The fresh flavours in these Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes will blow you away! The lemon cupcakes are tender, soft, and moist and the poppy speeds speckled throughout add a beautiful crunch! Topped with the most beautiful blackberry frosting that’s made with fresh blackberry sauce, these are the perfect summertime cupcakes!
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Summer baking is in full force and I have a list longer than my arm filled with the perfect summer recipe ideas! If you’re interested, I already have a pretty great summer baking collection that I highly recommend you give a try! Now let’s discuss the new addition: Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting!
Three Parts to These Cupcakes
For these cupcakes, you’ll be making 3 recipes:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes: these are the same moist and fluffy lemon cupcakes I used for this Lemon Meringue S’mores Cupcake recipe, I just added some poppy seeds to the dry mixture.
- Blackberry Sauce: 4-ingredients cooked together on the stove, then puréed. We use this for the buttercream, but there’ll be enough left to stuff the cupcakes with!
- Blackberry Buttercream: This is your simple, everyday buttercream made with butter and powdered sugar. Instead of vanilla for flavouring, we use some of that blackberry sauce.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
Let’s start by making the lemon cupcakes! This is a very basic, non-difficult vanilla cupcake base recipe with some lemon zest and juice added for flavour. They’re very easy to make, just combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, then cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together.
Adding the lemon zest to the butter/sugar creaming process helps incorporate a bolder lemon flavour! So it’s no longer just a vanilla cupcake recipe with lemon added to it, the lemon flavour starts from the base!
Add some sour cream and vegetable oil to the mixture to add softness and moisture to the cupcakes. For the eggs, you can use either 2 large whole eggs or 3 large egg whites.
I’ve tried both ways and using the whole eggs gives us sort of a light yellow colour, while the egg whites leave our batter completely white. I didn’t like this because the batter didn’t really look lemon-y enough for me, so I mixed in a few drops of yellow gel food colouring. Although the appearance wasn’t my favourite, the fluffy texture was immaculate!
For the last steps, you’re gonna wanna add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix it a bit. Then combine the buttermilk and lemon juice together before mixing in half of it. Once the liquid is mixed in, repeat by beating in half of the remaining dry ingredients, the other half of liquid, then the final amount of dry. This keeps our batter smooth and silky throughout the whole mixing process!
Fill your cupcake liners ⅔ way full, then bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Warning: the smell of these lemon cupcakes in the oven will send shivers up your spine!
If you only want the blackberries to be in the buttercream, there’s really no need to make a sauce. You could just simply purée some fresh blueberries in a food processor, then add it to the frosting. Don’t want the seeds? Push it through a fine mesh strainer.
I made a sauce because I wanted the blackberry sauce to be in the buttercream AND in half of the cupcakes. All you need to do is add the blackberries, sugar, water and a bit of fresh lemon juice to a saucepan and let it cook down for a few minutes. To thicken it up, I then puréed the cooled sauce in a food processor. Again, if you don’t want the seeds, you can strain it at this point.
Aside from the fresh blackberry flavour, my favourite thing about this buttercream is that it’s naturally coloured! As much as I love my strawberry buttercream recipe, the strawberry sauce never really gives the frosting that nice pink colour I want, so I have to add food dye.
None of that here! Just ¼ cup of that deep, dark purple blackberry sauce is enough to give this buttercream the most gorgeous purple/pink colour! Now I only added ¼ cup because I wanted the frosting to be stable enough to pipe. If that doesn’t matter to you, you can add a few extra tablespoons of blackberry sauce and just spread on the frosting. You can also use a large round tip to pipe dollops of frosting onto the cupcakes.
If you want an easy, eye-popping dessert to impress this summer, these cupcakes are where it’s at! Between the soft and tender lemon-infused cupcakes and sweet fresh blackberry sauce, these babies scream “addictive”!
Did you make these Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes? Let me know how they turned out in the comments below! And don’t forget to leave a rating!
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Let’s get baking!
- 2 cups (288g) fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar (or to taste)
- ¼ cup (60ml) water (omit water if using thawed frozen blackberries)
- ½ tsp lemon juice
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes:
- 1 and ½ cups (180g) all purpose flour
- 1 and ½ Tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 3 Tbsp sour cream, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup (60ml) Blackberry Sauce, chilled (recipe above)
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 cups (454g) Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 14 Fresh Blackberries
For the Blackberry Sauce:
- Combine fresh blackberries, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat and allow blackberries to cook and burst, stirring occasionally for about 4-5 minutes.
- Pour sauce into a blender or food processor and pulse until the blackberries are smooth. Press through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds, if desired. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes:
- In a large bowl, add the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the sour cream and vegetable oil and mix until completely combined.
- Lower the speed to medium-low and mix in the eggs, one at a time until just combined.
- Add lemon juice to buttermilk. Set aside.
- Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to batter and beat just until combined, then add ½ of the buttermilk/lemon juice mixture and mix until just combined. Continue mixing in ½ of the remaining dry ingredients, remaining buttermilk mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Remember to mix each addition until just combined before adding the next.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling them ⅔ way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
For the Blackberry Buttercream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat butter and salt until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add ¼ cup of the chilled blackberry sauce and mix until well combined.
- Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and beat until fully combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
- If you want to fill the cupcakes with the remaining blackberry sauce, core the centres of each cupcakes, using an apple or cupcake corer.
- Using a spoon or a disposable piping bag, fill the cupcakes with the blackberry sauce.
- Fit a piping bag with a large star tip, then pipe a generous swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake.
- Garnish with a fresh blackberry. Serve and Enjoy!
- Tools I Used: medium saucepan | wooden spoon | mixing bowls | hand mixer | muffin pan | cupcake liners | ice cream scoop | 1M star piping tip
- Fluffier Cupcakes: for an even fluffier cupcake, you can substitute the 2 large eggs for 3 large egg whites. Make sure to mix them in one at a time.
- Make ahead: (1) Cupcakes can be made 1 or 2 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (2) blackberry sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. (3) Blackberry buttercream can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 months. Before using — allow frosting to come to room temperature, then re-whip in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
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