A vintage recipe with a modern twist, this Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe is made from scratch and topped with a sugar lemon glaze that will make your lips pucker in delight.
Love all things lemon flavored? Then pucker up, buttercup! Take a look at this gorgeous Lemon Bundt Cake, a recipe for Lemon Bars to beat all lemon bars, and a Lemon Yogurt Cake that will make you swoon with pleasure. There’s not a sour one in the lot.
Of all the lemon poppy seed recipes out there, this one is my favorite. Not too sweet, super moist, and dotted with just enough crunch to make things interesting. And the glaze! Tart and perfect. There simply is no reason to buy a mix, ever again.
Making Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins for a weekend brunch? What time? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Are poppy seeds bad for you?
Not at all. In fact, they’re rich in magnesium, calcium and fiber. So unless you or yours have to be tested for work on a regular basis, you can, and should, make these sweet little lemon poppy seed muffins.
Can you make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins without yogurt?
This recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins is really healthy, and gets a lot of its moisture from yogurt. But what if you don’t have yogurt? Is there anything else you can use?
- Greek yogurt: Thinned out with water, Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt works well, if substituted cup for cup.
- Buttermilk: If you can’t find it at the store, you can make your own buttermilk with milk and an acid, like lemon juice or white vinegar. Here’s how:
- Pour 1 cup full-fat milk into a glass bowl.
- Stir in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar into the milk. Stir to combine.
- Sour cream: Cup for cup, sour cream can work in this recipe.
- Cottage cheese: To make lemon poppy seed muffins healthy, blend cottage cheese until smooth then sub it out for the yogurt. In a pinch, this will work. Let me know in the comments below if you try it.
How to turn this recipe into a lemon poppy seed loaf:
Bake this recipe in a 9-inch by 5-inch bread pan at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Glaze if desired.
How to make lemon poppy seed cake in a bundt pan:
You can turn this cupcake recipe into a bundt cake, too. I love the dynamic edges of a bundt cake pan, and if you have your own pan, you can bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Glaze if desired. (Yes, please!)
What’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
While a muffin can be savory or sweet, a cupcake is more like a mini cake. These lemon poppy seed muffins have a whisper thin layer of lemon glaze over them, so technically….well, they walk the line between cupcake and muffin.
In other words, call them whatever you like. Just don’t call them late to dinner.
How to make the Lemon Glaze:
Super easy– you’ll memorize this recipe to drizzle onto your favorite muffins, cupcakes, and more. (And yes, you can use store-bought lemon juice, if you need a shortcut.)
- Mix equal parts lemon juice and sugar together in a saucepan.
- Cook over medium-low heat, until the sugar has dissolved and the glaze is thick and syrupy, about three minutes.
- Brush glaze on slightly cooled muffins.
Gluten-free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:
Switch out your favorite gluten-free flour, like King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free all-purpose blend of white rice and brown rice flours, tapioca starch, combined with potato starch. It is measured out cup for cup, for easy gluten-free baking.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
For the muffins:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
To make the muffins:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a second bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, and lemon zest. Fold yogurt mixture into flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Carefully fold in melted butter.
- Using a greased 1/3-cup dry measuring cup, divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate muffin tin halfway through.
- Let muffins cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and brush with glaze (instructions follow).
To make the glaze:
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and lemon juice. Cook until thickened and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Brush warm syrup on slightly cooled muffins. Cool 10 minutes before serving.