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)

stewcra's picture

I made these last night for my girlfriends mums birthday. SHE LOVED THEM!!
So easy and quick to make. I got in from work and made them then went round to drop them off.
Will i be making them again......i don't think i have a choice! ha

joanneflynn's picture

Lovely, easy to make cupcakes. Before icing I scoped out a little hole in the top of the cupcake and added a spoonful of lemon curd. Delicious.

ruxandra's picture

Hi! I was browsing through the site and i was wondering how much does "a serving" (per serving) mean? In this case, a cupcake?
Thank you

maverick76's picture

I make these cakes with Doves Gluten Free Flour, with gluten free Baking Powder, and because of a Bovine Dairy intolerance made with Goats yoghurt. Brilliant! I have the pickiest three teenagers in all of Christendom and they never noticed a thing. Scoffed the lot and asked for more. Just remember use different icing if bovine dairy intolerant -try the pistachio cupcake icing with yellow colour instead. Also a spoonful or two of soya milk to avoid the cakes being dry. Gluten Free flour tends to be dry.

parheff's picture

Really lovely cupcakes, nice and simple to make. Would have to agree gdit89 about using two lemons for the icing - I did that and probably could have gone for a bit more (but I love lemon!).

Would make them again.

carodarcy's picture

Took some of these to work and so far four people have asked me for the recipe. I also halved the icing, which made enough for twelve large cupcakes, with the added bonus of leaving enough in the bowl for my teenage to eat with a teaspoon!

clairepie's picture

I made these cakes last week and was really pleased with how they turned out, but I think next time I'm going to split the mixture into maybe 20 smaller cakes rather than 12 as they were just a bit too big to manage!

beckysankey's picture

someone asked me, 'do you make these professionaly'? Ha, no but that tells you how good people thought they were!

annelisarkanen's picture

Great recipe! Turned out well - although my mixture made about 18 cakes, rather than 12 - more than enough icing, but that was because my icing bag split half-way!
How do make the cakes rise straight up - mine kind of went outwards and upwards so didn't exactly look like the picture...!
Oh, and I used large eggs. Not sure it makes much difference, but am new to this baking!

gilengd's picture

Great recipe, would recommend. However i followed the quantities for the buttercream icing, and found it to make far too much for 12 cupcakes. 400g of butter between 12 cupcakes is a lot; the next time i will cut the icing in half which will keep the butter quantity under 300g. I also used the juice of 2 lemons to make the icing a bit zingier. This was lovely though the icing is a lot thinner as a result.

jkarens's picture

Delicious and incredibly easy!
Sponge is light and fluffy and the poppy seeds give a great texture!

merylmontague's picture

great recipe, easy to make, made some for a church cake stall and sold them in minutes with requests for more. Definately a 5* recipe

mmaggie's picture

I made these cupcakes for a bbq last week and it went down a storm. So easy to make, and taste fantastic!!!!
Would recommend to everyone to try

carlaamanda69's picture

I made these for a girly party I had and they went down a storm, easy to make and look very very impressive!! :D

In answer to the egg question, i usually buy medium eggs so I'm assuming I made mine with those.

verheijen's picture

Very quick and easy. Everbody loved them. Wondering if I can make a lighter version substituting some of the butter for something else. Open for suggestions.

smilin's picture

I made these instead of a birthday cake for a friends daughter (her twin brother had a chocolate cake from an earlier issue made for him) and they went down a storm.

I was told that they were incredibly light and fresh tasting and were very moreish. They looked beautiful and were very simple to make, I am going to try to make them gluten free so that I can sample them myself.

Perfect for a girls birthday when you fancy something slightly different.

morven2's picture

These are delicious and incredibly easy. Everyone that tried mine loved them. I'll need to bake a batch a week to keep the office happy now!

annamac1's picture

Cakes turned out really nicely and the lemon in the butter icing made them not too sickly.

potatohead's picture

Are the eggs large or medium??

imicola's picture

Lovely! Very simple to make, come out very light and airy, delicious tasting and they also keep quite well for a few days! They are so good, I'm making them for my wedding!


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