Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Lemons and poppy seeds, a match made in heaven! These sumptuous Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes pack a moist and lightly sour lemon muffin and a sweet lemon buttercream topping. Decorate it as you wish, I went for little chicks to celebrate Easter but you are free to let your imagination run wild!

Spring has sprung over here! Every day I am woken up at 6am by very loud and lovely birdies and the trees are slowly starting to blossom. One of my favourite seasons here in the Netherlands. Spring also means Easter and here in the Netherlands, it is customary to enjoy a big Easter brunch with your family. This year I went for baking something fresh for it: Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes.

Although these cupcakes may seem like a lot of work, they are yet another classic throw-everything-together recipe. One secret ingredient that makes a big difference, is the yogurt. It makes the muffins lusciously moist and scrumptious. Dry muffins are the worst, am I right? 

To celebrate Easter, I decorated these Lemon Poppy Seed cupcakes with buttercream chicks. However, you can also make these cupcakes whenever during the year and decorate it with some beautiful swirls, flowers or figurines. If you do decide to go for chicks, check out my piping tutorial in the recipe below. 

If you are looking for more Easter dessert inspiration, I suggest to take a look at My Favourite Carrot Cake recipe or create delicate birds’ nests using my Mini Pavlova Recipe. If you feel like baking more cupcakes, check out my Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes!

Enjoy your Easter (or Passover) holidays and to my Estonians, good luck in the egg fight!

Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

This recipe was inspired by recipes from Le Creme de la Crumb and Hummingbird Bakery.

Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

These yummy Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes have a moist and lightly sour lemon muffin and a sweet lemon buttercream topping. Another easy throw-everything-together recipe you can make in a cinch. Easter decorations optional!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, British
Servings 16 cupcakes


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 180 grams flour
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 60 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (3 small lemons or 2 big ones)
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used ½ juicy lemon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180 ml yogurt (I used vanilla yogurt but any neutral flavour yogurt is fine)

Lemon Buttercream

  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • 80 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon zest (around 2 lemons)
  • 25 ml milk
  • food colours (optional: I used yellow for the chicks and red for their beaks and feet)
  • cocoa nibs (optional: for chicks' eyes)


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F). Prepare your muffin tin with paper muffin cups or use reusable ones. My muffin tin has 12 cups and I yielded 16 muffins in total.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, whisk together all the other ingredients: room temperature butter, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and yogurt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes batter
  • It might create a bit of a clumpy batter, but it's fine! Muffins are very forgiving.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes batter
  • Use around two tablespoons of the batter per cup to fill them around 2/3 of the way.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes muffins
  • Bake for 18 - 24 minutes at 200°C (390°F) until the muffins are golden, a toothpick inserted to the centre of the muffins comes out clean and the muffins lightly spring back when you touch them. Let them stand in the muffin tin for a few minutes and then take them out and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppy seed Cupcakes muffins

Lemon Buttercream

  • When the muffins are cooling down, it is time to make the buttercream.
  • Whisk the powdered sugar, room temperature butter, lemon peel and food colour (yellow for chicks) with a hand mixer or a standing mixer. Start on a low speed to combine all the ingredients (be careful for a powdered sugar explosion!). Then, slowly add the milk on a low speed. When the milk has combined with the rest, turn the mixer to high and whisk for at least 5 minutes until the buttercream is nice and fluffy.
  • If you are making Easter chicks, then in a separate small bowl, mix 2 -3 tablespoons of the yellow buttercream with a bit of red food colour to create orange buttercream for the beaks and legs.
  • Once the muffins have completely cooled down (seriously, you do not want melting buttercream), you can pipe the chicks (or whatever you feel like!) on top of the muffins. I used a big round piping tip to pipe the bodies and a small round tip for the beaks and legs.
  • First, you pipe the chick's belly.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppy seed Cupcakes Chicks
  • And then, the tiny head.
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes Chicks
  • Pipe the beaks, feet and add cocoa nib eyes, and your adorable little Easter chicks are ready! Now, do you dare to eat them? 🙂
    Mari Bakes Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes


In total, I used around 5 small lemons for this recipe.
Keyword cupcakes, easter, lemon

I would love to know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below, Pin it or share a picture on Instagram by tagging @maribakesbymari.



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