Iced Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

A friend asked ‘Can you make iced poppy seed muffins as good as a famous coffee-shop chain?’ Answer, decidedly yes, but with add-ons. Much lighter, moister, much much more lemony without all the additives. And guess what? One fifth of the price!

Makes 4 large muffins

This recipe is from Delia's Cakes

Iced Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
 150g plain flour
 1 level dessertspoon baking powder
 ¼ teaspoon salt
 zest and juice of 3 lemons (reserve 1 tablespoon of juice for the icing)
 25g poppy seeds
 1 large egg
 40g golden caster sugar
 2 tablespoons milk
 50g block butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the icing:
 110g fondant icing sugar, sifted
 3–4 teaspoons lemon juice
 Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6
A Silverwood muffin tray lined with 4 paper muffin cases generously brushed with melted butter.  Click here for more details of the muffin cases


With muffins it’s always a good idea to have everything weighed out and ready before you start

Begin by sifting the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Then, in another bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, poppy seeds, egg, sugar, milk and melted butter. Now return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight into the egg mixture. (This double sifting is crucial because we won’t be doing much mixing.)

What you now need to do is take a large metal spoon and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones – the key word here is quickly (i.e. in about 15 seconds). What you mustn’t do is beat or stir, just do the folding – ignore the uneven appearance of the mixture because it’s precisely this that makes the muffins really light.

Over-mixing is where people go wrong.

Now divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Bake near the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them straight to a wire rack to cool.

When they’re absolutely cold add enough of the reserved lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, to the icing sugar until you have a spreadable consistency. Then divide the icing between the cooled muffins and smooth it over the tops with a small palette knife.

When set, store in an airtight tin.

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