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Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

4.5 stars, average of 32 ratings

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There’s something about lemon cake that makes it feel a little less ‘naughty’ than other cakes. Which is just as well, as these low-carb cupcakes are a crowd pleaser that you’ll find it hard to stop at one! The outside is slightly crisp, with a light, moist filling.

These cupcakes feel a little rustic to me, so I like to serve them with a blob of sugar-free frosting rather than piping it on, but if you’d prefer something a bit fancier you might want to double the frosting ingredient amounts to give you enough to work with.

Recipe Tips

Note that these muffins are more on the dense side. If you prefer fluffier muffins, add 1-2 tsp of baking powder and 2-3 large eggs. Keep in mind that this will also result in more muffins or bigger muffins.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size cupcake

Allergy information for Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, cupcake)

Net carbs4.4 grams
Protein8.4 grams
Fat24.9 grams
Calories271 kcal
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 12%, fat 82%
Total carbs7.2 gramsFiber2.8 gramsSugars3 gramsSaturated fat7.9 gramsSodium77 mg(3% RDA)Magnesium75 mg(19% RDA)Potassium234 mg(12% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve or Erythritol (40 g/ 1.4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter, at room temperature (50 g/ 1.8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (conventional), or 140 °C/ 285 °F (fan assisted). In a large bowl, combine almond meal, Swerve, poppy seeds and baking powder. Mix well.
    Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  2. In anther bowl, whisk the eggs with the butter, yogurt and lemon juice. Add to the dry ingredients and the lemon zest and stir to combine, or use a hand mixer to process until well combined.
    Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  3. Divide the mixture across a 12-capacity muffin tin (about 65 g/ 2.3 oz each). Bake 20 - 25 mins. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  4. To make the frosting, use either a hand held or stand mixer to beat the butter, cream cheese and cream together.
  5. Add the powdered Swerve and lemon juice, and continue beating another 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
    Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  6. Add a scoop of the frosting to each cupcake, then sprinkle with the remaining poppy seeds.
    Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  7. Enjoy immediately or store up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge. Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
  8. To make the cupcakes fancier with more frosting, simply double the ingredients for the frosting and decorate using a piping bag. To make these cupcakes fluffier, see recipe tips above. Keto Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, cupcake)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Almond flour (blanched ground almonds, almond meal)
2.2 g5.4 g13.1 g148 kcal
Swerve, natural sweetener (Erythritol and chicory inulin based)
0.6 g0 g0 g3 kcal
Poppy seed, spices
0.1 g0.1 g0.3 g4 kcal
Baking powder, gluten-free
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Egg, whole, fresh, raw (free-range or organic eggs)
0.1 g1 g0.8 g12 kcal
Lemon zest (peel), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Vanilla extract, sugar-free, alcohol-based
0 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0 g1.9 g17 kcal
Yogurt, plain (full-fat, Greek style, 5% fat)
0.4 g0.9 g0.5 g10 kcal
Swerve, natural sweetener (Erythritol and chicory inulin based)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Cream cheese, soft (full-fat)
0.3 g0.7 g2.8 g25 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0 g3.4 g30 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Poppy seed, spices
0 g0.1 g0.2 g2 kcal
Cream, heavy whipping, pouring, full-fat (30-40% fat)
0.1 g0.1 g1.9 g18 kcal
Total per serving, cupcake
4.4 g8.4 g24.9 g271 kcal

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Dearna Bond
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Dearna Bond

Dearna is a passionate foodie and food photographer, and loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for both via her food blog and online photography courses.

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Comments (12)

I make these often, adding an extra egg and baking powder to make them lighter and fluffier.  However, I have never managed to get a spreadable/pipeable frosting using the ingredients indicated.  I always have to add whipped double cream to give it enough body to hold its shape or spoon onto the muffin. Without the whipped cream the ingredients are just too liquid.  Any suggestions?

Thank you so much for your feedback, that is a great suggestion! I myself have had very different results with different types of cream cheese. Some were indeed too runny. I have tested the frosting on another recipe so I'll amend it to make sure there are no more runny frostings!
(I'm sorry for the delayed response, life gets busy with newborn twins!)

Good to hear, thank you,  And congratulations and good luck with your little babes!

Thank you!

Hi, I was wondering if it would be okay to use the caviar from a vanilla pod? I can’t find sugar free pure vanilla anywhere.

Absolutely - that is my preferred option too! I get whole vanilla pods or vanilla bean powder from Amazon.

Hi - I made these today and they are really delicious!  However, We found them quite dense and I wondered if there is some way I could make them lighter or more fluffy.  They didn’t rise at all and I wondered if more baking powder might help?  Any thoughts/comment?  Thank you.

Hi Christiana, I'm glad you liked the flavour! There are 2 ways to help them rise more. Add 1-2 tsp of baking powder and 2-3 eggs. This way you will end up with a fluffier sponge/muffin 😊 It will also yield more muffins or bigger muffins. I hope this helps!

Thank you for the advice - will certainly give that a try - soon!

More baking powder and an extra egg did the trick, thank you!  And now other question - do you think these would freeze well - question in light of the comment to serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 5 days?  Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes and advice, much appreciated.

Oh I'm happy it worked well! Yes you can definitely freeze these but without the frosting. That is always best prepared fresh (the frosting will keep for 5-7 days in the fridge, in a sealed jar). So if you need to freeze the muffins, you may have to halve the amount of the frosting and only use it for the batch you will keep in the fridge.

Brilliant!  Thank you!