Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

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These bright and fluffy Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes are filled with zesty lemon curd and topped with creamy cream cheese frosting. Each bite combines chewy poppy seeds, sweet lemon cake, tangy lemon curd, and creamy frosting, overflowing with fresh citrus flavor.

Perfect Summer Dessert

This homemade lemon dessert is a real treat to share with friends and family. It’s vibrant and flavorful, making it perfect for gatherings, cookouts, or just enjoying at home.

Why You’ll Love These Cupcakes

  • Flavor: These cupcakes are packed with fresh lemon flavor, from the lemon curd filling to the lemon zest in the cake batter and frosting.
  • Texture: Soft, dense cupcakes with chewy poppy seeds, smooth lemon curd, and creamy frosting create a perfect bite.
  • Aroma: The bright citrus aroma from the lemon zest and the nutty fragrance from the poppy seeds make these cupcakes irresistible.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12


Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups allpurpose flour about 5.6 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds plus more for garnish

Lemon Curd:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F and line 12 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat Butter and Oil: In another bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the oil and mix until well combined.
  • Add Sugar: Beat in the granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 12 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Incorporate Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Combine Wet Ingredients: Mix in the milk and lemon juice, followed by the lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  • Add Dry Ingredients: Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  • Fill Cupcake Liners: Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each about twothirds full.
  • Bake: Bake for about 18 minutes. Check at 15 minutes and continue baking if necessary. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool: Let the cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.

Lemon Curd

  • Beat Butter and Sugar: In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until creamy.
  • Add Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Mix in Lemon: Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. The mixture might look separated.
  • Cook Curd: Pour into a small saucepan and heat over mediumlow. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and reaches 170°F, or coats the back of a spoon.
  • Cool: Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until thick.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat Cream Cheese and Butter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on mediumhigh speed for 4 minutes until fluffy.
  • Add Sugar: Gradually mix in the sifted powdered sugar on low speed until combined.
  • Add Vanilla: Increase speed to mediumhigh and beat for another minute. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Assemble the Cupcakes

  • Fill Cupcakes: Use a spoon to remove the center of each cupcake. Spoon lemon curd into the middle of each.
  • Frost: Place cream cheese frosting in a piping bag with your preferred tip. Pipe a ring around the edge of each cupcake, leaving the center open.
  • Decorate: Spoon more lemon curd into the center and sprinkle with poppy seeds.


Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 4 days.

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