Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

By Jemma Wilson
Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes from Jamie Oliver's Food Tube The Cake Book

They may be tiny, but poppy seeds are packed with a subtle, nutty, peppery flavour that goes perfectly with the zesty lemon sponge.

For how many? Makes 24


  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds, plus extra for decorating
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • optional: 4 unwaxed lemons, zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp whole milk
  • For the cream cheese icing:
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 240g cream cheese
  • 840g icing sugar
  • You will need:
  • 2 x 12-hole muffin trays, with snug-fitting paper cases


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/375°F/gas 5. Sift the dry cupcake ingredients into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, lemon juice and most of the zest (if using), then beat for 60 seconds with an electric mixer (I prefer the free-standing type).

2. Add the milk and beat for another 20seconds, or until well combined.Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then give the mix a final blast for 30 seconds to make sure it’s all incorporated.

3. Fill the paper cases two-thirds full with mixture, but don’t bother to smooth it out. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.

4. Leave to cool, transferring to a wire cooling rack after 5 minutes, then decorate with the cream cheese icing, sprinkle with poppy seeds and the remaining lemon zest, then serve.

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