These lemon and poppyseed cupcakes are bursting with fresh, citrus flavour! Light and moist, fragrant sponge with a little added crunch from poppyseeds plus silky-smooth, heavenly Swiss meringue buttercream on top!
Welcome to this week's post and the recipe! Hope you all been keeping well?
If there is one thing I'm currently desperate for, it will be some sunshine! After 3 weeks of storms, wind and rain, I really need some sunny vibes and a vitamin D top-up.
While we all patiently waiting for the warmer and sunnier days to arrive, I thought I would bring a bright and sunny recipe to fill the gap with. So, without a further delay, let me introduce you to...
Lemon and poppyseed cupcakes
These little beauties have it all! Fragrant and utterly delicious cupcakes made with lemon juice and lemon zest for that vibrant citrus flavour combined with tasty, crunchy poppyseeds for an extra texture and more deliciousness. There is also a hidden surprise in the middle of each cupcake, luscious, sweet and smooth lemon curd! As if all of that wasn't enough, they are topped with Swiss meringue buttercream. Heavenly, silky-smooth, pillowy goodness that is totally irresistible.
Why lemon and poppyseeds?
Because it is simply one of the best, classic baking combinations! Yup, as simple as that. Zesty and tangy lemon always works wonderfully in a baked goodies, balancing out the sweetness of the bake. Poppyseeds add not only a gentle nutty flavour, but also this fab, crunchy texture which we all love. Plus batter looks just much prettier when it's dotted with these little seeds.
What ingredients do I need to make these cupcakes?
The cupcakes themselves are made with very simple, basic ingredients, and there is a big chance that you already have most of them in your kitchen.
I'm using the Swiss meringue buttercream to top them up with, but if you don't fancy using this type of buttercream, you can simply replace it by your own, favourite buttercream.
Here's the list of 9 things you will need to make cupcake batter (which also doubles up as a cake batter, if cupcakes are not your thing!):
- Unsalted butter (room temperature)
- Caster sugar
- Self-rising flour ( see this post on how to make your own self-rising flour if you don't have access to it)
- Baking powder
- Lemon (zest and juice)
- Vanilla extract
- My Homemade Lemon Curd (but shop-bought one will also work)
To make Swiss meringue buttercream, I've followed this recipe from Style Sweet. It is 1000000% worth the extra effort and time to prepare it, because the flavour and texture of this buttercream is pure heaven. The smoothest, lightest and most delicious buttercream you've ever tasted!
How to make these cupcakes?
Start by soaking the poppyseeds in some water for about 30 minutes. Soaking them before baking softens their tough outer coating and makes them easier to digest.
Mix butter and sugar together, until pale, light and fluffy then beat in the eggs. Add dry ingredients, followed by soaked poppyseeds and lemon juice with vanilla. Divide the batter into cupcake cases, filling about ⅔ of each case and bake until they are risen and springy to the touch.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before assembling them. While you are waiting for them to cool, prepare the buttercream.
To assemble the cupcakes, start by creating little holes on top in the middle of each cupcake. You can use a teaspoon or a piping nozzle turned upside down to do so. Fill each hole with about ½ tsp of lemon curd, then pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake.
You can sprinkle the finished cupcakes with some additional poppyseeds, or decorate them in any way you desire (I've used the sugar flowers to decorate mine).
Can this recipe be made ahead?
You can prepare the cupcakes and buttercream ahead of time. Baked and cooled cupcakes can be stored in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Buttercream can also be prepared ahead and stored at room temperature for up to a day. When ready, simply assemble the cupcakes as per the instructions above.
How to store these lemon and poppyseed cupcakes?
Storing the frosted cupcakes is not as difficult as you may think. Simply keep them in a sturdy, airtight container that is tall enough to accommodate the frosted cupcakes. Ideally, you want to avoid storing them in the fridge, as it will dry them out. Opt for a counter top, unless it's really hot and humid, in which case go ahead and store them in the fridge.
They will last for up to 5 days on the counter top at room temperature, but they are at their best within 2- 3 days of baking.
As always, thanks for tuning in to today's post! Feel free to leave me a comment and a rating below, I would love to hear from you!
Lemon and poppyseed cupcakes
- 12 hole muffin tin
- cupcake liners
- electric mixer
- sugar thermometer
For the cupcakes:
- 40 g poppy seeds
- 180 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 180 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 180 g self-rising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 large lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tsp my homemade lemon curd
For Swiss meringue buttercream:
- 120 ml egg whites (from about 3-4 eggs)
- 200 g caster sugar
- 340 g unsalted butter (softened and cubed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
To make cupcakes:
- Place poppyseeds in a cup or a bowl with water and soak them for about 25- 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 185C (170C fan) and line the muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. In a bowl of a standing or hand-held mixer, cream together butter and sugar for about couple of minutes until pale, light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour, baking powder and lemon zest and stir until just combined.
- Drain the poppyseeds and add them to the batter along with lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir again until you have smooth batter.
- Divide the batter between cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ of each case. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make Swiss meringue buttercream:
- In a large bowl, or a bowl of your electric mixer, add the egg whites and caster sugar and mix by hand briefly, until they are just combined.
- Create a double boiler by placing your bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat the egg mixture, stirring often, until the temperature on the sugar thermometer reaches 70 C. The mixture should be very hot to the touch and the sugar should have dissolved completely.
- Return the bowl with egg whites and sugar to the mixer, and using a whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for about 8 minutes, until it's shiny and medium- soft peaks have formed. The meringue should be room temperature when this is finished. Stop the mixer and swap for the paddle attachment.
- With mixer running on low, start adding softened butter, 2- 3 tbsp at a time. Once all the butter have been incorporated, add the vanilla and poppyseeds (if using). Turn the mixer to medium speed and and mix until silky smooth.
To assemble the cupcakes:
- Using a teaspoon or the back of your piping nozzle, create small holes on top of each cupcake and fill each cupcake with about ½ tsp of lemon curd.
- Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle (I've used Wilton 1M) and pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with extra poppyseeds if you would like and enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
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