Lemon poppy seed cupcakes recipe

(76 ratings)

Lemon poppy seed cupcakes
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins (plus cooling)
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories332 Kcal17%
Sugar35.8 g40%
Fat14.7 g21%
Saturated Fat8.1 g41%
Protein3.7 g7%
Carbohydrates46.3 g18%

It takes just 20 minutes to prepare and bake a batch of these citrus lemon poppy seed cupcakes.

Unlike our lemon cupcakes (opens in new tab), these sweet lemon poppy seed cupcakes are made with 25g of poppy seeds to add a crunch to each cupcake. Drizzle with a sweet, zingy lemon icing. Make the icing from just two ingredients; icing sugar and lemon juice. Finish this cupcake recipe (opens in new tab) with grated lemon zest and serve.


  • 175g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1tsp lemon extract or fresh lemon juice
  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 25g (1 oz) poppy seeds

For the icing:

  • 250g (9 oz) icing sugar
  • 1½tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp finely grated lemon zest




  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Start by creaming butter and sugar (opens in new tab) together until light and creamy. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and add a little at a time to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour and poppy seeds.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice to give a smooth, spreadable icing. Stir in the lemon zest and spread the icing over the cupcakes.

Top tips for making lemon poppy seed cupcakes

If you want to make these cupcakes extra lemony, add grated zest to the cupcake mixture too. About 2-3tsp should do the trick but increase if you want a more punchy citrus flavour.

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