lemon poppy seed muffins with lemons and a purple flour in the center
Baked Goods, Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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If you are wondering where I have been for the last couple of weeks, let me just tell you that I have been working HARD on these lemon poppy seed muffins. I have made a batch nearly every single day trying to get the perfect balance of taste and texture. My freezer is stocked up, but I also ate entirely too many along the way (hello 8th month of pregnancy 😉 ) . These extra lemony poppy seed muffins have crispy edges and are topped with a sweet sugar coating. It is literally impossible to eat just one, and stopping at two proved quite difficult.

SOOOO Many Muffins

It took me a while to get to the texture I wanted, and I am honestly not sure this will be the final version of these muffins. There are a couple more tweaks that I’d like to experiment with, but they are wayyyyyyy too delicious to keep to myself any longer. If you are a fan of lemon poppy seed, I think you are going to seriously love these muffins. I can’t wait for you to give them a try! Most of the batches I experimented with had excellent flavor, but weren’t rising the way that I would expect with the amount of baking soda and baking powder I was using. I had to do a little research.

Acidic Batter

A full third of a cup of lemon juice make these muffins extra moist and lemony, but also comes with a price. All that acid affects the leavening process quite a bit and required that I throw everything that I knew about muffins out the window. I found this post on “Acidity in Cake” from The Cake Blog to be very helpful. The main things I learned where about the importance of baking soda for neutralizing the acidity of the batter, as well as adding the acid at the end of the mixing process to prevent unwanted chemical reactions. This is why the lemon zest and juice are added at the very end in this recipe.

I picked up another tip from Sally’s Baking Addiction that helped me reach the rise I was looking for in my lemon poppy seed muffins. Sally recommends starting the muffins at a high temperature for five minutes to get a jump-start on the rise, then reducing the temperature for the remainder of the baking time to cook the center. This proved to be very helpful with this recipe.

Not Your Healthiest Breakfast Option

Let’s be honest, most muffins are really cake in disguise. These muffins are meant to be sweet and delicious, and could easily replace a dessert. If you are looking for something a little healthier, try my Healthy Banana Oat Muffins.

Keep Me Posted!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you make these lemon poppy seed muffins. I’d love to hear what you think! Thanks for reading 🙂

Other muffin recipes:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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lemon poppy seed muffins with lemons and a purple flour in the center

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • Author: Katelyn
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


These extra lemony, moist poppy seed muffins have crispy edges and a crystalized sugar topping. Every bite is perfectly sweet and completely irresistible! Impossible to eat just one!



Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • zest from 1 1/2 large lemons (MUST BE ADDED AT END OF MIXING, SEE INSTRUCTIONS)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 1 1/2 large lemons) (MUST BE ADDED AT END OF MIXING, SEE INSTRUCTIONS)

Topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Using non-stick cooking spray or butter, grease a 12 cup muffin pan
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt).
    mixing bowl with flour and poppy seeds
  4. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to cream together the melted butter and sugar. 
    creamed butter and sugar in a stainless steel mixing bowl with a whisk
  5. Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk until fully incorporated, then mix in the vanilla and whole milk.
    creamed butter and sugar and eggs in a stainless steel mixing bowl with a whisk stainless steel mixing bowls with wet and dry ingredients for muffins and a whisk
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding a little at a time, and mix until everything is just combined and the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Do not overmix!
    lemon poppy seed muffin batter in a stainless steel mixing bowl with a whisk
  7. As the final step, mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice until fully combined. 
    lemon poppy seed muffin batter with lemon juice and lemon zest in a stainless steel mixing bowl with a whisk
  8. Use a large cookie scoop to fill each cup of your muffin pan. Each cup should be filled about 2/3 full. 
    12 cup muffin pan filled with lemon poppy seed muffin batter
  9. Sprinkle the tops with large sugar crystals
    close up shot of lemon poppy seed muffin batter in a pan with large sugar crystals sprinkled on top
  10. Bake in oven on middle rack for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. 
  11. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 7 more minutes or until the muffins are fully cooked in the center (use a toothpick to test: insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin, it should be completely dry when removed)
  12. Remove the muffins from oven and place the pan directly on a wire cooling rack for 1-2 minutes or until the muffins are cool enough to handle. 
    lemon poppy seed muffins cooling on a wire cooling rack
  13. Using a butter knife or small spatula, remove each muffin from the pan and allow to continue cooling on the rack until ready to eat!


  • Remember to add the lemon zest and juice at the very end of the mixing process. Otherwise your muffins will not rise correctly!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon, poppy seed, muffins, breakfast, sweet

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  1. She made these for me. SO GOOD. They are dangerous! ????

    • This version is even better! I’m glad you liked them!! I don’t think Dylan is going to let me make lemon poppy seed muffins for a while ????.

  2. Susan hester

    These sound really good!

  3. AMAZING!! These are so delicious and the perfect amount of sweet. Even my very picky daughter really liked them. Thank you for this recipe. We will definitely make them again!!!

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