Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Yellow is an extremely symbolic colour and its meaning varies depending on the country: In Europe, yellow is considered to be the colour of amusement and optimism as well as ambivalence and contradiction. In China and other parts of Asia, yellow has strong historical and cultural associations: considered to be the colour of happiness, glory, and wisdom, yellow represents “the middle”, which is one of the five directions of the compass. China is called “The Middle Kingdom” and The Emperor’s palace was considered to be in the exact center of the world- The legendary first Emperor of China was called “The Yellow Emperor”, and after the Song Dynasty, bright yellow could only be worn by the emperor himself…

In ancient Greece and Rome, the gods were often depicted with yellow, or “golden” hair, yellow being the colour of sunlight and warmth. Considered to be the colour of “light”, it was also associated with wisdom and knowledge and in medieval European symbolism, yellow symbolized “reason”.

That said, yellow remains for most people, an extremely vivid and cheerful colour, reminding us of spring and the warmth that comes with it, sunshine, and exotic fruits from around the world, of which many have yellow skins or interiors, such as the passion fruit, the banana or the lemon…

Because most tropical (yellow) fruits are imported, they are associated with exoticism and rarity, hence, when one eats a colourful dessert made from tropical fruit, one is automatically transported to a far off land, dreaming of desert islands, palm trees, and coconuts. So let yourself be transported by these absolutely divine lemon and poppy seed cupcakes, spectacularly light and creamy, and with a hint of zest that will make your mouth water!


Cost: +
Difficulty: +


  • 100g flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter softened
  • The juice of two lemons, freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons of blue poppy seeds
  • 50g of finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 eggs

For the Icing

  • Half a lemon (sliced into small triangles)
  • 3-5 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 50g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and lower to 180°C (350°F) just before putting in the cupcakes. Grease the cupcake molds or line with greaseproof paper.

Whisk the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt and mix until smooth.

Add the lemon juice and lemon rind to the batter and mix again. Pour into each cupcake mold and fill 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tip of a knife comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 20 minutes before icing.

For the icing

While your cupcakes cool off, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice with the mascarpone and beat until thick and stiff. Pour the icing into a piping bag and chose a large flower nozzle so that the icing design comes out in the shape of a large rose. Ice your cupcakes with the lemon icing.

Add a small slice of lemon on top of each cupcake for the final touch!

lemon and poppy seed cupcakes
lemon and poppy seed cupcakes

I hope to see you here again next week, in the meantime enjoy these delicious cupcakes with a book and creamy cappuccino…


References: Symbolism of the colour “yellow”, Wikipedia.





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