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Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting + 3 years of The Green Life!

The Green Life turned three years old this week! Three years of sharing my plant-based and natural living journey with you. It’s been a wild ride. Many ups and downs, smiles and tears to bring this little humble space of mine to where it is today.

In the past year, The Green Life became more than a personal blog and moved onto being a “real” business. It’s now an online shop, a physical studio space, and a small team of two and a half people. Being a creative entrepreneur is much harder but also much more fulfilling than I ever thought it would be. I’m learning so much every day as I navigate through all this. Learning about business, about patience, resilience, determination, and also learning a ton about myself too. And for that alone it’s 100% worth the ride.

There are lots of projects in the works and so many exciting things coming up, and I’m so grateful to have you here and be able to share all of it with you! Thank you for your support, always.

I made some lemon poppy seed cupcakes to celebrate this little milestone. These melt-in-your-mouth little cakes are fully vegan, so delicious, moist and fluffy, with a hint of lemon, crunchy poppy seeds and a luscious coconut cream frosting on top. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting - The Green Life

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting - The Green Life

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting - The Green Life

Notes on the recipe: I’m not a fan of vegan butter, so this is not a traditional buttercream frosting. I’m using refrigerated coconut milk instead. The frosting might melt slightly at room temperature (especially if you make these in the summer), so I’d recommend keeping the prepared frosting in the fridge and decorating the cupcakes right before serving them. 


Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting

Makes 10-12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour or your favourite all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup plant-based milk almond, cashew, coconut, etc.
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds plus more to garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (the zest of 2 lemons)

For the coconut frosting

  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight (Thai Kitchen works best for this)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 10-12 muffin tins with paper or silicon molds.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together spelt flour, cane sugar, baking soda, and sea salt. Add coconut oil, milk and poppy seeds and whisk until combined. Add lemon juice and zest and stir a few times with a wooden spoon, just enough to combine. Quickly pour into the prepared muffin tins.

  3. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, until the top of the cupcakes are slightly golden and/or a toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean.

  4. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

For the coconut frosting

  1. While the cupcakes are in the oven, prepare the coconut frosting. Place cane sugar in a coffee grinder or blender and blitz until it's reduced into a fine powder.

  2. Make sure your can of coconut milk has been refrigerated overnight or at least 8 hours. Without shaking it, remove the can from the refrigerator. Open it, scrape the thick cream layer at the top and place it into a bowl. Reserve the coconut water for another use (I use it in smoothies).

  3. Add powdered cane sugar, coconut oil and lemon juice to the hardened coconut cream and whip with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. (Results will vary depending on the brand of coconut milk you're using. I find that Kitchen Thai works best for this. If your frosting is too thin, add a couple teaspoons of arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken it). Refrigerate frosting until ready to serve.

  4. Once cooled, frost cupcakes with the refrigerated coconut frosting. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and serve immediately. Store leftovers in a containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator (the frosting might melt slightly at room temperature so I recommend decorating the cupcakes just before serving).

Recipe Notes

Adapted from my vegan vanilla mini cake.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting - The Green Life

Leave a Comment

  • Bravo pour ton parcours et joyeux anniversaire à ton blog 🙂
    Après avoir mangé à Londres un cake au citron vegan tellement fondant et citronné – le cake au citron le plus dingue que j’ai pu goûter – je suis en quête de la recette parfaite 🙂
    Est-ce que tes petits cupcakes sont plutôt timidement citronnés ou intensément citronnés ? ^^

    • Merci Gwen, c’est gentil! 🙂
      Ils sont citronnés juste assez à mon goût, je dirais moyennement. Si tu les préfères intensément citronnés tu pourrais certainement y aller plus généreusement avec le zeste et le jus de citron. Évidemment la texture risque de changer si la quantité de liquide augmente. Il faudra donc peut-être réajuster avec un peu plus de farine.

  • Oh my goodness! These where so good. I made these for my mom’s birthday and she loved them (she is not vegan). I did double batch of frosting to cover all the cup cakes. Over all this was amazing, Thank you so much