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Orange-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Buttercream Poppies

#MenuMonday: Orange-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Buttercream Poppies

These orange poppy seed cupcakes with buttercream poppies are the perfect, delectable and refreshing dessert to serve at your next event.  This recipe from combines the perfect flavors to create a unique and tasty cupcake.

Orange poppy seed cupcakes




  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 20 cups of two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.  Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.  Stir together milk and 1/4 cup orange juice.
  2. Beat butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and the orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.  Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat in poppy seeds.
  3. Divide batter among muffin tins (filling each cup two-thirds full).  Bake until golden around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Let stand until ready to use.
  5. Brush warm cupcakes with half the orange juice mixture.  Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Brush cupcakes again with remaining orange juice mixture and let cool completely.
  7. Frost cupcakes with untinted buttercream.  Top each with a buttercream poppy.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and Poppies Recipe


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg whites or pasteurized egg whites
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Gel-paste food coloring in Red Red
  • Poppy seeds, for sprinkling


  1. Heat sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk with mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.  Whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and raise speed to medium.  Beat buttercream until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pipe the poppies: Transfer one-quarter of the buttercream to a bowl (reserve remainder for frosting cupcakes), and tint with food coloring until you reach desired color for poppies.  Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large petal tip.  Cut out twenty 2-by-3 inch rectangles of parchment.  Adhere 1 parchment rectangle to a flower nail with a dab of buttercream.  Holding the piping bag at a 45-degree angle, pipe 1 petal.  Pipe a second petal, overlapping the first by 1/2 to 3/4 inch.  Making a tighter turn with the nail, overlap the second petal to pipe a third.
  6. Sprinkle poppy seeds in the centers of the flowers to create the look of stamens.  Gently remove parchment from nail, and transfer to a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining parchment and tinted buttercream.  Refrigerate poppies for at least two hours.
  7. Gently remove poppies from parchment using an offset spatula.  Place 1 on top of each cupcake.

Yield: 20 servings

Original Recipe:

Make sure to let us know if you enjoyed these delicious orange poppy seed cupcakes!

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