Bursting with real lemon flavour and poppy seeds, these easy, moist lemon poppy seed muffins are so delicious – especially when topped with zingy lemon glaze!
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my Full Disclosure.
With summer coming to an end, I wanted to squeeze in one more lemon recipe! You’ll know by now that I’m a big lemon fan – if you are too, check out my Lemon Bars, Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes, Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake, No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake, Lemon Coconut Muffins and Lemon Raspberry Cream Cake!
Made in just two bowls with no mixer required, these quick and easy lemon poppy seed muffins are a must-try – especially when drizzled with this sweet lemon glaze!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Before developing this recipe I don’t think I’d ever tasted poppy seeds before. I’ve seen this flavour combination a lot though so wanted to give it a try in muffin form. My verdict? I can see why this ingredient combo is so popular!
The poppy seeds tone down the sweetness of the muffins slightly, but with the zingy lemon flavour of the muffin and the sweet lemon glaze on top, the balance of flavours is just right and I’m super happy with them!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Ingredients
These easy muffins are made using simple ingredients and come together in no time at all. The full ingredient amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. In summary, for this lemon poppy seed muffin recipe you’ll need:
- Plain flour for the main muffin structure
- Baking powder
- Bicarbonate of soda using both these raising agents helps the muffins to rise
- Salt to enhance the flavours
- Caster sugar for sweetness
- Light brown sugar for sweetness and extra moisture
- Butter for a hint of buttery flavour
- Eggs for structure
- Sunflower or vegetable oil more moisture
- Buttermilk for even more moisture!
- Lemon juice and zest you’ll need two large lemons for this recipe
- Poppy seeds to combine with the lemon flavour, plus they make the muffins look pretty!
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Full instructions with step-by-step photos can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick summary:
- Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan
- Line your 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases/liners or use a non-stick baking pan spray if you don’t have or want to use muffin cases
- In a large bowl whisk the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, caster sugar, light brown sugar and poppy seeds together until combined. Set aside
- In a medium bowl whisk the melted butter, eggs, oil, buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest together until combined
- Pour this wet mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until combined with no pockets of flour remaining. Try not to overmix at this stage as this will make your muffins heavy and dry!
- Scoop the muffin batter into your prepared tin and fill each hole three-quarters full. This recipe makes 14 muffins so you’ll need to bake two batches of muffins
- Place in your preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drop the temperature to 180°C/160°C and bake for a further 13-15 minutes (I explain why below!)
- Place the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely
- While the muffins are cooling, make the lemon glaze by simply adding lemon juice and sifted icing sugar to a small bowl, and stirring with a spoon until combined and smooth
- Once the muffins are completely cool, drizzle the lemon glaze over the muffins using a fork!
Tips for making perfect lemon poppy seed muffins
- Using room temperature eggs and buttermilk helps the ingredients combine together much better
- On the topic of buttermilk, I highly recommend using this kind of milk for the moistest muffins. You can use normal milk instead but they won’t be quite as moist. Don’t have buttermilk? Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the same amount of normal milk and stir together. Leave aside for around 10 minutes until it looks thicker and curdled, and you have buttermilk! This works best with full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
- Try your best not to over-mix your muffin batter once you’ve combined your wet and dry ingredients. Over-mixing will make your muffins heavy, dry and dense!
- Baking your muffins at a higher temperature for the first 5 minutes helps the muffins rise more rapidly, giving them more domed tops. Then by dropping the temperature after 5 minutes, the muffins continue to bake through evenly without over-browning
- I definitely recommend finishing these muffins with the lemon glaze – it takes no time at all to make with just two ingredients, and really takes these muffins to the next level. The addition of poppy seeds in the muffins makes them slightly less sweet, so the addition of sweet and zingy lemon icing balances the flavours perfectly I think!
How to store homemade lemon poppy seed muffins
Muffins are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature, as storing them in the fridge will make the muffins dry. They’re best eaten within 2 days when they’re still nice and moist, though they can keep for up to 4 days at room temperature.
Can you freeze homemade muffins?
Absolutely – they are great snacks to freeze! You can wrap them individually with a double layer of film, or store several in an airtight container before freezing. They will keep well in the freezer for around three months.
They defrost quite quickly once out of the freezer, though you could give them a short blast in the microwave to speed things up a bit!
What’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
The main difference is in the methods used to make them. The creaming method is typically used to make cupcakes, where the butter and sugar are beaten together before adding the eggs, flour and other add ins. This method beats air into the mixture, resulting in fluffy and light textured cupcakes.
Muffins on the other hand are made by simply combining the ‘wet’ ingredients with the ‘dry’ ingredients. Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are the leaveners which help the muffins rise taller. This is why muffins tend to have a denser texture, with a closer crumb!
What’s the best flour to use when making muffins?
I tend to opt for plain flour when recipe testing as it gives me more control over which raising agents I add and how much. However, I’ve found that these muffins work well using plain or self-raising flour!
If using self-raising flour, the only adjustment you’ll need to make is to reduce the amount of baking powder from 2.5 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons.
How do I know when muffins are done?
Using a cocktail stick or cake testing skewer, poke through the top of the muffin at its tallest point; if it comes out clean, they’re done! If it has any wet mixture on it, leave the muffins in the oven a couple more minutes before testing again.
To summarise, these lemon poppy seed muffins are:
- Full of real lemon flavour, using both lemon juice and zest from 2 lemons
- Speckled with pretty poppy seeds
- Super moist with ingredients like buttermilk, oil and light brown sugar
- Quick and easy to whip up using just two bowls
- Freezer-friendly for a quick treat!
If you make it I’d love to see! You can show me by tagging me @bakerjoblog or using #bakerjoblog!
Other muffin recipes to try:
- Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
- Hummingbird Muffins
- Blueberry Nut Muffins
- Lemon Coconut Muffins
Other cake recipes to try:
- Nutella Brownies
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Carrot Loaf Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake
- Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
- Chewy Homemade Brownies
- Carrot Cake Swiss Roll
- Gingerbread Latte Cake
- Banoffee Brownies
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 12 hole muffin tray
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- 1 large and 1 medium mixing bowl
- 14 muffin cases/liners or non-stick cake pan spray
- 300 g plain flour*
- 2.5 tsp baking powder level
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda level
- 1/2 tsp salt level
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 50 g butter melted
- 2 medium eggs room temperature
- 60 ml sunflower or vegetable oil
- 200 ml buttermilk room temperature
- Juice of 1 large lemon Around 45ml
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- 30 g poppy seeds
- Juice of 1 large lemon Around 45ml
- 200 g icing sugar sifted
- Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan. Line your muffin tray with muffin cases or spray with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, caster sugar, light brown sugar and poppy seeds until combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, sunflower oil, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, and fold together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Just mix until no pockets of flour remain; over mixing at this stage will result in dry, heavy muffins!
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases/holes and fill each about 3/4 full.
- Place the muffin tray into your preheated oven on the middle shelf. Set a timer for 5 minutes. This initial 5 minutes at high temperature causes the muffins to rise more rapidly.
- At the 5 minute point, turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/160°C fan, keeping the oven door closed. Bake the muffins for a further 13-15 minutes.
- Remove the muffin tray from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the lemon glaze, simply add sifted icing sugar and the juice of 1 large lemon to a small bowl and stir together with a spoon until combined and smooth.
- Once the muffins are completely cool, drizzle the lemon glaze across the top of each muffin using a knife or fork. The icing will go firmer as it dries.
- Muffins are best eaten within 4 days. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- * You can substitute plain flour for self-raising flour, but reduce the baking powder to 2 tsp.