Lemon and poppy seed sticky buns (recipe)


Can I have one, yet? – JD, 5

We had a mummy and JD day recently and baking was top of the agenda. These sticky topped lemon and poppy seed muffins were completely improvised but came out really quite wonderfully.

The yellow tinge – JD’s idea – is courtesy of a drop of food colouring and seems to get the tastebuds working overtime on the lemony, sticky-sweet flavours – well, they do say the first bite is with the eye!

If you fancy making these for yourself, here’s what to do – it makes 12.


For the sponge:

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 drop of yellow food colouring gel (optional)
  • 1 lemon, rind and juice
  • 10g poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp lemon curd

For the sticky topping:

  • 4-5 tbsp of lemon curd
  • 1 1/2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar

You’ll also need:

  • 12 hole muffin tray
  • 12 muffin cases


Make the sponges:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan assisted)
  2. Melt the butter and cool to room temperature
  3. Beat with the sugar in a large bowl until well combined
  4. Add the eggs one by one, beating well each time until well combined
  5. Beat in the lemon curd
  6. Mix in the lemon juice and rind well – don’t worry if it splits, just add 50g of the flour and it will come back together
  7. Fold in the rest of the flour and the baking powder
  8. Stir in the poppy seeds
  9. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases in the muffin tray
  10. Bake for around 25 minutes until just springy on top
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack

Make the sticky topping:

  1. Put the lemon curd in a bowl and stir to loosen
  2. Pour the water on top but don’t stir in yet
  3. Tip in the icing sugar – it will dissolve into the hot water – then stir the whole thing together until smooth and resembling the consistency of warm syrup

Bring it all together:

  1. Carefully remove the cakes from their cases and return them to the rack
  2. Spoon the sauce equally over the centre of each of the cakes, around 3/4 of a tablespoon per cake. It should spread to the edges and drizzle down the sides in places
  3. Leave for around an hour to set, they should become very softly set and tacky to the touch

That’s it. Tempted?

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