Lemon Poppy Seed Bars

lemon poppy barsA while back I found a great recipe called Scandinavian blondies in my King Arthur Baking cookie companion, a great combination of lemon and almond flavors (or just almond, if you prefer). I’ve adapted that recipe multiple times to adjust the flavors, most recently using a classic lemon poppy seed combination. They turned out really well, and I’ll definitely make them again.

My first attempt at these used just one tablespoon of poppy seeds in the bars, which wasn’t enough. While it might sound like a lot, you definitely need two tablespoons to get a good poppy flavor against the lemon.


For the bars

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the glaze

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons water


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 square baking pan.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs until light colored and thick. Add sugar and salt, continuing to beat until shiny and pale yellow.

Add extract, zest, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of the flour, folding in gently. Fold in remaining 1/2 cup of flour and poppy seeds.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and are a very light golden color.

Remove from oven and cool completely before icing. To make icing, combine powdered sugar and poppy seeds; add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a pourable glaze. Pour over bars and spread evenly with an offset spatula; allow to set before cutting. Makes 16.