Poppy Seed and Lemon Zest Cupcakes with Lemon Icing


Aren’t you loving the little speckles of poppy seeds peeking out from the cupcakes?  I am so into poppy seeds these days, it is not funny….just something about the tiny speckles that intrigue me…..

I was dying for cupcakes, and I just wanted some simplicity with them, nothing over the top.  So whilst paging through my ‘all time finds’ came across this Poppy Seed Cake recipe which I have made a few times before and LOVE…(just saying).  Anyway, this recipe came from a Your Family Magazine dated over ten years ago ! Gee, I am so pleased I saved this one, it’s a real keeper.

So, I decided to bake it, but in cupcake form ….. (seeing I was dying for cupcakes 🙂 ).  A whole cake around me, is just tempting trouble.  I tend to take a thin slice here and a thin slice there and before I know it, I have nearly devoured the entire cake practically all by myself.  (These are the perks of staying at home all day 🙂 )  Anyway, with cupcakes I have more control as I can put a few out and freeze the rest …. (not that the freezer is too far away, but you know what I mean…) These cupcakes freeze very well.  I usually individually wrap them and then put them in a sealed container.  When needed, its a matter of taking how ever many out, and once they have reached room temperature….eat ! (or, if desperation gets the better of me, I bomb in the microwave for several seconds, and then eat)

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These cupcakes are super soft and moist and the added little crunch of the poppy seeds and the slight lemon flavour is so amazing.  I just made a simple icing with icing sugar, boiled water and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the icing.


Poppy Seed and Lemon Zest Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes (5 minutes for quick icing)

Makes 15 cupcakes


60 grams (60 millilitres) poppy seeds

60 grams (60 millilitres) full cream milk

240 grams (500 millilitres) cake wheat flour

2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) baking powder

200 grams (208.63 millilitres) butter

200 grams (250 millilitres) white sugar

3 extra large, free range eggs

zest of 2 medium sized lemons


Juice of one lemon (you will only need a little of this, depending on your preferred taste)

a little extra lemon zest for decoration

2 cups Icing sugar

4 tablespoons of boiling water


Preheat oven at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F

Line a cupcake tray with paper casings for 15 cupcakes.

In a small dish with the milk, add the poppy seeds.

Allow the poppy seeds to soak in the milk.

Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.

With an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar together in a medium sized bowl, until soft, light and airy.  This will take several minutes.

Then, add the eggs individually to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.

Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the creamed mixture.  Do not beat.

Add the soaked poppy seeds and the milk, together with the lemon zest.

Fold together the sifted flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, milk and lemon zest with a wooden spoon.

Fill the cupcake cases 3/4’s full with the mixture to allow for rising.

Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until done. (Test with a baking skewer)

Once done allow to cool on a cooling rack.

For the icing:

Firstly the amounts stated really depends on how much icing you like on the cupcakes, so you may have extra left over, which can be put in the fridge in a sealed container.

In a small bowl, add the icing sugar and a couple tablespoons of boiling water at a time and mix well until smooth, thickish and white.  Add a teaspoon at a time of the fresh lemon juice, mix well and taste.  Add a little more if necessary until you are happy with the flavour.  Icing must be of a thickish but slightly runny consistency.  Ice cupcakes and sprinkle with a little extra lemon zest for decoration.

Enjoy 🙂



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