I try to not make New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly because I don’t see the point in investing my time in something that I know will have fallen by the wayside before the end of January. The breaking of resolutions is one of the contributing factors to what’s become known as Blue Monday here in the UK.

It falls on the third Monday of January and is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Christmas has become a distant memory, but the cost of Christmas hasn’t. Weekday mornings are still dark and gloomy. So are the evenings for that matter. The warmth of Spring feels like a lifetime away. It’s no wonder that people start giving up on their good intentions, is it?

The biggest benefit of not starting the year with good intentions is that all treats come with zero guilt. Such as these Lemon & Poppyseed Cupcakes, which are a double threat to your resolutions. Firstly, they’re made with a beautifully light and zesty sponge – which is far from a health food, let’s face it. On top of that they are adorned with a rich buttery frosting made flavoured with a generous shot of Gin.

Oh well, at least these cupcakes are a fun way to wave goodbye to both the New Year Diet and Dry January in one go.

Lemon & Poppyseed Cupcakes with Gin Frosting

Lemon and Poppyseed makes for a lovely combination in a cake, but they’re even better when topped off with a boozy Gin and Lemon frosting…
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: Baking, Cakes, Desserts
Servings: 12 cupcakes


for the Cake

  • 225 g Margarine or softened Butter – I use Stork in the UK which makes a really light cake
  • 225 g Caster Sugar
  • 225 g Self-Raising Flour sifted
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 Lemons zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds

for the Frosting

  • 50 g Margarine or softened Butter
  • 200 g Icing Sugar sifted
  • 35 ml Gin
  • 1 Lemon zested and juiced


Make the Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Put cupcake cases into a cupcake tin – depending on the size of your cake tins and cupcake cases this recipe will make 12-24 cupcakes.
  • In a large bowl beat together the sugar and margarine/butter until it’s soft and has lightened in colour.
  • Add in the eggs and mix thoroughly – the batter won’t look very nice at this stage and might appear to have curdled but soldier on! Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Slowly add in the flour and baking powder at this stage and mix gently until you have a smooth, soft batter – you don’t want to over work the flour, as we’re not making bread. Add in the poppy seeds at the end and stir through.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between your cupcake cases and tap the tin gently on the worksurface to release any air pockets. Pop into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or so, until the surface is golden and bounces back when pressed gently.
  • Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  • In a large bowl beat the margarine/butter until soft then start to slowly add in the sifted icing sugar. Continue to mix until you have a smooth creamy frosting – though it should be quite stiff at this stage.
  • Add in the gin, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix thoroughly – this will make the mixture a lot softer and almost at a thick pouring consistency. It will solidify a bit as it dries but you don’t want it to be too stiff.
  • Decorate the top of the each cupcake with as much, or as little, frosting as you see fit.


Serve when you’re ready for a nice cup of tea. You can keep the completed cake in an airtight container for a couple of days if needed – but don’t wait too long or it will go stale.

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