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.
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?
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!
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.
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:
- Banana oatmeal muffins
- Perfect chocolate chip muffins
- Banana nut muffins
- Blueberry crumble muffins
- Zucchini bread bran muffins
Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
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.