Lemon & poppyseed cupcakes

Lemon & poppyseed cupcakes

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(241 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 22 mins Plus cooling

More effort

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

  • Can be frozen un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal529
  • fat30g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars51g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.75g
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  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • zest 2 lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds, toasted
  • 3 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 175g butter, melted and cooled a little



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

For the icing

  • 225g butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • few drops yellow food colouring
  • icing flowers or yellow sprinkles, to decorate


  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.

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Comments (300)

catherinedoherty's picture

Very tastey and easy to make...although I haven't mastered the piping bag yet! I made 18 cakes with these quantities and they were just the right size

Angi7777's picture

The cakes turned out really well but a little bland for my liking, although the butter icing was lovely. Well worth making if you dont like your cakes too sweet and quite moist.

jokiernander's picture

Amazing, light and delicious

ruby07's picture

WOW, what a treat. They turned out perfectly and they were absolutely delicious. I didn't have poppy seeds and couldn't pick them up but they were still amazing. Receipe is so easy to follow and quick to make. They looked so impressive with the frosting and sprinkles. The only down side was that out of a batch of 12 I ate 7 myself !

rosclayton's picture

These were light and fluffy and so easy to make. Will definitely be making them again. My family were very impressed with these cakes because my cakes usually turn out flat and heavy, these however looked like shop bought cakes.

gquti26's picture

I turned this into a 5" tall cake by making triple the recipe and baking them in three 8" round tins instead. It took 50 minutes on 180 instead of the 20-22 minutes. I iced them with a lemon buttercream (had to make lots) and also stuck fresh raspberries in between the layers. It turned out amazing. Very moist and yummy. Will definitely be adding this to my regular bakes.

patricia211151's picture

I made these lovely cakes on Saturday for our family fete.
Despite the unpromising looking sloppy batter they came out beautifully light and plump - I did add a teaspoon of baking powder - and I won second prize!!

abbatia's picture

Really nice cupcakes! It made 27 cupcakes however!!! But they were only smallish. Slightly too much icing too and would use more icing sugar as it was a little bit runny. Other than that, its really easy to make and tastes great!

dcrowe's picture

First time i made cup cakes and they were yummy.

broadht02's picture

Perfect on my first attempt. Lots of compliments and they look really impressive.

sapphire11's picture

Any one tried throwing all the ingredients for the cake into the processor (I love my processor) did it make a difference?

cazzawatto's picture

Really easy to make and delicious! I didn't toast the poppyseeds and only made half the icing as previously recommended and it was the perfect amount to ice 12 cakes -YUMMY!

jester's picture

In answer to Juniper, you could use low fat margerine for the cake instead of stork and the lemon glace icing as suggested?

jester's picture

Very simple to make up, no whisk was needed which was handy as burnt mine out the other week.
Instead of using butter in the cake mixture I used Stork, I think it makes for a lighter cake, also I put some lemon juice in the batter and used fat free yoghurt.
Think these could be really low fat if you used a lemon glace icing on them instead of buttercream.

jbennett22uk's picture

I would love to try these cakes but as I am currently following Weightwatchers I have just pointed the receipe and one cake is already nearly half my daily allowance. There is an awful lot of butter in this recipe - even using half fat butter it is still very high in saturated fat. I was just wondering if anyone had substituted the butter in this recipe for anything else to make it a bit more dieter friendly? How did they turn out?

laurelbunker's picture

Really quick and easy, the cakes are delicious without the icing too. Probably generous with the quantity of icing and I got 14 cakes rather than 12.

gurneyd's picture

Made these for father's day and oh my word they are super yum. Really should have read the other comments though as there was a lot of the icing left over, so will have to make up another batch to use it all up..at least butter icing keeps for a few days in the fridge. Didn't bother toasting the poppy seeds and I don't think it makes a difference...although please correct me if I am mistaken. Accidentally added the quantity of butter for the icing to the cake....that's what happens when you work straight from the website and forget to scroll back up the page! all it meant was leaving them in the oven a tad longer and of course a few more calories, but nothing was ruined. They look pretty impressive and are certainly a crowd pleaser!

hamish9's picture

I made these for my daughter's 3rd birthday but was a bit worried they would be a bit 'grown up' for her friends. I have to say they went down very well. The cakes are very light and fluffy and the icing was delicious, although like others have stated there was lots left over and I should have halved these ingredients. Suffice to say I will be making these again very soon.

lindsaysharples's picture

I've made batches of these three times now and they really go down well. Yesterday I doubled the quantity, put one batch in the oven then realised I had forgotten to include the butter. Disaster, that batch went in the bin! I made another batch, included rosewater instead of the lemon and put pink colouring in the icing with sprinkles on top. Beautiful!

paul27uk's picture

Hi, I made these last night for people at work and they went down a storm.

As other people have stated I used half the icing and it still gave plenty for a nice covering of the muffins. Will deffo make these again. Thanks for a great recipe!

Oh, and I put sprinkles on them! Check the FB group for a photo!


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