Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes Recipe

Makes 12
40 minutes


Cupcake batter

  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150g of self-raising flour, (or rice flour plus 1 tsp. baking powder for gluten-free)
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • 1 dash of milk, if needed


  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only


  • 110g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g of icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, juice only

To decorate

  • sprinkles, optional


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases
Begin by making the cupcake batter. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, whisking between each addition
Sift over the flour and whisk it until combined. If the cake batter is too stiff you can add a splash of milk to slightly slacken it
Fold in the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. The mixture should not fill the cases more than three-quarters. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and sugar until fully combined. When the cupcakes are ready stab them all over with a skewer and pour a little syrup over each of the hot cakes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
To make the buttercream, whisk the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Sift over half of the icing sugar and whisk to incorporate. Sift over the remaining icing sugar and continue to whisk until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and whisk again to combine
Spoon the lemon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle and pipe in a circular motion over the top of the cupcakes. Add sprinkles, if you wish, and serve