I have always been a sucker for poppy seeds.
If there is a tray of pastries that includes poppy seed bread or muffins, that is what’s going on my plate. That nutty flavor is just irresistible.
That being said, I rarely bake with poppy seeds, for some reason. I had to change that, and what better way than making a delicious, springtime dessert featuring the little seeds along with fresh lemon and blackberries?
A match made in heaven.
This comes from the blog “Just So Tasty” by Fiona Dowling. You can find the original post at https://www.justsotasty.com/lemon-poppy-seed-cupcakes-with-blackberry-frosting/. I added extra vanilla and poppy seeds in my version.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream if needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line one and one-half regular-sized muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest for a few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla, add in the baking soda and salt, and then alternate beating in a bit of the sour cream, followed by a bit of the flour until everything is well combined.
- Stir in the lemon juice and poppy seeds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared liners, filling each to about two-thirds full.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan until you can handle the cupcakes, and then let them cool completely on a wire rack.
- Add the blackberries to a blender or food processor and process until they are smooth.
- Pour the berries into a fine-mesh sieve over a small saucepan, and stir them around, pressing the mixture to get as much out of the berries and into the pan as you can.
- Heat the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to a jam consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and let the berries cool completely.
- When you’re ready to frost the cooled cupcakes, beat the butter in a large bowl until it is soft and creamy. Beat in two cups of the powdered sugar, along with the salt. Add the blackberry puree and beat again.
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar, one-half cup at a time. If the mixture is too runny to frost the cupcakes, add more powdered sugar, just a bit at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If it is too stiff, add a tablespoon (or more) of milk or cream until you are happy with it.
- Frost the cupcakes and store in an airtight container.
These were delicious. The cupcake flavor was delicate but still stood up to the blackberry buttercream, which was fabulous. Plus, they were just really pretty.
I did feel a bit bad about having all the bits and pieces of the blackberries left over in my sieve, so I ended up transferring them along with equal parts water and sugar to a pan and making a blackberry simple syrup. It’s great in everything from cocktails to iced tea.
And I was glad to get my poppy seed fix. These were perfect to fit that bill. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make your own to find out. Mine are—mysteriously—all gone.
This piece first appeared in print on May 11, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.