Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Almost 100 muffins later we have a winner for the best lemon poppyseed muffins.

There were lots of versions of muffin and frosting and different combinations of the two.  Then there was playing with the cooking time.  While muffins are typically denser than a cupcake, lemon poppyseed muffins just have a better mouthfeel when they are lighter and fluffier.  More of the texture of a cake, but not quite as sweet.  

A thin layer of lemon glaze adds just the right amount of extra lemon punch to these delectable lemon muffins.  The easiest way to add the glaze is to place a zip-top sandwich bag over the rim of a glass. 

Once the glaze is all mixed together scoop it into the bag. Close the bag and get as much of the air out as you can.  Use scissors to snip a small hole in the corner of the bag.  

Spread the glaze evenly over the cooled muffins.  Allow the glaze to set for 15 minutes before serving. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

A perfect balance of sweet and lemon all packaged into a muffin. This version is less dense than a traditional muffin and is a bit more fluffy like a cake without the added sweetness. This recipe doubles well if you want to make a bunch or have a 24 cup muffin pan.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Muffins
Servings 12 muffins



  • cups all-Purpose flour (210 g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons poppy seeds (13 g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (85 g)
  • 1 cup sugar (198 g)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (42 g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (25 g)
  • ½ cup sour cream at room temperature (114 g)


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (114 g)
  • 1½-2 tablespoons lemon juice (21 g-28 g)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract ok to sub lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin pan with baking cups or spray well with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sale, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 1½-2 minutes. Don't skimp on the mixing.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time scraping the bowl after each egg. Make sure that the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
  • In a glass measuring cup or separate bowl, briefly mix together the vanilla, lemon juice, and oil. with the mixer running, slowly pour in the lemon juice mixture.
  • Mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ½ of the sour cream, then another ⅓ of the flour and the remaining sour cream. Finish with the last of the flour. Mix just until combined. You do not want to overmix or the muffins will be tough.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. It will be about 1/4 cup of batter per cup and they will be about ⅔ full. I used a level scoop with my 1/4 cup muffin scoop and it worked out perfectly.
  • Bake for 11-14 minutes until a tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  • Once the muffins are completely cool (30-45 minutes-ish) make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar, lemon extract, and the smaller amount of lemon juice to a mixing bowl, whisk well until no lumps remain. You want it to be on the thick side, think honey. Add a bit more lemon juice if it needs to be a bit thinner.
  • Putting a piece of foil, parchment, or some paper towels under the wire rack helps make cleanup easier.
    Method 1 (preferred): stick a ziplock sandwich bag over the rim of a tall cup, folding the bag over the edges of the cup (you are using the cup to hold the bag open). Pour the glaze into one corner of the bag. Remove the bag, press out as much air as you can and seal. Cut a small hole in the corner and drizzle over the top of the muffins.
    Method 2: Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top of the muffins. You may need to make it a tad thinner so it easily drizzles off of the spoon.
  • Allow the glaze to harden for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.
  • The muffins store well for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, but only if you double the recipe or there will not be enough to store.