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Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe - Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Updated on October 26, 2015

When life gives you lemons, turn them into lemon cupcakes! Eh, I guess that's not how the old saying goes. Whatever. I'm baking some gluten-free lemon poppy seed cupcakes today. Sorry I can't send you these yummy treats, but I'm more than happy to share the recipe. As usual, my gluten-free dessert recipe utilizes low-fat and healthy ingredients, so you should be able to enjoy these cupcakes guilt-free (or maybe with just a little bit of guilt). The calorie and nutrition info can be found at the end of the page. Bon appetit, everyone!

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes | Source

Please Rate This Gluten-Free Dessert Recipe

4.5 stars from 4 ratings of Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 6 cupcakes

Tweaking This Cupcake Recipe for Certain Diet Restrictions

  • If you have cholesterol or heart problems, use an egg substitute instead of one whole egg.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure you use brown rice flour. Also, instead of 1/2 cup of sugar, use 1/4 cup of sugar and 4 packets of stevia. Forgo the glaze and opt for sugar-free frosting if you like.
  • If you're a vegan, replace margarine, egg and sour cream with vegan margarine, egg substitute and soy yogurt. (Although regular margarine is not dairy-based, it often contains trace amounts of dairy and animal products.)

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup margarine, trans-fat-free and cholesterol-free
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract***
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder***
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

***Not all brands of vanilla extract are gluten-free. If you're on a strict gluten-free diet, it's wise to read the label before you buy. The gluten ingredient that you have to watch out for is grain alcohol.***

***Baking powder is usually gluten-free but not always so. The gluten ingredients that may be found in some brands of baking powder include wheat starch, modified food starch or dextrine. So check the label and make sure the baking powder you're buying does not contain any of these ingredients.***

To learn more about gluten-free ingredients and find out how to grocery shop on the cheap, visit Gluten-Free Shopping Tips.

How to Make These Gluten-Free Cupcakes from Scratch

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Since this is a small portion, you may use either a whisk or a big fork for this process. If you are planning to make a much bigger batch of cupcake batter, however, an electric mixer is recommended.
  3. Add vanilla extract, egg, low-fat sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Mix together until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together rice flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make sure there are no lumps in your flour mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk together until thick (but not too thick) and well-blended. If you use an electric mixer, mix it at medium-low speed for about 15 seconds.
  6. Line your cupcake tins with paper liners. Fill about 2/3 of each cup with your gluten-free cupcake batter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. When your lemon poppy seed cupcakes are done, take them out of the oven and cupcake tins. Allow them to cool on a wire rack.
  9. In the meantime, make your lemon glaze. (recipe follows)
  10. Drizzle each cupcake with lemon glaze, then garnish with candied lemon zest (optional). Enjoy!
Lemon Zest Simmering in Syrup
Lemon Zest Simmering in Syrup | Source
Candied Lemon Zest
Candied Lemon Zest | Source

How to Make Candied Lemon Zest

Ingredients: zest of 1 large lemon, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water

Preparation: Cut the lemon peel into long, thin strips. Blanch the lemon strips in 1 cup of warm water and drain well. (This process will get rid of the bitterness.) In a small saucepan, bring sugar and 1/2 of water to a boil. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat to simmer, then add the blanched lemon zest. Let it cook on simmer for about 45 - 60 minutes, or until the lemon zest is soft and translucent. Once your candied lemon zest is done, remove it from the syrup. Allow it to cool and dry on a baking sheet or a plate.

Lemon Glaze Recipe for Your Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Use it to glaze your cupcakes immediately. Don't let it sit in the bowl.

Calorie and Nutrition Information for Each Cupcake (Without the Glaze and Candied Lemon Zest)

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cupcake
Calories 224
Calories from Fat108
% Daily Value *
Fat 12 g18%
Saturated fat 4 g20%
Unsaturated fat 5 g
Carbohydrates 35 g12%
Sugar 18 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 42 mg14%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


Submit a Comment
  • Journey * profile image

    Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

    7 years ago from USA

    Hi Om, these cupcakes look delicious. Nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    @Cardisa - Thanks, Carolee! Yeah, they are low-fat and not too high in sugar.

    @prasetio - Thanks for your comments and votes, bro. I hope you mom likes these lemon poppy seed cupcakes.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    My sister, I always love your recipes include this one. I can't wait to share this with my mom. Hmmmmm.....yummy! VOTED UP :-)

    Best wishes, Prasetio

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 

    8 years ago from Jamaica

    Om, those cupcakes look amazingly delicious! And they are pretty healthy too.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    @Viqe Newman - Thanks! Hope you give this gluten-free cupcake recipe a try sometime.

    @Pegg W - Thanks for your comments and votes, Peggy. So glad you stopped by.

    @RTalloni - Thanks. They taste fabulous, too!

    @HouseBuyersUS - Very cool. I'm glad to hear that. Let me how it goes.

    @GoodLady - Yay! I'm glad you like the video and photos. Thanks for commenting, voting and pinning!

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 

    8 years ago from Rome, Italy

    Lovely video and super photos. Lovely and interesting and very useful recipe for people who have health problems and who love to eat cakes! Voting up and useful and also pinning it!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    These gluten free lemon poppyseed look fabulous!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    8 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Lemon poppy seed cupcakes or bread are SO GOOD! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Up votes and sharing.

  • Viqe Newman profile image

    Viqe Newman 

    8 years ago from Poasttown, Ohio

    These look delicious.. and they're beautiful. Love 'em!


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