Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

You can whip up a batch of these bakery style lemon poppy seed muffins in just 45 minutes. They’re moist, fluffy, and full of fresh lemon zest and crunchy poppy seeds.

For some more delicious muffins, try Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, or Classic Bran Muffins.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins on a plate

So Moist – So Delicious!

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!

This recipe 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?

Close up of lemon poppy seed muffin batter

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

WET INGREDIENTS. Cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the granulated sugar AND the lemon zest- two full tablespoons. Add the vanilla extract and eggs.

(Note: 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.)

DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

COMBINE. Alternate adding the sour cream and dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients (do NOT overmix). *Tip: 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.

BAKE. Spoon into muffin tin filling each cup 2/3 way full. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes. Lower temperature to 400 degrees and bake an additional 14-16 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool and serve!

The Lemon Glaze

These muffins are delicious as-is or with the tangy lemon glaze. To make the glaze, simply mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice until well combined and spoon over warm muffins. 

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 live 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!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with glaze on top

Recipe Tips + FAQ


  • How full to fill muffin tins? I would suggest filing it up ½- ¾ of the way. That way your muffins come up just enough to fill the cupcake liner, but not enough that they are falling over. If you overfill them you could risk them pouring onto the tray and burning.
  • How do you know when they are done? They shouldn’t be jiggly in the middle, they should be set, and slightly golden brown on the EDGES, not all over. If your muffins get to the point that they are all golden brown your muffins are all dried out.


  • More moisture? To make sure you don’t have dry muffins 
    • Don’t overmix your muffin batter, 
    • Use full fat sour cream
    • Use softened butter instead of melted butter. The butter will finish melting as you bake the muffins, which will continue to give you moisture throughout the baking process.
  • How many lemons to get 2 tbsp zest? You should probably use 2 medium sized lemons, or 1 large lemon to get the full 2 tablespoons of zest you need. If you don’t have 2 lemons, I would recommend adding about a ½ teaspoon of lemon extract or lemon oil to the batter to make up for the lost flavor.
  • Prep the poppyseeds? You don’t have to do anything to the poppyseeds if you don’t want to. If you want a lot of poppy seed flavor however you can grind or crush your poppy seeds. This can easily be done by a mortar and pestle.

Close up of lemon poppy seed muffin recipe

How to Store + Freeze

Storing/freezing? Store your muffins in either a ziploc bag or in a tupperware container.

I have found that the best method to keep muffins moist, without having too wet of a top, is to use a couple of paper towels. When storing, line either the bag or the tupperware container with a paper towel on the bottom to absorb any moisture that may form. If you want you can also place a paper towel on top of the muffins to absorb more moisture. 

To freeze these muffins let them cool completely, then place in an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. Let them thaw to room temperature before eating, and then if you want to eat them warm you can pop them in the oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes on a cookie sheet.

How long do they keep? Keep them at room temp for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the microwave before eating, or you can eat them at room temp. 


I hope you will enjoy these perfect lemon poppy seed muffins as much as we did! They’re a sweet, zesty and delicious!

For more muffin recipes, check out:

Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins |

Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe

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.
4.69 from 86 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Breads & Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 413kcal
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe


For the muffins:
  • 3/4 c. 1 ½ 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 ⅓ 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.
Nutrition Facts
Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe
Serving Size
1 muffin
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Looking forward to trying these “Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins” this coming week! Years ago I had a muffin that had a creamy butterscotch filling I’ve tried to copy it and never have been successful; have you ever posted a recipe a Butterscotch Muffin recipe?

  2. The sponge without the glaze was very bland. Not sweet at all and lemon was barely there 🙁 After being kept in tupperware at room temperature overnight they became dry. Would suggest adding lemon juice for flavour and maybe a little milk or oil so it lasts longer.

