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Orange and poppy seed cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe

Orange and poppy seed cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe

5 ratings

The surprising combination of orange, poppy seed and cream cheese makes these zesty cupcakes a delicious novelty for any occasion. What’s more, they’re fairly simple to create and look pretty impressive to boot! See method

  • Serves 12 (makes 12 cupcakes)
  • 20 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, 5 mins to cool
  • 358 calories / serving


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 50g fine orange marmalade
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 15g poppy seeds, plus extra to decorate

For the frosting

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
  • 1 orange, pared and cut into peeled segments
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    23g 33%
  • Saturates

    13g 66%
  • Sugars

    29g 32%
  • Salt

    0.3g 4%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 38.5g Protein 3g Fibre 1g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar, with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, half the orange juice and the marmalade; continue beating, until combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and fold it through with a large spoon, until just combined. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases. Bake for 15 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and icing sugar, using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and orange essence (if using) and continue beating, until combined. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe a swirl in the middle of each cupcake.
  6. Pare the zest from an orange and slice the pared zest into 6 thin strips. Wrap each one around a pencil or the handle of a wooden spoon and hold for a few seconds to curl. Decorate the cupcakes, alternating between an orange curl and segment to make 6 of each. Finish with a sprinkling of poppy seeds.

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