Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with a Lemon Glaze – better than anything at the bakery, these homemade lemon poppy seed muffins are sure to brighten your day! 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins out of the oven

Craving Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

My carb cravings are still going strong. Last week I made Whole Wheat Banana Muffins and they really hit the spot. I ate the entire dozen. Ok, maybe I shared with Caleb, but I tried to hide them so he wouldn’t ask for more. I know, I am a selfish mom, but the muffins were SO good!

This week Josh asked me if he could make me breakfast. All I could think about were muffins. Josh asked if he could make our favorite Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and I loved the idea. The recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, Baking: From My Home To Yours, by the fabulous Dorie Greenspan. We started making these muffins when were dating and we are still making them today.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with sweet lemon glaze

Fresh Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfection! We’ve probably made them a hundred times and every time I bite into one I fall in love all over again!

There is fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the muffin batter, which I think makes a big difference. The poppy seed muffins also get drizzled with a sweet lemon glaze, enhancing that lemon flavor. These muffins are lemonlicious!

I also love the slight texture the poppy seeds add. You can find poppy seeds at almost every grocery store, look by the spices.

Dorie uses sour cream in this muffin recipe, but Josh used Greek yogurt since our fridge is full of it. Both ingredients work well so use your favorite!

plate of three lemon poppy seed muffins

freshly baked Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are sure to brighten your day! They certainly made my day! I ate one for breakfast…and one for a mid-morning snack…and one for dessert later that night. They taste good any time of the day! Make a batch this weekend, you will not be disappointed!

If you like this muffin recipe, you might also like:

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin made with fresh lemons

How to make Lemon poppy seed muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon lovers will fall in love with these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins! They are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or snack time!
4.33 from 31 votes


For the Muffins:

For the Icing:


  • To Make the Muffins: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
  • In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of the lemon is strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream or Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently stir to blend. Don't overmix. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.
  • To Make the Icing: Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 ½ tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. Drizzle glaze over the muffins. Serve.


Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 95mg, Potassium: 130mg, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 1.3mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Flavourful muffins. The outside came out crispy, while the inside was moist, chewy, and dense (probably due to the sour cream). I would use this recipe again when I have sour cream to use up, but make a few modifications. First, as some others have suggested, the baking temperature is too high, resulting in the crisp exterior and chewy interior. That’s not a bad thing, but can be if you prefer a consistent texture throughout. I would lower the temperature to 350° or 375° and extend the baking time. Second, echoing a few other comments, the batter as written is very dry. Someone said it reminded them of biscuit dough, and I agree (it reminded me of scones, though I guess that’s what Americans call biscuits?). Like the others, I had to add liquid to be able to mix the batter; even so, I had to knead it like dough. I used lemon juice to add flavour and thin out the batter, but milk would be good as well. Upon scooping the thick mixture into the muffin cups, I was not sure it would fill up and bake as normal muffins or come out like scones (hint: they did fill up, but came out small). All in all, a good recipe flavour-wise, but could use a few improvements texture-wise!

  2. 5 stars
    Have made these a few times with 2 amendments; salted instead of unsalted butter and I like to add white chocolate chips. Apart from that I follow the recipe exactly how it’s written and they have turned out perfectly every time.

  3. 4 stars
    Delicious!  I did increase the lemon just a bit and decreased the poppy seeds (just personal preference) but the recipe is a keeper!

  4. Great recipe. Just because I want to use less sugar, I did half in the recipe. I also didn’t frost the muffins. My whole family loved them. I accidentally cooked a bit too long because my timer never started. We all loved the crunchy edge part of the muffin. I had frozen fresh lemon juice and only fresh limes. I used the lemon juice and the lime zest!

  5. Can you let me know roughly how much juice you’re getting from your lemon? I have very generous Eureka lemons and can get wildly different amounts of juice from other people so I prefer to measure out the juice when possible! Thanks!

  6. These were delicious (even though I forgot to add the lemon juice in the batter) and the texture was amazing! One of the best muffins I’ve ever made.

  7. For me, this recipe was missing moisture. I had to add ~1 cup of milk to make the batter more maleable. Then the muffins came out great.

