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These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover them in a lemon glaze for even of a citrus pop.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
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When it comes to baked goods, there’s nothing like a great banana muffin or blueberry muffin. But if you’re a citrus-lover, there’s another in the muffin hall of fame: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins! This muffins recipe is bright and zingy, with just the right light texture and citrusy zing. Seal the deal by drizzling on a quick, flavor-popping lemon glaze. These are the perfect fun recipe for a special breakfast or brunch: or leave them un-glazed for quick breakfasts throughout the week.

Ingredients in lemon poppy seed muffins

The most important ingredient in a lemon poppy seed muffins recipe? Fresh lemons! There’s no substitute for the bright, tangy juice and citrus pop of lemon zest. Outside of poppy seeds, the rest of the players are all common pantry and refrigerate ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon juice and zest

How many lemons do you need to buy for lemon poppy seed muffins? Here’s a key for how much lemon juice and zest comes from one lemon:

  • How much juice in one lemon? One medium lemon yields about 3 tablespoons juice; one large lemon yields 4 tablespoons juice or more.
  • How much zest in one lemon? One medium lemon has about 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
  • For this recipe, you’ll need 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons lemon zest. So, make sure to buy 2 medium lemons.

Tips for this lemon poppy seed muffins recipe

Outside of the ingredients list, this lemon poppy seed muffins recipe is pretty standard. Mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, and bake! Here are a few notes to keep in mind during the process:

  • Zest your lemon first before juicing it! It’s difficult to grate once it’s juiced, so don’t forget the zest.
  • Microplane makes for easy zesting. microplane grater is a handheld grater with sharp holes in it and it’s quicker and easy to clean than a box grater.
  • Resist the urge to overmix the batter. Overmixing muffin batter causes holes in the crumb and a denser texture. Mix just until the streaks of flour disappear.
  • The muffin cups will be very full. We think a good muffin should be tall with a generous muffin top, so batter amount may be more than you’re used to.
  • Baking at 400 degrees makes a taller muffin. Baking muffins at 400 degrees Fahrenheit makes a taller and fluffier muffin than at 350 (plus, it’s quicker!).
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These lemon poppy seed muffins are deliciously zingy, with a hefty amount of lemon flavor. But want to step it up a bit? Add the the lemon glaze, which infuses a huge citrus burst. It’s not required, but we think it brings the flavor to just the right pop. Here’s what to know about the glaze:

  • Wait until the muffins are cool prior to icing. Otherwise, the icing will melt into the muffins.
  • Use a fork! A fork makes the best drizzly lines: with a spoon it’s a bit too chunky.
  • Use less if desired. You can make a half recipe of the icing if you’re worried about too much sugar in your muffins.

Storage info

What’s the best way to serve lemon poppy seed muffins? The icing will hold up at room temperature for a few days, though if you’re planning to freeze some muffins it’s best to freeze them un-iced. Here’s what to know:

  • At room temperature: Store up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature: they become even more moist over time.
  • Refrigerated: Store refrigerated up to 1 week or more: allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Frozen: Freeze the muffins in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

More muffins recipes

Love baking? Here are a few more of our top classic muffins recipes:

This lemon poppy seed muffins recipe is…


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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover in a lemon glaze for even of a citrus pop.



For the lemon poppy seed muffins

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest*

For the lemon glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or add muffin cup papers.
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the vegetable oil, yogurt, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until a thick batter forms. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups: the cups will be full to the top, using about a heaping ¼ cup per muffin. 
  3. Bake: Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour.
  4. For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice until a thick icing forms. If the texture is not drizzlable, add a few more drops lemon juice and continue stirring until it comes together. Drizzle with a fork across the muffins in a diagonal pattern.
  5. Serve: Eat immediately or store up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or freeze unglazed muffins for up to 3 months.


*One lemon yields about 1 tablespoon lemon zest, so buy 2 lemons for this amount of lemon zest and juice (including the glaze).

  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Baked Good
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sami says:

    These are delicious. However you mentio ed that baked at 400 makes for a higher muffin ta at 350; why is that?

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!