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These bakery-style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are tall and glazed for a fantastic quick breakfast or afternoon snack with bright lemon flavor and delicate crunch from the poppy seeds. They are an easy recipe to make and ready in less than 30 minutes!

There is something about baking with lemons that always brightens my day. Here are some of our other favorite lemon recipes that never fail to lift my mood: Easy Lemon Bars, Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting, and Double Lemon Glazed Cookies.

a moist lemon poppy seed muffin split open with more muffins around it

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2021 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours! What better way to welcome summer than with over 50 recipes featuring bright and sunny lemons? Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!

Why You’ll Love These Bakery Style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I love blueberry or chocolate muffins, but these lemon poppy seed muffins have a wonderfully unique flavor and texture that is such a lovely change. They are perfect for a spring or summer brunch, especially. And the best part is that they freeze really well so you can always have some on hand for a quick and easy breakfast.

Not only do these muffins have the crunch of sugar on top, but we go the extra mile by adding a sweet lemon glaze.

a close image of glazed lemon poppy seed muffins

Recipe Ingredients

  • Lemons: To get the best lemon flavor in your muffins, you will use both the zest from the lemons as well as the lemon juice. Always be sure to zest your lemons BEFORE you juice them.
  • Poppy Seeds: The delicate crunch from these little seeds gives these muffins such an interesting texture.
  • Butter & oil: A combination of fats is used for both flavor and extra moisture.
  • Eggs: An egg is used to help bind all of the ingredients together.
  • Sour cream: This ingredient helps keep the muffins moist and adds richness and tang to the batter. Greek yogurt or buttermilk can be swapped for the sour cream if you prefer or that’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla extract: Even though lemon is the prevailing flavor, vanilla balances everything out. I love to use my homemade vanilla extract.
  • Flour: The bulk of the batter comes from regular all-purpose flour. I haven’t tested this with gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, but have had good success with it in the past with other recipes.
  • Sugar: Just the right amount so the muffins are sweet, without being too sweet. More powdered sugar is used to make the glaze for the tops of the muffins.
  • Baking powder, baking soda, and salt: These crucial ingredients contribute to the rise of the muffins and keeping them from being bland. Make sure to use fresh baking powder and baking soda.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Mix wet ingredients: Start by creaming the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg and beat well. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the oil, vanilla extract, and sour cream and mix again.
  1. Stir in dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Stir by hand just until combined. Be careful not to overmix, which can lead to dense, tough muffins instead of the light, tender ones we are going for.
  1. Divide and bake: Spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners or sprayed with cooking spray. You will fill them all the way to the top (and then some!). I like to add a little sugar on top of each muffin so they bake up with a little bit of crunch on top.
muffin batter in paper liners
  1. Glaze: Once the muffins have cooled, whisk the glaze together and dunk the tops of each muffin in it or use a pastry brush to brush it on top of each muffin. Let the glaze set up before enjoying or freezing.

Recipe FAQ

How do you get tall muffin tops?

There are 2 key elements to achieving tall muffin tops. The first is to use the right amount of baking powder. The second is to bake the muffins at a high enough temperature that they can puff up quickly.

Do you soak poppy seeds before baking?

I was surprised when I first heard this question because I have never soaked my poppy seeds before baking! But apparently some sources suggest soaking them for 30 minutes before using them in a recipe to supposedly make the poppy seeds easier to digest. I guess go ahead and do it if you want to, but I still don’t think it’s necessary.

a lemon poppy seed muffin split open on top of a pile of more muffins and lemons

Recipe Tips

  • Prep the pan: Be sure to line your muffin pan with paper liners or spray the cups with baking spray so your muffins don’t stick.
  • Fill to the top: These muffins are intended to puff up nice and tall so you will want to fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. You will get 12 substantial muffins with tall, lovely domed tops.
  • Freezing: Like most muffins, these will freeze well for up to about 3 months. Even the glaze holds up alright, unlike some other glazed baked goods. Be sure to keep the muffins in a freezer-safe bag to protect them from freezer burn. Thaw on the counter or reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds before enjoying.
  • Zesting lemons: Real lemon zest makes all the difference without resorting to lemon extract, with has an artificial aftertaste that I don’t care for. You need to zest the lemon before juicing so the skin is still taught rather than trying to zest a lemon that has had all the juice squeezed out of it.
  • Almond Poppy Seed Muffins: If you want to change things up, leave out the lemon zest and juice and use 2 teaspoons of almond extract in the muffin batter and another 1/2 teaspoon in the glaze with 2 tablespoons of milk instead.
  • Mini muffins: If you want to make mini lemon poppy seed muffins, you will get at least 2-3 dozen. Bake them for 8-10 minutes until done.
the glazed tops of lemon poppy seed muffins on a round wire cooling rack

More Muffin Recipes You’ll Love

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yield: 12 large muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These bakery-style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are tall and glazed for a fantastic quick breakfast or afternoon snack with bright lemon flavor and delicate crunch from the poppy seeds. They are an easy recipe to make and ready in less than 30 minutes!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Muffins

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • Zest of 3-4 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons poppy seeds

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes until creamy and light.
  3. Add lemon zest and eggs. Beat well, then scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract and mix again to combine.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Stir by hand just until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove and cool completely.
  7. While the muffins are cooling, make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to get a consistency you like. Dunk the tops of each muffin in the glaze or use a pastry brush to brush it on, then let the glaze set before serving.

Notes

  • Freezing: These muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store them in an airtight ziploc bag in the freezer. Thaw on the counter or reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds before enjoying.
  • Zesting lemons: Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing so the skin is still taut rather than trying to zest a lemon that has had all the juice squeezed out of it.
  • Almond Poppy Seed Muffins: Leave out the lemon zest and juice and use 2 teaspoons of almond extract in the muffin batter and another 1/2 teaspoon in the glaze with 2-3 tablespoons of milk instead.
  • Mini muffins: If making mini muffins, bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until done.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.