Lemon & Poppyseed Basil Cupcakes

Lemon Cake Cupcake

These lemon cupcakes are a dream! Soft pillowy cupcakes are flavoured with fresh lemon, white chocolate, basil and poppy seeds. Then they're topped with a silky cream cheese browned butter frosting, dabs of lemon curd and a basil leaf!

These lemon cupcakes are pretty enough to give as gifts. I gave these cupcakes as a gift to a few people and they loved the look and taste of them.

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Lemon cake tips: I use the soda water to add more rise to the cupcakes so that they're lighter. This combined with the baking powder makes these lemon cakes fluffy and light.

Swirl Piping Tip: The swirly pattern in the icing is made using a #125 tip. it's one of my favourite tips and you can use it to make buttercream flowers too.

Lemons: my favourite lemons are ones from my friend's trees because they are juicier than store bought lemons that have a thick skin and very little juice and seeds. The seeds are very useful for jam making. I never add pectin to my jams and instead using lemon seeds to thicken jams. See recipes for Apricot Jam, Vanilla Cherry Jam and Mulberry Gin & Tonic Jam.

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Other lemon recipes: I LOVE lemons and they are in season now in winter so they're plentiful. Try these No Bake Lemonade Coconut Bars, Lemon Delicious Cheesecake, Lemon Cream Cheese Pullapart Bread, Simple Lemon Tart, Lemon Blackberry Cake , Bitter Lemon Poppyseed Loaf Cake, Passionfruit & Lemon Mini Cakes, Lemon Mascarpone Cream Cloud Cake, Rosemary, Lemon & Golden Syrup Scones, Vegan Lemon Coconut Cake, Mint Lemon Slushie {Limonana}, Preserved Lemon, Ginger & Rosemary Loaf Cake, The BEST Lemon Curd, Fish Pie With Crispy Lemon Mashed Potato Topping, Lemon Chiffon Cake, Feta & Lemon Topped Bruschetta and my show stopping Lemonade Cake!

Browned butter: is another favourite ingredient in the kitchen. Everyone has probably tried browned butter with gnocchi or in some type of pasta but did you know that it makes your baked goods so delicious? I always have a block of browned butter in my fridge and you don't need to replace the entire butter quantity with it. If you replace even a quarter of the total butter weight with browned butter it will lend the most gorgeous aroma to your baked goods. It's what makes my Anzac biscuits so moreish and different. Here is a detailed recipe for how to make brown butter.

Lemon Cake Cupcake

These lemon cupcakes are a great afternoon tea snack and I gave them to Mr NQN every afternoon. He is still working from home and likely to be doing so for the next few months. His work was one of the first to have people work from home, long before it was mandatory or widespread.

I've mentioned before how we have both switched places and he is in my office which is the second bedroom and I have moved to the dining room which is easier for both of us since he seems to spend 6 hours a day on zoom calls.

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Anyway do you remember that professor in Korea who had his toddler Marion burst into an interview he was doing with the BBC? Mr NQN calls me Marion because apparently that's the way I walk into a room (he sometimes calls me Kramer). I guess I tend to burst into rooms. But this time I could hear him on a call but I needed the vacuum cleaner because I have a clean floor obsession.

I opened the door and whispered, "Vacuum cleaner". Mr NQN has headphones so he didn't even notice but then the vacuum cleaner was caught up in the network cable which was caught up in a piece of luggage and it started dragging everything along with it.

When he saw everything moving in his computer screen he jumped up and looked around to find his wife crouching on the ground out of the view of the camera and gingerly trying to extricate herself out of the situation subtly-it was as though I was exiting in the opposite way I enter. He just shook his head and muttered, "Marion...".

So tell me Dear Reader, how do you enter a room? Do you do it subtly or do you tend to burst in? Do you like lemons? How many lemons do you go through in a week?

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Lemon & Poppyseed Basil Cupcakes

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Rated 5 out of 5 by 4 lovely readers. Share your rating:

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes 10-12 cupcakes

  • 170g/6ozs. cake flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g3/5ozs. caster or superfine sugar
  • 20g/0.7oz poppyseeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 basil leaves, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup/130g/4ozs white chocolate chips
  • 60ml/2flozs lemon juice
  • 60ml/2flozs vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. soda water

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 125g/4ozs. cream cheese, softened
  • 75g/2.6ozs. browned butter, solidified but not refrigerated
  • 110g/3.8ozs. icing or powdered sugar, sifted

To decorate

  • 60g/2ozs. lemon curd
  • 1 slice lemon, cut into 10 pieces
  • Basil leaves

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Cake flour is a softer type of flour where a portion of the flour is replaced with cornflour or cornstarch. Replace 3 tablespoons/24g of plain all purpose flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch

Step 1 - Line a baking tray with 10-12 liners (I find that it depends on how big and deep the liners are) and preheat oven to 160C/320F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, poppy seeds, salt, lemon zest, basil leaves and white chocolate in a bowl.

Step 2 - In a jug whisk the lemon juice, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. Add the soda water. Then make a well in the dry ingredients and mix the wet mixture in in 2-3 lots making sure that there are no lumps. Place into a jug and pour into the liners around 3/4 full. Bake for 22 minutes or until the centre springs back when pressed. Cool completely.

Lemon Cake Cupcake

Step 3 - Place the cream cheese and butter in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the icing sugar (make sure there are no lumps) and blend until smooth. Place in a piping bag with a #125 piping tip and pipe the frosting over the cupcake. Dot the lemon curd over the icing (I put it in a small piping bag and snipped off a tiny corner and piped three dots on each cupcake). Decorate with tiny wedges of lemon and basil leaves.

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