Dark Brown Sugar Almond Poppy Seed Buttermilk Loaf

by Beat Bake Eat

A gorgeous Almond Loaf showcasing Dark Brown Sugar like the baddie she is, with poppy seeds for crunch. Grab your 9×5 inch loaf pan, put your left foot in, put your left foot out, and shake it all about because this one is good!!! ?

Almond poppy seed loaf made with dark brown sugar and buttermilk.

The texture of this loaf is f*cking PERFECTION. 

Because of all the butter it tastes like a cake but it’s on the denser side so it’s also like a quick bread. But as you’re eating it you could really care less about what exactly it is.

It’s a loaf. A good one.

Almond poppy seed loaf made with dark brown sugar and buttermilk.

And after you make the recipe make sure you rate it or leave a review! You people always forget. ?

To see more pictures of this beautiful loaf, scroll past the recipe card!

Dark brown sugar baking recipes.

Dark Brown Sugar Almond Poppy Seed Buttermilk Loaf

Beat Bake Eat
A buttery almond loaf studded with poppy seeds, made with buttermilk and dark brown sugar.
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cool Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 304 kcal


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Chopped almonds, for sprinkling (optional)
  • Coarse sugar (or granulated sugar), for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • To a large bowl add the butter, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Using a whisk or an electric mixer, cream until fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs - make sure they are fully incorporated.
  • Add the buttermilk and almond extract and mix well.
  • Add the flour and poppy seeds and mix until fully incorporated, but do not overmix.
  • Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the top with chopped almonds and coarse sugar (read recipe notes).
  • Bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs.
  • Cool in pan 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool for another 10 - 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve warm or cooled completely.


For a more pronounced texture and a better overall look, sprinkle the coarse sugar on top of the bread at the 50 minute mark to prevent it from sinking in.

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Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Dark brown sugar baking recipes.


Dark Brown Sugar Loaf

Why did I use this sugar? Because it’s underrated. Seriously, it’s almost always passed up for it’s lighter counterpart, whom I will not mention in this post but we all know what I’m talking about.

Dark brown sugar has so much flavor. So much.

According to Imperial Sugar, it has more molasses, acidity, and moisture, than that other lighter one. So you’d think that when it comes to baking it would be the preferred sugar, but unfortunately it’s not. What a damn shame.

That’s why I wanted to create a whole recipe highlighting it and I decided to pair it with almond. You know I love me some almond extract!

And what a pair they are.

I know the combination of brown sugar and almonds isn’t anything new and not really something you’d think would blow you away in terms of flavor but this loaf is just “wow”. I can’t believe how well it turned out.

I’m in love with it. I am.

Buttermilk baking recipes.

Why the Poppy Seeds???

If you only use poppy seeds in lemon recipes you need to live a little. Damn!

I added them to my healthy almond bread on a whim and it was a banger. ??

The seeds just add a little pizzazz. A lil razzle dazzle. They stay crunchy during baking so you get little pops of texture in every bite. You’re going to love it.

They have a nutty flavor too so of course it works really well in this recipe.

You better make this loaf. I swear to God.

Unique baking recipes.

Buttermilk Loaf

For those of you who are going to ask “can I just use regular milk instead?” Hell no.

Regular milk is for f*cking cereal. Get outta here.

We NEED the acidity from the buttermilk, okay? We need it.

Regular milk and that lighter sugar are two things we just don’t know right now.

What exactly does the Dark Brown Sugar and Buttermilk do in this recipe?

So since these are both acidic ingredients they really work their magic to tenderize this crumb, baby. They did their job and then some.

Do you see this?!! Take a good look.

How dark brown sugar and buttermilk affect the texture of cakes and quick breads.

Oh, yes. 

The picture is a little blurry but I think you see what I mean.

You know what really surprised me though? The color.

I really thought this loaf would come out looking darker. But instead, it looks like a bronze caramel goddess, so I’m not mad. It’s a good thing too because the poppy seeds wouldn’t stand out as much if it was dark.

And before I forget, this is the coarse sugar I used. It’s sparkling sugar by Wilton and it’s so beautiful! This isn’t sponsored or an affiliate link, I just really like the way it looks.

The granules are so big and sparkly that they look fake! It makes my baked goods look expensive. ✨ I love it.

Sparkling sugar by Wilton.

If you bake a lot you need to get sparkling sugar!!

You don’t even have to get this one specifically because there are other brands out there and they’re all quite similar in looks and taste. Just get some.

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Anonymous January 22, 2022 - 5:15 pm

I want to make this now but only have light brown sugar. I don’t intend to go shopping anytime soon because the weather here is awful in the winter. Can I substitute light brown sugar for the dark? I don’t have the sparking sugar either.

Crystal | Beat Bake Eat January 22, 2022 - 6:14 pm

It’s okay if you don’t have the sparkling sugar. You can simply replace it with granulated sugar. If you replace the dark brown sugar with light brown it will alter the texture and the taste. The crust of the loaf will be crisper and the inside will not be as soft and slightly less moist due to it having less molasses, which means it may even bake quicker. As for the taste, it won’t be as rich. But overall I think it will still taste great.