Delicious Lemon Poppy seed cupcake

by admin
Lemon curd cupcake with poppy seed

Poppy seed has a special place in my heart, it reminds me of my childhood in Hungary having plenty of desserts with ground poppy seed. Actually I met the lemon poppy seed flavour combination in this format quite late as an adult, when I moved to London. I immediately fell in love with it, the tangy lemon and the deep, nutty poppy seed are match made in heaven! This lemon poppy seed cupcake recipe is one of the most delicious cupcakes I can imagine.

It´s moist, fluffy, tender with incredible aromatic lemon flavour, packed with poppy seed, filled with tangy lemon curd, covered with my favourite super light mascarpone-cream frosting.
Lemon curd

First let’s start with some important notes regarding the ingredients of this lemon poppy seed cupcake recipe

  • read the recipe carefully
  • avoid using substitutes unless aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavours
  • measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale

For the cupcake

  1. Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this recipe butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last minute microwaving
  2. Granulated Sugar: Standard, all purpose granulated or white sugar is perfectly fine in this recipe, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
  3. Egg: Room temperature as always
  4. Flour: All purpose flour or pastry flour makes the best cupcakes. They are so called “soft flour” which are low on protein resulting in delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
  5. Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients
  6. Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
  7. Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
  8. Lemon zest: Using lemon or lime zest is my favourite flavouring to spice up my recipes, it makes the desserts wonderfully flavourful and aromatic. Make sure you use organic lemon (or one which has no chemicals on the skin) and only grate the yellowpart of the skin, but not the white
  9. White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes which stay super moist and tender even after days, the exact opposite of those sad looking dry ones from the supermarkets
Lemon curd cupcake with poppy seed

For the lemon curd

I have a whole detailed Guide about making the perfect lemon curd. It´s incredible creamy, tangy, buttery and the perfect filling for poppy seed cupcake. Please make sure you read my instructions in this post carefully. It’s only a 10 minutes work, once you try it, you will never buy it from store ever again!

Lemon curd

For the frosting

  1. Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easily to spread or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet.  Use at room temperature.
  2. Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream has a fat content between 36% and 40% . Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based “whipping cream”
  3. Icing sugar: Icing sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up frosting. Question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when you are using mascarpone! Instead, let the mascarpone and cream shine
Lemon curd cupcake with poppy seed

Now let’s continue with some further important notes regarding the technique of making this lemon poppy seed cupcake recipe

1. Mixing dry and wet ingredients for the cupcake

Once you beat up butter and sugar and mix the egg in, I suggest to add the remaining dry (flour+baking powder) and wet (milk) ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry, that keeps the mixture well blended. Do not overmix, instead fold with Rubber spatula just until combined

2. Do not overfill your cupcake tin

For this recipe I recommend to fill your cupcake tin until 3/4. The cupcakes will beautifully rise but won´t explore as there is not too much baking powder in the recipe

3. Be Patient

There is some waiting time involved in making this recipe, it´s important not to rush these steps for the best results. Start with making the lemon curd as it needs to set few hours in fridge before using it. At later stage, once cupcakes are baked, let them completely cool down before filling with lemon curd es piping frosting on them. And lastly before making the frosting make sure you bring mascarpone to room temperature while cream should be very cold. Other important note regarding the frosting is to stop whipping when it’s reached a fluffy consistency or it might get runny.

lemon curd cupcake


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Now let´s see the lemon poppy seed cupcake recipe!

Lemon curd cupcake with poppy seed

Lemon & Poppy seed cupcake

Moist, incredible aromatic cupcake packed with poppy seed, filled with lemon curd, covered with light mascarpone-cream frosting.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Waiting time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Large
Calories: 654kcal



  • 100 Unsalted butter
  • 100 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 135 g AP flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 135 ml Whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon Poppy seed
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon White vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda

Lemon curd

  • 65 ml lemon juice approx. 2 lemons
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 90 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 65 g Unsalted butter room temperature


  • 150 g Mascarpone at room temperature
  • 35 g Icing sugar
  • 120 g Heavy Cream

US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.


  • Start with making the lemon curd as per instructions in this post
  • Heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
  • With an Electric hand mixer beat room temperature butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat the egg in. Do not overbeat
  • Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the milk is your wet ingredient
  • Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. With a Rubber spatula fold each time
  • Fold in poppy seed and lemon zest
  • Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
  • Spoon the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. 3/4
  • Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack
  • Once cupcake cool down to room temperature as well as lemon curd set, make a small hole on each of the cupcakes and fill it with lemon curd (approx. one table spoon per cupcake)
  • For the frosting beat mascarpone, heavy cream and powder sugar until smooth and fluffy, about one minute with Electric hand mixer. Once it has reached the right consistency, do not overbeat as it can become runny.
  • Pipe the frosting onto the room temperature cupcakes, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
  • Dust with some more poppy seed


Calories: 654kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 1494IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @spatuladesserts or tag #spatuladesserts would love to see your creation on Instagram!

Delicious Lemon Poppy seed cupcake

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Tati July 6, 2020 - 10:13 pm

5 stars
This recipe is amazing. The poppy seeds give so much texture and although the cupcake turned out be very fragile. (my bad), the combination of flavors is outstanding. I made extra lemon curd because we loved to put more on top once ready to eat..
I will definitely make more of these very soon.

admin July 6, 2020 - 10:18 pm

Thanks for your feedback, what happened with your cupcake:)? It should be super moist and soft but firm. Let me know if I can make any of the instructions more clear.

Munowara July 16, 2020 - 6:10 pm

5 stars
100% recommend this recipe! Tasted amazing the cupcakes were sooo soft and delicious, you’ll definitely be eating more than one at a go! So worth all the calories! 🥰

admin July 19, 2020 - 8:28 pm

Yes, they are dangerous :) Thanks for your comment really appreciate!

Adithi October 3, 2020 - 4:03 pm

5 stars
This is now my go-to recipe for lemon poppyseed cupcakes! The recipe for the cupcakes, icing and lemon curd are all really well written and basically fool-proof! I’ve also used this as a layer cake recipe and it worked really well.

admin October 3, 2020 - 6:20 pm

Thanks a lot for your kind feedback I love this recipe so much, glad you enjoy it too:)

Maruška August 29, 2020 - 12:26 pm

5 stars
Amazing recipe, so delicious, i made them without lemon curd for the first time, but definitely gonna make it next time :)

admin August 29, 2020 - 6:01 pm

Thanks for your feedback! Definitely try the lemon curd, it is literally 5 minutes job and absolutely delicious:)

Taaz September 21, 2020 - 7:04 pm

The most ymost yummy lemon poppy muffins ever…and oh so refreshing with the mascarpone 😋

admin September 23, 2020 - 10:24 am

Thank you, happy that you loved it!

Taaz September 21, 2020 - 7:04 pm

5 stars
5 stars and more for this

admin September 23, 2020 - 10:24 am

How kind! Thanks so much

Joshma September 29, 2020 - 6:21 am

I tried and this came out super soft and yummy, your tips and tricks does the magic😋 Thanks for sharing the recipe ❤️

admin September 29, 2020 - 5:52 pm

How kind thanks a lot!

Sakina September 29, 2020 - 11:07 pm

5 stars
This delicious cupcake is my all time favorite.
Well explained, easy to make and heavenly yummi.
Thank you for sharing your recipes! 😋😋

admin September 30, 2020 - 7:50 am

Thanks so much it is my fav too:)!! Hope you will try some of my other recipes soon

Mae February 6, 2021 - 6:55 am

5 stars
A tasty cupcake and lemon curd just takes the level higher .


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