Greek Yogurt Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Loaf

Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Loaf surrounded by cherries.

Guys, can you believe it’s almost mid-August? Which means that September is right around the corner!! Where did the summer go?

Cherries and lemon zest.

On the radio today they were talking about Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Costco has their Halloween merchandise on display already, and so by next week, I’m sure we’ll have to start thinking about hanging Christmas lights.

Lemon poppy seed batter with cherries.

Even with all the focus on future seasons going on around us, we still wanted to pay one last tribute to one of our favourite summer fruits. Cherries! We’ve brought you a cherry recipe before in the short time that we’ve been friends here, but they are so good we couldn’t resist bringing you one more before we say good-bye to them until next year.

This recipe is slightly more reserved on the sugar side than our previous one, but it’s definitely no wallflower when it comes to flavour! Packed with juicy cherries, lemon zest, poppy seeds, and a cinnamon cardamom streusel, this loaf is the perfect ode to BC summer cherries.

Now, we’re going to be honest here, and mention that the original recipe labels itself as a cake, but if you bake it in a loaf pan, and it looks like a loaf, then chances are you’ve got a loaf on your hands and therefore, something that is perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast. Right?

In actual fact, this loaf does have a fairly reasonable amount of sugar in it, and gains added moisture from Greek yogurt not oil, so it’s not a complete right-off in the breakfast department. You could totally leave off the streusel, but we thought that the crunchy topping perfumed with cardamom and cinnamon was the perfect finish.

If you’re looking for a baked good to have with your next cup of tea or coffee, or just a way to re-purpose some old cherries that you have hanging around in your kitchen, this is the perfect recipe! Ok, we’re off to research pumpkin spiced baked goods (just kidding!).

Go bake.

Greek Yogurt Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Loaf



1/4 cup (35 g) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and cardamom

pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted


1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

grated zest of 2 large lemons

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 cup (225 g) plain 2% Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from roughly 1/2 a lemon)

1 1/2 cups (210 g) pitted fresh sweet cherries


  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the streusel by mixing 1/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter and stir together until the steusel is in small bits. Set aside.
  3. To make the loaf, whisk the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds and salt together in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest with a spoon, encouraging the lemon oil to saturate the sugar (it should smell heavnly at this point). Whisk in the oil, eggs, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture all at once, stirring with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it’s almost completely incorporated. Fold in half of the cherries and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Dot the remaining cherries over the top of the batter and then sprinkle with the streusel. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown on top and it feels set in the center, about 45-55 minutes.
  6. Let the loaf cool on a wire rack. When cool, run a knife almong the outside of the cake to help it release from the pan and tip the loaf gently out of the pan.

Inspired by this recipe.