Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Moist, fluffy muffins full of fresh lemon zest and crunchy poppy seeds. These really are the perfect lemon poppy seed muffins! You can whip up a batch of these bakery style muffins in just 45 minutes.
Lemon poppy seed is one of my favorite combos. I love chocolate, but there’s something about the sweet, slightly tangy flavor of the lemon paired with the crunchy, almost nutty flavor of the poppy seeds that is divine. It’s a match made in heaven!
I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for months now and thought I had better before summer turns to fall and everything is pumpkin this and pumpkin that ☺️. I think one of the reasons why I didn’t sooner is because I wasn’t satisfied with how the pictures turned out. I’m a perfectionist and while having kids has definitely helped, I’m still pretty hard on myself when it comes to food photography. When you shoot in natural light, sometimes it’s difficult to make the camera see exactly how you do. Sometimes the clouds roll in and it rains for 4 hours straight and you’re not sure if it’s day or night. Yep. 😩
That said, I’ve been trying to let go more (it’s a process), care less and spend more time doing things that make me happy, like sharing this recipe (because it’s too good not to)!
It yields a dozen light, fluffy, tender muffins. They taste just like the ones you’d get from an upscale bakery. My entire family is obsessed! What makes these muffins so amazing? Their texture and flavor is spot on! I’ve got a few tips and tricks for you to get them looking and tasting like perfection. Are you ready to get baking?
First start by creaming the butter until it’s light and fluffy. I usually do this in my stand mixer for about 2 minutes. Then add the granulated sugar AND the lemon zest- two full tablespoons. This is what gives these muffins their bright, zesty flavor so don’t skimp! Beating it in with the first few ingredients will help release the natural oils which creates a more flavorful batter.
Next, add the vanilla extract and eggs.
Whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure your leaving agents are active. This is especially important for getting the correct texture and rise in baked goods. I buy new containers every 6-9 months.
Alternate adding the sour cream and dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients. Make sure not to overmix. I like to stop as soon as I see one or two streaks of flour, then I fold the rest carefully with a spatula. Let the batter rest on the counter for 10 minutes. I do this with waffles, pancakes, cake etc. It makes all the difference in the rise!
While the batter is resting preheat your oven to 425 degrees. I know, that seems super hot, but the high temperature helps create that nice domed top we all love. You’ll lower it after 5 minutes to 400 degrees and continue baking the muffins until they are golden brown on top, about 14-16 minutes.
These muffins are delicious as-is or with the tangy lemon glaze. If you plan on eating them all in one day I’d suggest glazing all of them, however, if you plan on eating them over a period of time, you may want to leave them unglazed. I like in an especially humid climate and I don’t enjoy when the glaze gets tacky and the muffins get soggy. Just a personal preference, you do you!
I hope you will enjoy these perfect lemon poppy seed muffins as much as we did! They’re a sweet, zesty and full of crunch. 🍋
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For the muffins:
- 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher sea salt
- 1 c. full-fat sour cream or full-fat lemon Greek yogurt
For the glaze:
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a standard size muffin tin with liners OR spray the wells generously with non-stick baking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and lemon zest, beat on medium-high for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With mixing speed on low, alternate adding 1/3 of the dry ingredients and the sour cream at a time until everything has been added. Mix just until combined, do not overmix. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter in between the 12 liners. Place in the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking for 14-16 minutes or until full set in the centers.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 6 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, in a small mixing bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over warm muffins. Allow to set before serving.