These lemon poppy seed muffins are moist and tender, with bright lemon flavor from fresh lemon juice and lots of zest. And they’re easy enough to make for weekday breakfast, an afternoon treat or last minute weekend brunch.
Coming from someone who hunts down lemon poppy seed muffins at any chance I get, you can imagine that I know a good lemon poppy seed muffin from a bad one! Let’s just say I can’t make these without having a few in one sitting.
Serve warm with butter, or room temp with a smear of Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves.
Can’t get enough lemon poppyseed? Try these amazingly Moist Lemon Poppy Seed Scones.
Why You’ll Love These Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Spectacular taste. They’re lemony (from lots of lemon zest) without knocking your socks off, with a touch of vanilla to balance everything out.
- Spectacular texture. Fluffy, moist, tender…right out of the oven, you’ll have that slightly crunchy muffin top too!
- Spectacularly easy. You know that saying, “easy as pie”? It should be “easy as muffins”! Made in about 45 minutes, this recipe is not only quick. but they’re great made ahead!
Ingredients for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- All-purpose flour – flour is the base for our muffins.
- Granulated sugar – sugar sweetens the muffins just enough.
- Whole milk – milk adds moisture, creating a soft yet rich crumb.
- Butter – butter adds flavor.
- Vegetable oil – vegetable oil adds moisture and lightness.
- Eggs – eggs add structure.
- Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice adds lemon flavor and a touch of acidity.
- Lemon zest – lemon zest adds lemon flavor without adding more acidity.
- Poppy seeds – poppy seeds…because lemon poppy seed muffins!
- Vanilla extract – vanilla makes everything better!
- Baking powder – baking powder adds rise.
- Baking soda – baking soda also adds rise.
- Salt – salt adds flavor.
- Turbinado sugar (optional) – turbinado sugar is a create sanding sugar to sprinkle on the top of the muffins before baking for that bakery-style, crunchy top.
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
- Dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Wet ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, whole milk, eggs, butter, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until combined.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir together until just combined.
Add lemon juice. Stir until just combined.
Place paper liners in muffin pan. Fill muffin cups about three-quarters of the way. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired.
Let batter sit in muffin cups for 15 minutes if you have time (not mandatory but you’ll get a better rise). Bake at 375 degrees for 12-18 minutes.
Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a wire rack (or enjoying!).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Muffins keep well in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
If you aren’t planning on enjoying your muffins same-day, wrap them in foil or place them in an airtight container at room temperature once cooled. The slightly crunchy muffin tops will soften once wrapped.
Yes! Freeze muffins in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw muffins in the refrigerator overnight (best method).
You can’t beat warm muffins fresh out of the oven. If you’re making these ahead, I love them room temp or warmed in the microwave (about 30 seconds) or oven (wrapped in foil at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes).
I do not recommend adding more lemon juice. You can add more zest if desired. These lemon poppy seed muffins have quite a bit of lemon zest as-is, so I do recommend making the recipe as written!
Yes! If you don’t like poppy seeds, you can remove them altogether.
Yes! Poppy seeds add a nutty undertone and a bit of texture and “crunch” when you bite into them.
Yes, you can. Once the muffins have cooled completely, combine ½ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Double recipe if you like lots of glaze. Drizzle over muffins.
Serve lemon poppy seed muffins alone for breakfast or a sweet treat snack with butter, Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves, some fresh fruit, or coffee or tea on the side!
Other Muffin Recipes You’ll Love!
- BEST Banana Bread Muffins (Easy!)
- Easy Zucchini Muffins
- Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffin Cups
- Strawberry Muffins
- muffin pan (with paper liners)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest packed
- 1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Turbinado sugar or other sanding sugar for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together sugar, whole milk, eggs, melted and slightly cooled butter, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until combined. If butter appears to re-harden as you mix, that’s okay.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir together until just combined.
- Add lemon juice. Stir until just combined. Some lumps are okay.
- Place paper liners in muffin pan (this recipe makes about 17 muffins so you may need to bake 2 batches). Fill muffin cups about three-quarters of the way. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired for that bakery-style, crunchy top.
- Let batter rest in muffin cups for 15 minutes if you have time (not mandatory but you’ll get a better rise). Bake for 12-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out with loose crumbs (not batter).
- Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a wire rack (or enjoying!).
- If you don’t have a muffin pan, you can buy foil baking cups with paper liners and place on a baking sheet.
- You’ll need 3-4 medium lemons for this recipe: about 3-4 lemons zested and then 1-2 of those lemons juiced.
- Lemon zest is just the yellow outside of the lemon (not the white).
- Watch muffins toward the end of baking. If they are getting too brown on the top, loosely tent with foil.
- Cool butter a bit before adding to wet ingredients so eggs don’t scramble.
- No need to grease your muffin pan. That’s what the paper liners are for!