lemon poppy seed muffins

January 17, 2011

Long weekends are my jam.

There is nothing like knowing you have an extra day to play with to make you want to let rip and run wild.

Even if “running wild” these days just means staying out til one at the karaoke bar or spending four hours in a restaurant drinking wine with food blogging friends…I never said I was super crazy.

But long weekends are still my jam.

These muffins were a product of this long weekend, so they are automatically awesome. Really though, poppy seeds? And lemons? How about poppy seeds, lemons and buttermilk all together? Crazy good stuff.

I am pleading with you to bake these little delights today. Because they’re good. Really good. Lemony and sweet but not cloyingly so and with this magical crunch from the seeds.

I ate three yesterday and am likely eating one for breakfast with a cup of tea as you read this. That is simply to say: you have been warned.

I chose to go sans glaze because I wanted something a little less sweet but I’ve included the recipe for that part because who am I to deny you lemon glaze?

Do ’em up.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours via Joy the Baker


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted until browned and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for topping the batter before baking)

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar whisked together with 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a 12 mold, regular sized muffin tray with paper muffin liners, place the muffin pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the granulated sugar with the lemon zest until the sugar is lightly colored and scented with lemon.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk (or sour cream) vanilla extract, melted butter and lemon juice.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together.  When almost thoroughly mixed, add the poppy seeds.  Divide batter between muffin cups.  Sprinkle each would be muffing with granulated sugar.
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica January 17, 2011 at 9:10 am

I am a HUGE lemony- baked good fan. These muffins would disappear quickly at my house!! I saw your dinner posted on Holly’s blog- it looked amazing.


janetha @ meals and moves January 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

this is my favorite flavor of muffin! making these soon. thanks, love.


emily (a nutritionist eats) January 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Love the sounds and image of the sugar crunching on top! Sounds much better than a glaze to me!! :)
So good to finally meet you in person! I had so much fun!!


Madeline - Greens and Jeans January 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Oh man, lemon poppy seed muffins are my absolute favorite. Can I come over for breakfast tomorrow?


Holly January 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm

i bow down to you.

these look like absolute PERFECTION.

and for the record, four hours with food bloggers is about as wild as i get too. def the high point of the weekend :)


Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

Lemon poppy seeds are my very favorite of muffins. They’re spectacular when they’re warm and served with tea and a smidgen of jam. Mmm…totally into this recipe. Thanks for sharing! :D


brandi January 18, 2011 at 9:58 am

I SO Wish I had lemons at home so I could make these. Soon!


makiuzt January 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I just made these tonight. They are good! I especially enjoyed rubbing the sugar with the lemon zest! The refreshing scent of lemon somehow took me back to my “home economics” class almost two decades ago in Hong Kong when we were taught how to make orange chiffon cake! it was all a mess back then!


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