  8. I made two batches of these simultaneously — one half-batch modified to be vegan and one full batch exactly according to the recipe above — and although both batters were delicious, once out of the oven the “regular”-recipe muffins were overly floury/baking-powdery to the point of being inedible. I notice that many of the reviewers above commented on the dryness of the dough, which was a problem I had as well, and remedied by adding a quarter cup of applesauce to each batch. The vegan version (mashed banana instead of egg, coconut milk instead of sour cream, and coconut oil instead of butter) was far superior to the regular recipe, but still more floury or baking-powdery than lemony. I did use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 gluten-free flour instead of APF in both, but I bake muffins and cupcakes constantly, and always make that substitution — I’ve never once been able to tell the difference. I suspect it’s the 2 tsp of baking powder. Sorry I couldn’t get it to work out!

  9. 4 stars
    Good recipe but do agree the batter is dry. Next time I will add either applesauce or milk for more moisture and juice of one more lemon or lemon extract to make it more lemony.

  10. 1 star
    This recipe was incredibly dense almost to the point of being gummy. My boyfriend is playing with the middle and it is like a playdo. I did let it cool!

    I added some milk because of how dense the batter was as some in the comments had suggested. I think the ratios are completely off and I am honestly disappointed.

    I did appreciate the tip of of rubbing the zest with the sugar, that was delicious.

  11. 5 stars
    Mmmm! Followed the recipe exactly, LOL except I forgot to mix in the poppyseeds. (Sprinkled just a few on top of the glaze). They were still delicious, and will definitely add this to my favourites. Can’t wait to make them again with the poppyseeds.

  12. 5 stars
    Delish! I make these in a double batch and freeze for my kids to have as a snack during the week. Just trying to up the protein, I use about a quarter almond flour. I also sift all the dry ingredients together to aerate. My lemons were large, so maybe that’s why I’ve found the batter to be a good texture, but I’ve made these several times with no problems, and the end result is pretty fantastic.

  13. 2 stars
    Super dry batter – I added about 1/3 c milk. The texture came out okay, but to me the lemon flavor was lacking in the muffins themselves; could only really taste it in the glaze.

  14. 5 stars
    Always delicious! We leave off the topping to reduce family sugar intake, and no one seems to mind! These muffins never last more than a day in our house. Thanks for sharing!

  15. 5 stars
    This tasted really good although I would have loved to see what the batter should look like and know how much measurement wise of lemon zest and juice needed. Should I have grated more zest and squeezed more juice? Well after tasting my final product I think yes. I also used chia seeds instead of poppy for the health benefits and because I didn’t have poopy and they still came out great. I am really bad at baking which is why I need to see what the batter should look like, but these still came out so good! Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    I used the juice from two lemons as I had two lemons in the fridge that needed to be used – and the recipe came out perfect. My guess is that you need to a) juice your lemons real well to make sure you’re getting ALLLLLL the juice and b) you need a big juicy lemon if you are only using one! This may be why the mileage varies in the comments, but my batch was awesome!

  17. 5 stars
    I’m not sure why these don’t have 5 stars across the board! We make them every time we have company and they’re always a hit. They are absolutely perfect texture when you bake them until they have a slight browning on top. Also love the simplicity of ingredients.

  18. 5 stars
    We are vegan, so I swapped out “flax eggs” for the eggs, Earth Balance for the butter, and Tofutti sour cream for the sour cream….the muffins are awesome…so moist and just perfectly flavored. This will become a regular while our lemons are in season

  19. 5 stars
    Yum Yum
    Followed the recipe to a tee (only I used my stand mixer to combine everything). They came out perfect. Used my large cookie scoop and spooned two scoops into each muffin cup. Baked exactly 18 minutes and they were AMAZING. My 83 year old palliative father, who is struggling to eat, ate two of them with a cup of tea. Thanks for a Fantastic recipe.
    I doubled the recipe and made 30 muffins. Made the glaze but ended up with too much.
    Can I freeze the leftover icing for next time – because for sure there is going to be a next time.

  20. Love your recipes, Maria. Followed directions exactly and batter was really thick. Not pourable thick. Any idea what may be the problem?

  21. 5 stars
    Hey there! I made these this afternoon and they turned out wonderfully! Fairly “dense” but we like that more than light, fluffy muffins.

    Thanks for a winning recipe 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    Easy and the resulting muffins were great! I might try pastry flour instead of AP next time to see if they come out lighter.

  23. I made this recipe to the letter, sorry to say they came out fairly tasteless. I used fresh zest and lemon juice, heavy , thick batter, it lacked lemon ,sweetness and salt.. I changed the recipe.

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