Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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Homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins can play triple duty as a brunch menu addition, snack recipe, or spring dessert idea. Tangy yet sweet, this easy muffin recipe is one of my most popular muffin recipes ever.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins baked in paper cups.


 

Do you, too, crave all things citrus when spring and summer roll around? As proven by this Lemon Bundt Cake, fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, my recipe for Lemon Bars to beat all lemon bars, and this luscious Lemon Yogurt Cake that will make everyone swoon (and ask for another slice); my love for all things lemon is real.

As far as the classic combo of lemon and poppy seeds, this easy muffin recipe right here is my all-time favorite, and is one of my best muffin recipes ever according to fans as well.

These homemade Lemon Poppy Seed muffins are not too sweet, super moist, and dotted with just enough crunch to make things interesting. And can we have a moment of silence for the glaze? It’s sweet-tart and delicious enough to drink by the spoon.

Once you see how doable it is to make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from scratch (and in less than an hour!) you’ll never be tempted to buy muffin mix again.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for lemon poppy seed muffins.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Plain yogurt: In addition to a stick of melted butter and a couple eggs, this is the key element to yielding a remarkably moist crumb.
  • Lemon zest and juice: Zest the citrus for the muffin batter, then slice it open to juice for the glaze.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. 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. 
Muffin cups and dry ingredients for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.
  1. 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.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin batter.
  1. 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.
Unbaked lemon poppy seed muffins.
  1. Let muffins cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and brush with glaze.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins baked in paper cups.
  1. 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.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins baked in paper cups.
  1. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins baked in paper cups.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 24 regular-sized muffins, ideal for a brunch buffet, a weekday breakfast with yogurt or eggs, in a basket as a food gift for a host, new parent, or neighbor, or even as a just-sweet-enough dessert.
  • Storage: Store Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Allow unglazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins to cool, then wrap in 2 layers of plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, then glaze and enjoy.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins baked in paper cups.

Recipe FAQs

Why are my muffins coming out overly dense or tough?

This is likely due to one of two common baking mistakes. Either:
1. You overmixed the batter. Stop stirring when the muffin mixture is just combined; a few lumps are okay! Or,
2. You added too much flour. To measure flour accurately, spoon the flour out of the bag and directly into the measuring cup. Make a high mound on the top of the cup, then level off the measuring cup using the back of a knife.

Do I really need to brush on the glaze?

I find that a thin coating is all you need to crown these homemade muffins with a hint of extra sweet-tart flavor, so I suggest using a pastry brush to spread on the glaze. Dunk the muffin tops straight into the bowl or drizzle it on thick with a spoon if you prefer more icing and don’t mind the possible drippy appearance.

Lemon Bundt Cake

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1 hour 15 minutes
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Lemon poppy seed muffins on a plate.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins can play triple duty as a brunch menu addition, snack recipe, or spring dessert idea. Tangy yet sweet, this easy muffin recipe is one of my most popular muffin recipes ever.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24 muffins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 153
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients 

For the muffins:

For the glaze:

Instructions 

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.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Plain yogurt: In addition to a stick of melted butter and a couple eggs, this is the key element to yielding a remarkably moist crumb.
  2. Lemon zest and juice: Zest the citrus for the muffin batter, then slice it open to juice for the glaze.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 24 regular-sized muffins, ideal for a brunch buffet, a weekday breakfast with yogurt or eggs, in a basket as a food gift for a host, new parent, or neighbor, or even as a just-sweet-enough dessert.
  4. Storage: Store Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
  5. Freezer: Allow unglazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins to cool, then wrap in 2 layers of plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, then glaze and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 153kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 171mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. Love your recipes. Your muffins are the best ever! I would love to know how you created your muffin liners.5 stars

    1. Hi Bonnie, thank you so much for your question! The liners can be made with 5-inch squares of parchment that are molded around a small jar that fits in the muffin pan, or they can be purchased already folded. (Locally they are available at Walmart or online at Amazon.) Take care! – Meggan

    1. Hi Shante, you’re welcome! I recommend making sure they are cooled completely, then storing them in a plastic bag at room temperature for 1 week. You could also freeze them for up to 3 months in a double layer of zipper-top freezer bags OR in plastic wrap and aluminum foil plus a zipper-top freezer bag. You can defrost them at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. I hope this is helpful! Thanks. -Meggan

  2. Hi there

    I would love the poppy seed cup cakes recipe in metrics please. Weird how it’s the only one I can’t convert to metrics as the others do have the option at the bottom of the recipes, which makes my life much easier. Love your work, keep sharing..xx

    1. Hey there, there seems to be an issue on my site where the metric conversion is no longer showing up on ANY of the recipes! Thank you so much for finding this and pointing it out to me. I’m going to reach out to my tech team and find out what’s going on, and I’ll email you a metric version of the muffins as soon as it’s all fixed. Sorry about that! Thanks! :) -Meggan