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vegan lemon cupcake on cooling rack

Small Batch Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 18
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


These soft, moist vegan lemon cupcakes are full of real zesty lemon and filled with a quick dairy free lemon curd. This recipe yields just 6 perfect zesty lemon poppy seed cupcakes for the perfect easy one bowl cupcake recipe!


  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest, about 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) avocado oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 batch vegan cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 batch vegan lemon curd


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a cupcake tin with 6 cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, add in the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with clean hands. This helps release the oils in the lemon for a brighter flavor. Then add in the oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sea salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. Finish the cupcake batter: Add in the flour, dairy free milk, and lemon juice. Whisk just until combined, then add in the poppy seeds and whisk again to evenly distribute.
  4. Bake: Scoop the cupcake batter into the cupcake tin, filling each cupcake to be about 3/4 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes fro 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. *While the cupcakes are baking, start on the lemon curd, following the instructions in the post linked in the ingredients section.
  5. Cool: Cool the cupcakes fully, along with the lemon curd, before filling.
  6. Fill the cupcakes: If you’d like to fill the cupcakes with lemon curd, use a butter knife or cupcake corer, and remove a small hole in the tops of each cupcake. Fill with about 1 tbsp of lemon curd per cupcake. Save any extra lemon curd for topping and other treats.
  7. Frost: Follow the instructions for making vegan cream cheese frosting. Pipe or smear the frosting on top of each cupcake, and top with more lemon curd and poppy seeds if desired.
  8. Serve and enjoy! Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Gluten free: You can make these cupcakes gluten free by swapping in a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure baking flour.

Dairy free milk: You can use almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk here.

Oil: You can also substitute in coconut oil, but the cupcakes might have a coconut flavor, and might be a touch less moist.

Keywords: vegan lemon cupcakes, lemon poppy seed cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, small batch cupcakes