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)

bestmom's picture

Looks really good! Doing a bake sale. Any suggestions?

rachel4500's picture

These cupcakes turned out lovely!
I used 1tsp of vanilla extract rather than the lemon & poppyseeds because of a fussy audience but would love to try the lemon version.
It was a quick, simple recipe with great outcomes! Would definitely recommend this recipe.

jabberjc's picture

Fantastic! I used lemon curd (M&S is really yummy but other good quality lemon curds are available too!) instead of the icing by cutting a cone out of the top and replacing it as a lid. They freeze really well too.

anniedow's picture

These are lovely, light and impressive. The buttercream is a bit too buttery for me. Maybe i'll add more lemon and sugar next time.

lottsp's picture

Absolutely love this recipe! Using melted butter instead of having to beat it in is a god send and the use of the natural yoghurt makes the cakes really dense (in a good way) and creamy!

Have made these about 4 times now, and are always a hit... easy to make so definitely recommend!

xxdrooxx's picture

This recipe was horrible. Way too much butter is being used in the Icing. It just tasted like butter. Also the cake made way more than 12 and more than 18 as someone has already said. I think this recipe needs reviewing before you try to make it unless you like butter flavoured lemon coloured cakes.

It is that bad we are scraping off the icing because it didn't even dry, and making some new icing using a different recipe.

winnann's picture

These were moist and delicious. I can't stop eating them! Missed out the poppy seeds as I there were none in the cupboard, and made about two thirds of the icing to cover 20 small cakes. Better than my usual cupcake recipe. Will definitely make these again.

julia_alien's picture

Wonderfully light!

allie80's picture

Good recipe, very tasty and a nice fresh lemony zing.

mrsvlee's picture

Really light lemony cupcakes. Left out the poppy seeds but it still tasted fab. Yummy!

tessaheartluke's picture

For some reason My icing didn't come out stiff like in the picture a little soft, still nice enough thou. Also I left the cakes for 25mins and found that they seemed a little under done even thou my skewer came out clean. :/ They tasted fine, Not amazing, just OK Not sure if I should attempt these again. But found the base made for a lovely drizzle cake.

helenccm's picture

Loved these cupcakes, made them for my daughter in law's birthday and they went down very well. Only thing I would mention is I had a lot of icing left over, probably enough to do another dozen but then I don't like too much icing on cupcakes.

rachelghostheart's picture

very nice

tessaheartluke's picture

Does it have to be "golden" caster sugar? I want to use normal as I hate to purchase something to have the left overs sitting there for ages.

sunset123's picture

Made Theys cakes last week for summer fair at work.......very nice

leason's picture

Much easier to make than I thought they'd be. I too didn't toast the poppy seeds. Lots of comments about how lovely they looked and they tasted delicious. Agree that the lemon stops the icing from being too sweet.

belindacaroline's picture

First time of making these and they worked perfectly. I made two batches for a school event and EVERYONE was really impressed :o) Some additional useful information - these are muffin sized cakes if you are making the 12 quoted on the recipe, using muffin cases, therefore not the usual small cupcake size. Even though I used muffin cases and a muffin tin I think the mixture would be better spread into 14 muffin cases as a couple of them overflowed.

smoothiee's picture

Lovely cakes, came out just right and looked very pretty. Not a person complained :)

haylie89's picture

This is honestly my favourite cupcake recipe! So easy to make and never go wrong, I have never had so many compliments even from children who are the hardest critics! I 100% recommend to everyone!


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