Beat butter with 1 cup (250 mL) sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in 4 tsp (20 mL) lemon zest.
In separate bowl, whisk flour with poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.
Into butter mixture, gradually add flour mixture, alternating with additions of milk, starting and ending with flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Scrape batter into greased and parchment paper-lined 5 x 9-inch (13 x 23 cm) loaf pan. Smooth top.
Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven 45 to 50 min. or until tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Set pan on rack to cool. Meanwhile, bring remaining sugar and lemon juice to a boil, just until sugar dissolves. Stir in remaining lemon zest. Remove loaf from pan. While loaf is still warm, use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke holes 1 in. (2.5 cm) apart, 2 in. (5 cm) deep, into top of loaf. Brush syrup onto top of loaf. Cool completely. Wrap and store at room temperature up to 2 days or wrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze up to 2 weeks.
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