Lemon & poppyseed cupcakes

Lemon & poppyseed cupcakes

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(216 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 22 mins Plus cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 12

These zesty cupcakes look so gorgeous you won't want to eat them, but once you start you won't be able to stop

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Can be frozen un-iced
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • zest 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds, toasted
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 175g butter, melted and cooled a little

For the icing

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice 1 lemon
  • few drops yellow food colouring
  • icing flowers or yellow sprinkles, to decorate

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake or muffin cases. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the yogurt, then tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Mix together with a wooden spoon or whisk until lump-free, then divide between the cases. Bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean – the cakes will be quite pale on top still. Cool for 5 mins in the tin, then carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  2. To ice, beat the softened butter until really soft in a large bowl, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and lemon juice. Stir in enough food colouring for a pale lemon colour, then spoon the icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle.
  3. Ice one cake at a time, holding the piping bag almost upright with the nozzle about 1cm from the surface of the cake. Pipe one spiral of icing around the edge, then pause to break the flow before moving the nozzle towards the centre slightly and piping a second, smaller spiral that continues until there are no gaps in the centre. Slightly ‘dot’ the nozzle into the icing as you stop squeezing to finish neatly. Repeat to cover all the cakes, then top with sugar decorations or scatter with sprinkles.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2010

Comments, questions and tips

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Show comments
c.m.srules's picture

i am going to make these tonight ready for mothers day tomorrow. from the other comments i think they will taste nice! hopefully i will not burn them lol! fingers crossed that they work. x

veggie_experimentor's picture

Tried these and yes they came out as well as was promised! I did not put as much frosting ( in fact made half the amount of frosting specified) but yet managed to frost all the cupcakes though not as decadently as shown in the picture. I did not have yellow food colouring so added a small pinch of turmeric, worked well. Also I used Stork brand of butter not normal butter. I wonder if it will work as well with something like butter spread as is 'nt Stork also made from vegetable fat?

c.m.srules's picture

welldone they sound lovely! i think storkis also made from veg fat!

kath998's picture

First batch forgot the lemon zest - doh, second batch a sneaky addition of lemon curd. Both batches eaten and praised. Very easy and look lovely

kimmie1977's picture

Delicious and quick and easy to make.

stravers's picture

Gorgeous cakes, will make again but will make double as they go so quick

lerryn's picture

12 in the oven right now smelling delish. Easy recipe for beginners.

c.m.srules's picture

how did they turn out?

lerryn's picture

Got 12 in the oven right now…Smelling delish. Have made them quite a few times now. One never seems to be enough :)

florencelara's picture

Very tasty and easy to make. I added a lemon syrup to the cakes when they were still warm. Will try adding lemon curd in the centre next time.

o00gem00o's picture

I have just finished baking them and they are delicious! Family adored them. I made half the icing after looking through the comments but found it wasn't quite enough when piping as in the recipe's photo. I also added just under half a lemon juice to the batter.

daisypher00's picture

These cakes went down a treat! Lovely and lemony and just to add a gooey surprise in the middle I half filled the muffin cases, added a dollop of lemon curd and then covered it over with the rest of the mixture. I have made them with both butter cream and glace icing but If you like a real tang, use glace icing made with icing sugar and lemon juice and a bit of zest sprinkled on the top. One problem ........ eat one and you want another!

tanyac032002's picture
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really tasty and they look fab!

robyngf's picture

Brilliant recipe. Made without poppy seeds and they were delicious. I dissloved lemon juice and icing sugar to drizzle into the cakes warm from the oven, cooled then iced. Icing did not need food colouring.

talie265's picture
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Delicious cupcakes! I've made them as the recipe said, with icing, and I've also made lemon and white chocolate cupcakes, simply by substituting the poppy seeds for a pack of white chocolate chips, which went down very well (even without icing). This is a cupcake recipe I really like, because they always come out light and fluffy and having the natural yoghurt in the recipe seems to make a real difference.

sarahwhiddett's picture

Lovely - light and moist. Easy to make. I halved the icing quantity and it was plenty - but then, I'm not keen on lots of icing. I've also made them with orange zest/juice.

jbce01's picture
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Absolutely fabulous

saschlet's picture
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I used xylitol (same quantity as sugar) and sunflower oil (same as butter but in ml) and wholemeal flour. Worked well. All I would do next time is put in more lemon zest or a squeeze of juice to the cakes as they weren't that lemony.

Mixture makes 12 XL ones or maybe 16 normal sized ones!

pinkpaws's picture
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Really really yummy. For kids, leave the lemon as in the recipe. For adults, I doubled the lemon in both the cake and the icing and it was nice and zingy!

cblampied's picture
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Really nice cupcakes and a change from chocolate. I'm not one to wonder away from recipes after reading the reviews I made half the icing - I used less butter as I am not keen on the buttery taste and more icing sugar and an extra 1/2 lemon juice. I also added 1/2 lemon juice to the cupcake mix. There are light, yummy summery.