Honey Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream

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Now that Christmas is over, I can share non-Christmas recipes with no guilt! Yes! Who’s ready for SUGAR?! (Say it like Oprah and it’s way more fun.)

Me. I’m ready for sugar. And honey. And lemon. And lemon poppyseed buttercream, ’cause I’m like, the Optimus Prime of baking.

This is definitely a summer cupcake. So for those lucky humans currently vacationing in the Bahamas or someplace not utterly miserable (i.e. Missouri), here’s a cupcake for you! For those stuck in terribly cold weather and snow and ice and freezing rain, make a cup of tea or coffee! You don’t need cupcakes right now. Unless you’ve got coffee cupcakes… okay, yeah, you definitely need coffee cupcakes.

Geez, I’m really bad at promoting my own recipes, aren’t I? I’ve never even made coffee cupcakes before.

These cupcakes are nicely lemon-y but they aren’t tart. Instead, their sweetness plays off with the subtle crunch of the poppy seeds perfectly. It’s just such a bright and happy pairing, sure to lift any sour moods. Maybe if you’re stuck in snow you DO need these cupcakes…

Honey Lemon Cupcakes
makes 12
adapted from Half Baked

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest, or the zest from one medium-sized lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time.

3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine buttermilk, honey, vanilla, and lemon extract.

4. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

5. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream
(depending on how high you frost the cupcakes, you may have leftovers for eating with a spoon)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon extract
1-1/2 tsp poppy seeds

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in lemon extract. Fold in poppy seeds.

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