These Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes are the perfect pick-me-up treat to share with friends and family – or to enjoy by yourself. I certainly won’t judge!
If you’ve been following along here for a while, this recipe may sound quite a bit familiar to you. One of my more popular recipes is Grandmama’s Lemon Cakes, and I make them all the time. They’re always a highly requested item any time there is a bake sale in the area, and if there’s a holiday, birthday or any other special event in the near future, you can bet you’ll see these tiny little lemon cakes making an appearance.
But these aren’t exactly Grandmama’s lemon cakes. Well, truthfully they are nearly identical to her lemon cakes, but I added one tiny little ingredient that gave them a whole new look and a whole new name, and it elevated the dessert in a way that I had never even thought of before until now!
I simply added about 1/4 cup of poppy seeds into the batter of the cake mix before baking, and I instantly had tiny bite-size portions of everyone’s favorite lemon poppy seed bread. It’s funny how something so simple can make a big difference in a recipe! I originally thought to add the poppy seeds when I was planning out the menu for my daughter’s 1st birthday party this past weekend. Her theme was bumble bees, and I was trying to think of foods that were yellow or were yellow and black. I knew the lemon cakes were a must for the party. but adding the poppy seeds in there made them look all the more bumble bee-ish!
Here are a few of the baking essentials you definitely need when preparing these little lemon cakes. The wire racks are especially important, because you want air to get all the way around each lemon cake so that the glaze hardens just a tad. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy lemon cake!
Here’s a free printable copy of the recipe if you’d like to give it a try.
- 1 box yellow cake mix + ingredients on back of cake box
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons
- 1½ box confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- Make the icing first:
- Lightly grate rinds from oranges and lemons into a bowl. Be very careful not to grate too deep into the white part of the rind, as this can turn your icing a bit bitter.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemons and oranges and mix with grated zest
- Whisk in confectioners sugar until smooth
- To make the cakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Make cake batter according to box instructions
- Pour poppy seeds into cake batter
- Spray miniature muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray
- Fill tins HALF way full with batter - not all the way to the top
- Bake for 12 minutes or until done
- While the cakes are still hot, dunk each cake into the icing completely and set on wire rack to drain off excess juice
- Once glaze cools and hardens, they're ready to eat!
These little lemon cakes are perfect for holidays, birthday parties, bridal showers, bake sales, or just a random Tuesday when you feel like making something sweet. Make them the original way, or add the poppy seeds – either way, you definitely can’t go wrong! 😉
If you LOVED this recipe, check out these other similar recipes found right here on Southern Made Simple!