No Thanks

Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Orange-Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Buttercream Poppies

The orange flavor in these cupcakes comes from zest in the batter and two brushings of fresh juice once they're baked. A beautiful buttercream poppy sits atop each one, hinting at the seeds within.

  • prep: 1 hour
    total time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • yield: Makes 20
Photography: Ditte Isager




  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Vanilla-Buttercream Frosting and Poppies

Cook's Note

Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 20 cups of two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup orange juice.

  2. Step 2

    Beat butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and the orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in poppy seeds.

  3. Step 3

    Divide batter among muffin tins (filling each cup two-thirds full). Bake until golden around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use.

  5. Step 5

    Brush warm cupcakes with half the orange juice mixture. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Brush cupcakes again with remaining orange juice mixture, and let cool completely.

  7. Step 7

    Frost cupcakes with untinted buttercream. Top each with a buttercream poppy.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2011