Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes by Alicia of The Baker Upstairs for I Heart Naptime
Hello again, I Heart Naptime readers! I am so excited to be back as a contributor this year! I had so much fun working with Jamielyn and the I Heart Naptime creative team last year, and I have loved sharing fun recipes with you every month. This is just such a fun place to be! This time of year, with the weather so cold outside, I’ve been baking a LOT. I love making the house warm and filling it with delicious smells, and baking with my little girls helps us beat the ever-present cabin fever we get from being indoors all day. The three of us worked together to make these lemon poppy seed cupcakes a few weeks ago, and they were fantastic! I got an enthusiastic thumbs up from both of my girls, and my husband loved them too.
I haven’t done a lot of baking with poppy seeds before, but they are so fun! They’re almost like sprinkles for grown ups. :) These cupcakes are light and fluffy, perfect sweetened, and full of flavor from the lemon zest and poppy seeds. They are topped with a delicious and light cream cheese frosting that is the perfect complement to the lemon flavor. I bake a lot of cupcakes, but these are definitely some of my favorite that I have ever made. 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 and love them like I do!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- zest of two lemons
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
for the frosting:
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners. 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 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. Frost cupcakes as desired.