Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond-Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been holding out on these lemon-poppy seed cupcakes since I made them a few months ago for my coworkers birthday, and I apologize profusely for not sharing the recipe sooner. Partly because a couple coworkers have been begging me for the recipe and partly because I think they would have been a perfect addition to a backyard barbecue, which almost every American was doing this past holiday weekend.  After all, if you can’t spend the day lounging on the beach, grilling out in your backyard is the obvious next-best option. 

Poppy Seeds

My Memorial Day was spent grilling in my sister’s backyard – a luxury that is so rare in New York that you take advantage of it anytime you can.  The weather was absolutely perfect – 80 degrees and sunny with a cool breeze. If only every day in NYC could be just like that. (Forecast for the summer calls for heavy thunderstorms, humidity and more humidity). On Memorial Day, we grilled pizza made from home-made dough (yes! grilled pizza), vegetables, sausages and bruschetta, and paired it with a lovely lavender-lemonade vodka cocktail.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

If Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, then lemonade-vodka should be the unofficial summer cocktail. And these cupcakes should be the unofficial summer dessert.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

They are so light and airy, and have a wonderful citrusy flavor that pairs perfectly with lemonade – I absolutely regretted not making them for the backyard cookout.  Will just have to insist my sister hosts another cookout so I can have the perfect excuse to make them!

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond-Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: ~3 dozen cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Note: If you prefer to serve this as a triple-layer cake, then follow the recipe as is, just divide the batter among three 8-inch pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until cake is lightly golden brown and springs back when touched.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan, and allow to cool completely before icing.  

Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup water

Almond-Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract

Recipe

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 3 cupcakes pans with cupcake liners.

Combine the flour, 1 3/4 cups of the sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the butter, lemon zest and 1 cup of the buttermilk.  WIth an electric mixer, beat on low until combined, and then raise the speed to medium, beating for 2 more minutes until the batter is light and airy.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk, and whisk thoroughly.  Add the egg white mixture to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition, beating only enough to mix evenly. Spoon the batter into each cupcake liner, so that the liner is approximately 2/3rds full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make a lemon syrup.  In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon juice with the water. Bring the water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Careful this will get very hot.  Remove from heat, and brush the top of the cupcakes with the lemon syrup, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the icing:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat until smooth after each addition.  Add the almond extract and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Frost each cupcake with either an offset spatula, or a piping bag and the tip of your choice.

Cupcakes will keep for 3 days at room temperature, kept in an air-tight container.

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4 thoughts on “Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Almond-Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Oh… YUM! That batter looks so delicious. I’ll have to try these. I feel like lemon poppyseed used to be such an “in” combo, and now I never see it anymore! Beautiful looking cupcakes. Well done on the frosting decoration! So pretty. Can’t wait to try these :)
    Glad to have found your blog!

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