    1. So glad they did! As for the icing, it is thin, but if it’s ever too runny, just add a little more powdered sugar. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Lemon poppy seed is my favourite muffin flavour. There is just something special about them! Thank you for sharing an excellent recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      My daughter and I made these this morning and added green food coloring for St. Patrick’s Day! The only thing I had to change was the glaze needed way more powdered sugar to be usable. We also added lemon juice to our plain Greek yogurt since we didn’t gave lemon yogurt or sour cream. Worked great! We all agree these might possibly be the best muffins we’ve ever made! Delicious!

      1. I’m so glad you liked the muffins as much as we do. Your substitutions sound amazing! Thanks for trying it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. 5 stars
    The glaze needed about another cup of sugar to be the right consistency. Other than that, yummy. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Just made them. Fabulous! Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I made the glaze much thicker more like the consistency of royal icing. Just a preference. The glaze was nice and tangy. A great recipe. Thanks.

  5. 5 stars
    They were absolutely perfect, slight crispy top and moist inside, and to quote my son, “dang, these muffins are amazing!” I added in two to three tablespoons of lemon juice with the zest. Definitely my new go to recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    These turned out absolutely amazing. One thing I would change though is the icing. It was a bit too sour for me. Next time I’d like to try half milk half lemon juice. 

  7. 5 stars
    These muffins are absolutely delicious and taste much better than shop bought ones..
    Made a slight adjustment and used buttermilk instead of yoghurt and added the juice of one lemon.

  8. 5 stars
    Followed the recipe, I didn’t have full fat sour cream so I used half light sour cream and half noosa lemon yogurt and these came out amazing. I made them two hours ago and half of them are already gone, my family loves these!

  9. 4 stars
    Loved these muffins! I made them without the glaze, but I found them moist and very flavorful. I was quite generous with the lemon zest. I will definitely make these again!

  10. 5 stars
    These turned out perfect! I swapped out the sugar for a monkfruit blend sweetener. And used lemon extract instead of vanilla. The most beautiful muffins I’ve ever made!

  11. 5 stars
    What a wonderful recipe! Easy to follow and the muffins are deliciously fluffy and perfect!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing!!

  12. 4 stars
    Muffins great! Glaze is a complete fail. Use 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup powder sugar and 2 tbsp milk to thin.

    1. Thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed the muffins and we able to modify the glaze to your liking. 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    SO, SO GOOD! I love the glaze on top. This is a delicious dessert or breakfast for that matter. My kids gobbled these up quickly!

  14. 5 stars
    These muffins were the perfect breakfast to celebrate the start of our summer season! Yay for no school and yay for lemon and poppy seed – the BEST flavor combo. Bright and fresh.

  15. 5 stars
    Lemon poppy seed is my muffin of choice!! This recipe makes such light & fluffy muffins with the right amount of lemon flavor!

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice already and they taste amazing. These are the best lemon poppy seed muffins I’ve ever had. I was worried that adding the glaze would make the lemon flavor too strong but I was wrong. Sorry I ever doubted you. The glaze just sends it over the top with goodness.

  17. 5 stars
    Pretty easy to make. Easy to follow the recipe. Delicious! Moist! I will definitely make these again! I added a cup of fresh blueberries and YUM!

  18. 2 stars
    If these are LEMON poppy seed muffins… why is there 1 tablespoon of VANILLA extract in the batter?
    The lemon zest would NEVER come through over that much Vanilla extract!!!!!!!!
    How about INSTEAD of making these Vanilla flavored lemon zest muffins,
    Replace the vanilla extract with LEMON EXTRACT or LEMON OIL! That will make these taste and smell like “LEMON POPPY SEED MUFFINS”!
    I know I will be taking out the vanilla extract.
    I will use lemon extract in these lemon flavored poppy seed muffin batter.

  19. 5 stars
    I’ve tried many lemon poppyseed muffin recipes and this one is the best! Moist and flavourful. I think the sour cream is a big factor.

  20. 5 stars
    I will try this recipe today, and I think I may use the plain yogurt. Other recipes call for buttermilk, but I’m not sure how to adjust here for the extra liquids.