Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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Bring a little sunshine into your kitchen with these lemon poppy seed muffins! Simple to whip up, each bite combines the bright flavor of lemon with the nutty crunch of poppy seeds.

lemon muffins on platter with yellow and white stripe napkin

With their lovely domed tops and bright lemon glaze, these bakery-worthy lemon poppy seed muffins are simple to whip up at home. Each bite marries the fresh, citrusy flavor of lemon with the subtle, nutty crunch of poppy seeds, creating a perfect balance that’s light yet satisfying. Ideal for a leisurely breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack, these muffins are a delicious way to bring a little sunshine into your day.

If you love the lemon and poppy seed combo, be sure to try my lemon poppy seed cake for a special dessert option. And don’t miss my poppy seed dressing—it’s a great way to jazz up your salads.

What You’ll Need to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

lemon poppy seed muffin ingredients

  • Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
    : Add a vibrant, citrusy flavor into the muffins and glaze, providing a refreshing tanginess. Additionally, the lemon juice interacts with the baking soda to give the muffins extra lift.
  • Poppy Seeds: Add a delightful crunch and distinctive nutty taste.
  • Milk: Provides moisture and richness, contributing to the tender crumb of the muffins. Additionally, the combination of the lemon juice and milk creates homemade buttermilk.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the muffins. Measure it by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off to ensure accuracy.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness, balancing the tartness of the lemon and complementing the nutty poppy seeds.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Act as leavening agents, helping the muffins rise.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and contribute to the muffins’ structure.
  • Butter: Adds richness and flavor to the muffins.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Creates a smooth, sweet glaze for the muffins.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk.

lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk in a small bowl

Let sit until curdled, about 10 minutes.

lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk curdled in small bowl

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl

Whisk until combined.

flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl whisked together

Add the eggs to the curdled lemon/milk mixture.

eggs added to the curdled lemon/milk mixture in small bowl

Whisk to combine.

eggs whisked into curdled lemon/milk mixture in small bowl

Add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter.

eggs, curdled lemon/mixture and melted butter  added to large bowl with dry ingredients

Stir until just evenly combined.

eggs, curdled lemon/mixture and melted butter combined with dry ingredients in large bowl

Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

batter divided into standard metal muffin tin

Bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

baked muffins in muffin tin

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners sugar. Stir, adding more lemon juice or sugar as needed, until you have a glaze with the consistency of honey.

small bowl with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar whisked together

Drizzle the warm muffins with the glaze. Let the glaze set for at least 15 minutes, then serve.

lemon poppy seed muffins drizzled with lemon juice/confectioners' sugar glaze

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze lemon poppy seed muffins?

Yes! The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Can I make lemon poppy seed muffins ahead of time? How should I store them?

Yes, the muffins keep nicely. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They are at their best for about 2 days.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Bring a little sunshine into your kitchen with these lemon poppy seed muffins! Simple to whip up, each bite combines the bright flavor of lemon with the nutty crunch of poppy seeds.

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Muffins

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk. Let sit until curdled, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Whisk the egg into the curdled lemon/milk mixture, then add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter. Whisk until just evenly combined.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Stir, adding more lemon juice or sugar as needed, until you have a glaze with the consistency of honey.
  7. Drizzle the warm muffins with the glaze. Let the glaze set for at least 15 minutes, then serve.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 326
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47 g
  • Sugar: 28 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 206 mg
  • Cholesterol: 63 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn – fancied making these today. Just realised I’m out of poppy seeds. Would it work without or is there anything else I could use instead? Thanks

    • — Andrea on July 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Andrea, that’s fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • Can I use buttermilk and just add lemon zest. I don’t have regular milk. Thank you.

    • — Ang on July 3, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, that’s fine — enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • Amazing recipe!!! I made EXACTLY a 1/2 of this recipe and I followed the instructions to the letter. I got 8 equal sized muffins which domed up perfectly in the oven. Not too small not too big. Sooooo moist, absolutely perfect texture, full of amazing lemon, orange, and blueberry flavours and poppy seeds. Please see my notes below if you want details.

    4 lemon, orange, poppy seed muffins baked, then sprinkled with lemon and orange zest and drizzled with the glaze.

    4 lemon, orange, blueberry, poppy seed muffins sprinkled with turbinado sugar baked, then sprinkled with lemon and orange zest.

    1/2 RECIPE AMOUNTS
    Exactly 1/2 of the recipe to the gram and tsp. For example 150 g of flour, 100 g of sugar and 85 g of butter. Of course you can also cut the cup measures in half. I used exactly half of even the smallest tsp, for example 1/8 tsp baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. worked perfectly!!!!!

