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)

joannaseymour's picture

These turn out beautifully every time; they're absolutely delicious, light and full of flavour. Love making them, they always receive very positive comments!

nipper1234's picture

utterly delcious!!!!! and very easy to do,

bikerbell's picture

Made these for the first time back in April for a Royal Wedding tea party. They were really great and all went in a flash. Have made them several times since and excellent results every time. Like lots of others I only need half of the icing mix, even when using a piping bag.

clarajane's picture

I made these cakes for a birthday party and they turned out beautiful. If you did not want large cupcakes then you could get more out of the mixture and the amount of butter icing stated is more than enough. Everyone commented on how nice and light they were. My only suggestion would be to add the zest of 3 lemons if like me you like lemon cakes. All in all I will be making these again very soon.

tilleyflipflop1's picture

Made these a couple of week's ago- they were delicious! The other half who doesn't eat cakes managed to devour quite a few!! The lemony frosting made them fresh and not to sweet! Only down side is the cake itself went sticky in a couple of days - but it was warm! Will definately make again. In fact may make a batch and freeze some of the cake to ice and eat later! Yumm

craftybeggar's picture

Gorgeous, and easy to make. Made the lemon version minus the poppy seeds as couldn't get any. Just about to start on an orange version.

cks14866's picture

Light, airy and moist, and zingy without being overpoweringly sweet. I make cupcakes a lot and this is one of my favourite recipes! I only use a tiny amount of lemon juice in the icing, adding lemon zest to up the flavour without making the icing too runny. Have found they freeze really well, even after icing. They will take about an hour to defrost, but if you're impatient like me they also taste remarkably good straight from the freezer.

peachey73's picture

Received the e-mail today and thought OMG they look delicious .... bought the ingredients and few mins later they were made. so so easy to make and they taste absolutely gorgeous!! Light fluffy and full of flavour. The icing makes the cakes. I make them in bun bins rather then muffin tins and cover the whole cake with the icing and they were YUMMY. Definitely a must TRY.

gebbels's picture

These cakes are seriously gourmet! I didn't change the recipe, but you could get away with reducing the icing. However, I put the left over icing in a tupperware in the fridge so we can all dive into it with a spoon after the cakes have all gone! I've made these twice now, to rave reviews - even from my family who don't like lemon flavoured things, they're first in line for second helpings.

tracymharcourt's picture

Delicious! Quick and easy and so tasty

rawrleelee's picture

tried tested and are very yummy will defo make again

vimcrab9's picture

Super recipe and really simple. I don't like it too sweet so ditched the icing - and these are great as semi-muffins too!

simonesimeng's picture

I had previously tried other recipes but nothing works like this one. They came out light & fluffy for the amount of mixing & blending that was required! If anything, I used 150g of yoghurt (as i bought a 150g pot), and used 2 eggs instead of 3! Did a lemon drizzle topping as well to accentuate the lemon taste. All in all, an amazing recipe!

meenie's picture

Also! The icing amount iS perfect unlike what some people have stated. The amount is correct only if you are piping it on like how the photo above shows it to be!

meenie's picture

I don't understand why everyone loves this recipe. They werent fluffy and light how cupcakes should be. Also they didn't have enough lemon for me!

sarahyoungs's picture

these are amazing...we leave the poppyseeds out though

cjsansom's picture

These were really nice and easy recipe to follow. However, the icing was far too runny, impossible to pipe and there was almost double the amount required. Next time we will reduce the icing recipe and not put as much lemon in. Will definitely make again!

sodanjam's picture

These are great. I make them for all the kids (and adults) birthdays. Really easy to do and I sometimes drop a raspberrie into each cup cake before I cook so you get one at the bottom....a little surprise. Can easily adjust the recipe to suit what you like. Good texture and rise nicely. Reeally light and fluffy.

pippachoc's picture

Just lovely! Made to take to work for my birthday and there was a bit of a scramble! They disappeared very quickly with many 'ooh's' and 'aaah's'. My family love them too. Look very professional, taste delicious and are very light. Need to practice this particular icing technique, but quite frankly you could get away with murder on that front - it all looks good!

nintey's picture

These cupcakes are delicious! I love the addition of the poppyseeds, really gave the cakes a nice crunchy and unusual texture. I did 3/4 of the amount of icing and it was enough to top 12 cakes.


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