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There's something so appealing about tiny, citrusy cupcakes, bursting with the peppery tingle of poppy seeds.  Oranges and poppy-seeds is one of those combinations that just works.  These cupcakes just work too - they can be whipped up in no time and I guarantee they'll be light, yet moist.
Ingredients: Cake

  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • one large orange (or lemon): 3 tsp finely chopped zest and 2 TB juice
  • 3 TB poppy seeds
  • 2-3 TB milk
  • good quality marmalade, for glazing


Ingredients: Icing

  • 2 TB passionfruit pulp, strained to separate seeds
  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
  • 220g well sieved icing sugar


Method: Cake

Preheat oven to 180C (not fan forced) for mini cupcakes, or 200C (not fan forced) for standard size cupcakes.

Take eggs, butter and milk out of the fridge to come to room temperature. While that's happening, measure out the other ingredients and get everything ready.

Stir 2 TB milk into the poppyseeds in a small bowl.  The poppyseeds should start making 'zingy' noises.

Combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs and 2tsp of the orange rind in the large bowl of a food processor, don't over-mix.

Add the freshly squeezed orange juice through the top of the processor while pulsing the mix.

If more liquid is required to make a smooth batter, add half to a TB of milk.

Fold the poppyseeds into the batter with a metal spoon.  Add remaining chopped orange zest to taste.

Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.  The mixture will make 36 mini cupcakes or 12 regular size.

Bake mini cupcakes for 8-10 minutes and regular cakes for 15 minutes.  The tops will spring back when gently prodded.

I like my citrus cupcakes to have a gently rounded top.  If you prefer a flat top, underfill the cases slightly and drop the oven temperature a little.

When done, immediately take the cupcakes out of the tins and onto wire racks.

While cakes are still warm, use a pastry brush or bread knife to carefully spread gently warmed marmalade on the tops of the cupcakes.

Method: Icing

Beat butter with electric beaters until pale and fluffy

Beat in half of the icing sugar and half of the juice from the passionfruit pulp until combined

Beat in the second half of the icing sugar and passionfruit juice.

Add a little extra milk (1/2 to a TB) if required to make a very light and fluffy icing

Pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.

If desired, decorate with reserved passionfruit seeds or curls of orange zest.

Rachel writes for Beyond Beeton at http://beyondbeeton.com

Beyond Beeton is a post-modern guide to household management comprising information on budgeting, cooking, eating, weight loss, housework, work/life balance, shoes and surviving the corporate world - all smothered in a generous serve of failure, hypocrisy and sarcasm.

It was inspired by Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and is based on Rachel's attempts to juggle a career, marriage, household, budget, unrelenting love of food and shoes and efforts to get back to her pre-marriage weight.

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