    LEMON & ORANGE
    I used 1/2 tbsp (for this half batch) of each… lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest and orange zest. Giving me 1 tbsp of lemon/orange juice and 1 tbsp of lemon/orange zest. I also made more lemon and orange zest to sprinkle on top of the baked muffins. Besides using lemon/orange zest and lemon/orange juice all other ingredients were as written.

    BLUEBERRIES, AMOUNTS and SINKING
    100 g , about 3/4 cup, for this 1/2 recipe
    200 g , about 1 1/2 cup, for the full recipe

    I divided my batter in half and gently folded 50 g of blueberries into one half. Note: this half batch gave me 8 muffins. Since I put the blueberries into half of my batter of course that means I got 4 muffins with blueberries and 4 muffins without.

    Preventing blueberries from sinking
    • Try slicing larger blueberries in half. Bigger berries are heavier . Heavy fruit sinks easier.
    • Try dusting all the blueberries , including any sliced blueberries , in a light coating of flour before gently folding the blueberries into the batter .
    • These tips work for me.

    TOPPINGS
    BEFORE BAKING: turbinado sugar (coarse raw sugar), sprinkle the coarse sugar onto the top of the muffins in the pan. Gently press the sugar into the top of the muffin batter with fingertips so that it won’t fall off during baking when the tops start to rise up. I only sprinkled this sugar onto the 4 muffins which had blueberries in them instead of using the glaze on the blueberry muffins. Personal preference 🙂

    WARM MUFFINS: lemon zest and orange zest, shortly after the muffins are taken out of the oven, while they are still warm, sprinkle lemon zest and orange zest over the top of the muffins. Then gently spread the zest evenly over the top of the muffins with fingertips. This is easier to do when the muffins are warm. I sprinkled orange zest and lemon zest over all of the muffins including the blueberry ones.

    COOLED MUFFINS: I prefer to drizzle the glaze over the muffins after the muffins have cooled completely. I prefer not to put glaze on muffins which already have sugar sprinkled on them, example turbinado sugar. Putting sugar glaze on top of a layer of sugar would be way too sweet, I think.

    • — Kathleen on June 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi, will this work without lemon zest ? I’ve only got the bottled lemon juice.

    • — Jason on April 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • They will be less lemony, but it will work. Please LMK how they come out!

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can’t wait to make them! Would a non-dairy milk (soy, almond) work well or best to use regular milk?

    • — Laura B on April 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, non-dairy milk may not look as curdled as regular milk and lemon juice/zest, but it should work. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on April 1, 2024
      • Reply
  • Delicious! I had lemons from my friend’s incredible tree so these were a nice way to use them. The muffins are lightly lemony, just the right amount of zing with the glaze. The tops are a bit crunchy which I like. The muffin is delicately cake-like. Perfect! I followed the recipe to the letter and will certainly make them again. A great Easter treat!

    • — Cam on March 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • Thanks Jenny your muffins have been a hit at home. Just the right lemony flavor.

    • — Helene on March 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • This looks amazing! If I want to use a mini-muffin pan, how long do you think they should bake for? Thank you for all the work you put into making recipes that not only look great but taste great!

    • — Jo on March 29, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jo, So glad you like the recipes! I’d start checking them at 10 to 11 minutes. I’d love to hear how they turn out as minis. 😊

      • — Jenn on April 1, 2024
      • Reply
      • They turned out great! It ended up being around 14 mins. I also rotated the pans halfway through so they would brown a little more evenly. Thank you for your help!

        • — Jo on April 2, 2024
        • Reply
        • Thanks for reporting back — so glad to hear they turned out nicely!

          • — Jenn on April 3, 2024
          • Reply
          • I can’t get my milk to curdle ? Any tips?

            • — Michele on April 16, 2024
          • Hi Michele, no need to worry if the milk doesn’t look particularly curdled. Sometimes that just happens (particularly with a lower fat or non-dairy milk), but it will still serve the function that’s intended. Hope you enjoy the muffins!

            • — Jenn on April 16, 2024
  • Hi Jenn – these look lovely and I can’t wait to try them. When baking, I have more luck if I weigh my ingredients. Can I convert all these measures to metric? I was worried that flour conversion might end up being too much flour as your instructions say to spoon the flour into the measuring cup. My muffins always turn out like hockey pucks and maybe that’s been my problem? Thanks in advance!

    • — Liz on March 29, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Liz, I just converted the recipe so it also has weight/metric info. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. And if your muffins always turn out dry, you’re likely using too much flour so weighing is a great option. Hope you enjoy the muffins!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn – Thank you so much for giving weights! I find weights to be incredibly helpful when measuring flour.
        Woops! Also thank you for your wonderful no-fail recipes! I don’t comment a lot, but I certainly use your recipes a lot!!

        • — Heather Lampman on March 30, 2024
        • Reply

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