Lemon Poppy Seed Cup Cakes With Cream Cheese Icing

Everyone loves a tasty cupcake. Lemon cake with crunchy poppy seeds and tangy cream cheese icing is a perfect dessert for so-called non-chocolate lovers in your life. When it comes to cream cheese icing I prefer to keep mine more cream cheese and less icing sugar, but feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.
30 cupcakes, level of difficulty - easy

1 ½ cup (375ml) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cup (625ml) granulated sugar
7 eggs
1 ½ tsp (7.5ml) vanilla
3 ¾ cup (875ml) unbleached flour
2 ½ tsp (12.5ml) baking powder
¾ tsp salt (3.75ml)
1 cup (250ml) milk, room temperature
1 ½ tsp (7.5ml) lemon zest
1/3 cup (80ml) poppy seeds

Glaze
1 ½ cup (375ml) icing sugar
¼ cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice

Icing
12 oz (335g) cream cheese, softened
½ cup (125ml) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups (1 litre) icing sugar

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F (180C).

2. Line 12 spots in muffin tins with cupcake liners or butter and flour them.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are light and fluffy.

4. Continue beating and add your eggs one at a time making sure you mix each one in well before the next egg is added.

5. Add in the vanilla and set this mixture aside.

6. In a different bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and the salt. In thirds you are going to add 1/3 of the dry mix to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk.

7. Once you have finished that, with a rubber spatula, gently fold in the lemon zest and the poppy seeds.

8. Divide the batter into the cupcake tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9. With a little whisk or a fork mix together your sugar and lemon juice.

10. When the cup cakes come out of the oven, gently poke the tops of them 6 to 8 times with a toothpick.

11. Brush the glaze on while they are still warm to the touch and allow them to cool completely.

12. Beat the cream cheese and butter until it’s nice and smooth and gradually start adding the sugar. I find for the best icing you need to beat it longer than you think for a light fluffy result.

13. Finish the cupcakes by spreading the icing on top of each one. Pop these fellas in the fridge to help the icing set up.

14. If you want an added decorative flare to each little cake, garnish the top with fine citrus zest or a sprinkling of poppy seeds.

Wine Match – White Port
This dessert’s a bit tricky when it comes to wine matching. We’ve got a light cupcake, tart but sweet citrus flavors, and rich, creamy icing. My first pick is white Port – its sweet honey flavors pair up nicely with the icing, and the nuttiness of the wine picks up on the poppy seed flavor. If you can’t find white Port, a late harvest Riesling or Vidal will do the trick nicely, or you could go with an Asti Spumante – a glass of bubbly and a cupcake – could a girl get any happier?

This recipe and wine pairing is from the book: This Food That Wine, a cookbook and wine guide available in stores across Canada.


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