixture (butter, sugar, zests) add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the second wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, lemon), starting and ending with the dry.
  7. Fill the loaf pan(s) and level the batter with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 50-55 min until slightly golden brown and a knife comes out clean.  Leave the loaf in pan until the syrup is poured over top and the loaf cools completely.


Juice of 1 ½ lemons
Juice of ½ orange
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup sugar

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 7-10 min.
  3. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, poke holes in the loaf (this helps to better absorb the syrup).
  4. Pour syrup over loaf and remove once cooled.

Candied orange and lemon slices

½ cup water
½ cup sugar

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a pot over medium heat. Thinly slice some orange and lemon rounds and place in the pot.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Take out the orange and lemon slices with a fork and let cool on a cutting board.
  4. Cut the slices to arrange on top of the cake as you wish.

About Andreja

Andreja Juknevicius is a Pastry Chef based in Toronto. After graduating from University, she followed her passion for baking and studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Her experience includes working at a top pastry boutique in Paris, as well as creating dessert menus for some of the finest restaurants in the city.