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Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

These lemon poppy seed cupcakes are light and fluffy, perfectly sweetened and full of flavor from the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Then topped with a light cream cheese frosting that tastes amazing! 

lemon poppy seed cupcakes on a cake stand

Favorite Poppyseed Cupcakes

I bake a lot of, but these lemon poppyseed cupcakes are definitely some of my favorite that I have ever made. They’re so light and fresh, every bite is perfection! Some of my other top picks are these apple pie cupcakes and carrot cake cupcakes.

I haven’t done a lot of baking with poppy seeds before, but they are so fun! These cupcakes have a light and fluffy texture, with amazing lemon flavor. They are topped with a delicious and light cream cheese frosting that is the perfect complement to the lemon flavor.

They taste so light and fresh, and are the perfect treat for lightening up those dark winter days! Every winter I find myself craving citrus recipes, and I think it’s because I need that little burst of fresh flavor on an otherwise gray day. I hope you’ll try these lemon poppyseed cupcakes and love them like I do!

making batter for lemon poppy seed cupcakes

How to Make Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

Make flour mixture. Combine the sugar and lemon zest using an electric mixer. Whisk in the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add liquids. Stir together the milk, vanilla and lemon extract in a small bowl, then add half of the mixture to the bowl with the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in the other half of the liquid mixture until smooth, then fold in the poppy seeds.

Bake. Fill two lined cupcake tins with the batter about 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove from tins and move to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frost. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Then beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

making frosting for lemon poppy seed cupcakes

Baking Tips

  • You could easily make mini cupcakes with this recipe if you prefer. I usually cut the baking time in half when making the mini version, so I’d recommend baking them for about 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Feel free to add more lemon zest or extract if you like a strong punch of lemon flavor.
  • You don’t have to include the poppy seeds, however I love the flavor and texture they add.
  • Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 of the way full. The cupcakes will rise in the oven and bake into the perfect size.
  • A classic buttercream would also taste delicious as the frosting.
frosted lemon poppy seed cupcakes on a white cake stand

More Lemon Desserts:

frosted lemon poppy seed cupcakes on a white cake stand

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

5 from 6 votes
These lemon poppy seed cupcakes are light and fluffy, perfectly sweetened and full of flavor from the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Then topped with a light cream cheese frosting that tastes amazing! 
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

For the cupcakes:

For the frosting:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners.
    muffin tin pan
  • In a large bowl or a the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Combine the milk, vanilla and lemon extract in a measuring cup and add about half of the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Beat until well blended and smooth. Add the other half of the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Fill paper liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Once cupcakes have cooled, frost cupcakes as desired. I used a 1M frosting tip.
    frosting lemon poppyseed cupcakes

Notes

Check out this post: How to frost cupcakes using a 1M tip.
Storage: Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Make ahead: You can make these cupcakes ahead of time, however I would recommend storing the frosting in the refrigerator and frost the morning of the event. 

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 668IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

Recipe contributed by Alicia from The Baker Upstairs for I Heart Naptime.

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