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This recipe makes perfect lemon poppy seed muffins recipe — light and fluffy with a hint of lemon and packed with poppy seeds. An all-time favorite!
Lemon poppy seed muffins are the ultimate spring or summer muffin. Light and fluffy, bursting with lemon flavor and with a bit of crunch from the nutty poppy seeds. They’re quick and easy and delicious.
My ideal pastry basket would include blueberry muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin scones, and these lemon poppy seed muffins. They’re bright and flavorful without being overly sweet. Not that I’m against sweet… trust me.
This lemon poppy seed recipe is based off of my standard muffin base recipe, but with a few tweaks.
I like these muffins to be extra fluffy, so instead of one leavening agent, I use both baking powder and baking soda – just for that extra lift.
My basic muffin recipe calls for milk or buttermilk, but here I add greek yogurt instead for extra moisture, a bit of tang, and a bit of a fuller texture. These muffins are almost more like a bread in muffin form.
And of course, flavor gets added through lemon juice for a citrusy zing, and poppy seeds for a bit of poppy-seedness.
I know some people think poppy seeds don’t really have a flavor – but I disagree. I think they taste a bit nutty. Also, poppy seeds add a delightful crunch to baked goods. What’s not to love?
These muffins are more citrusy than sweet, which is perfect for me. If you want to make these more dessert like, make a sweet lemon glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice, and drizzle it over the tops of the muffins. Don’t do this until the muffins are totally and completely cooled though as the glaze will melt.
To glaze or not to glaze maybe the question, but once you make these delightful muffins, you’ll never ask yourself if you should again. The answer will always be yes!
- TASTE: Bright and lemony
- TEXTURE: Moist and fluffy
- EASE: Easy!
- TIME: Just under a half hour
What You’ll Need
- Flour: All-purpose flour is what I used to develop the recipe.
- Leavening: Baking powder and baking soda are what I use for leavening here.
- Salt: Because no recipe is edible without a pinch or two of salt.
- Butter: I prefer unsalted sweet cream butter when making muffins.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is used.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla.
- Eggs: You need 2 large eggs.
- Greek yogurt: At room temperature- adds moisture and zingy flavor.
- Lemon – Zest and fresh lemon juice are both called for in this recipe.
- Poppy seeds – Available in the baking and spice aisle of most grocery store.
- Microplane grater
- Muffin tin
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
These homemade lemon poppy seed muffins go from mixing bowl to muffin basket in less than a half an hour. To prepare the recipe, preheat the oven to 400°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Cream butter and sugar. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the wet ingredients. Turn the speed down to low and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Make sure the zest isn’t clumped in the batter before adding the dry ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt together. Add it to the butter mixture and use a silicone spatula to mix until just combined.
- Prepare the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
- Bake. Remove the muffins immediately from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Take care when doing this. The pan and muffins will be very hot.
Mini muffins: This delicious lemon poppy seed muffin recipe also make for adorable mini muffins. To make mini muffins, use the same instructions for making the batter, then bake these in a mini muffin tin. The baking time will be less, about 9-11 minutes – just keep an eye on them while they bake.
Tips For Success
- Yogurt: Be sure to use Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is much thicker and is required to achieve the proper texture for these muffins. You can substitute with sour cream if you are in a pinch.
- Lemon: For fresh lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and use both the zest and the juice.
- Zesting lemon: When zesting the lemon, avoid going down to the pith. This will cause the muffins to taste bitter. A microplane works best for zesting citrus.
- Thick batter: The batter is meant to be thick and scoopable – do not panic if it feels very thick. It’s on purpose and will make for a moist and tender muffin.
Storage & Freezing
- Muffins are best the day they are made but they can be stored for later use. Place the muffins in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Muffins will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator.
- They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw one or all of the muffins in the refrigerator overnight. Or place a single frozen muffin in the microwave for 40-60 seconds.
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