Lemon poppy seed muffins are soft, moist and flavorful. They are easy to make and topped with a simple lemon glaze.

plate of lemon poppy seed muffins with glaze

One of my all time favorite muffins are lemon poppy seed muffins. They are subtly tart and sweet at the same time! This muffin recipe is inspired by my lemon poppy seed bread recipe—a fan favorite for both flavor and texture.

Why you should try this recipe: They have the perfect texture and flavor. The poppy seeds are soaked in milk to improve the poppy seed taste and texture, while the lemon zest is rubbed into the sugar to increase the citrus flavor.

lemon poppy seed muffins ingredients in bowls

How to make lemon poppy seed muffins

  1. Soak poppy seeds in milk for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Make muffin batter. Rub lemon zest and sugar together. Add melted butter, eggs, lemon juice and almond extract. Mix until well combined. Add sour cream and poppy seed/milk mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Bake muffins. Transfer batter to prepared muffin tin. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes.
  6. Make glaze by whisking together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over muffins.
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon poppy seed muffins
photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon poppy seed muffins

Helpful tips

There a few tips to making the best poppy seed muffins. First off, soak the poppy seeds in milk. This will soften the seeds and increase the poppy taste in the muffins. To enhance the lemon flavor, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar and be sure to use fresh lemon juice.

For soft, fluffy muffins, don’t over mix the batter. Mix the flour in just until combined. Oven temperature also helps with fluffy muffins. Bake the muffins at a high heat (400° F) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs.

lemon poppy seed muffin with a bite stacked on top of another muffin

Frequently Asked Questions

Can vanilla extract be used instead of almond extract? Yes, for nut allergies, replace almond extract with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

What if I don’t have sour cream? Plain Greek yogurt is a substitute for sour cream. Make sure it is at room temperature before using.

How to store lemon poppy seed muffins: Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Can you freeze lemon poppy seed muffins? Yes. Once the muffins have cooled, place them in an airtight container with parchment between layers. They keep best if the muffins are individually wrapped in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to one month. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.

Citrus is one of my favorite flavor profiles for baked goods. If you like these muffins, try my lemon poppy seed bread. Another similar recipe are my orange poppy seed muffins, but my most popular citrus recipe is for these lemon bars with shortbread crust.

lemon poppy seed muffins and lemon wedges on a plate and table surface

Lemon poppy seed muffins are a good addition to the breakfast table. The bright citrus flavor will wake you up in the morning! What occasion will you be making these muffins for? Let me know in the comments or tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.

plate of lemon poppy seed muffins and lemon wedges

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins are soft, moist and flavorful. They are easy to make and topped with a simple lemon glaze.

Ingredients

Muffin Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) whole or low-fat milk, , room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs,, room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, , melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract, or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 g) sour cream,, room temperature

Lemon Glaze Ingredients

  • ½ cup (60 g) confectioners' sugar, , sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk and poppyseeds. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Add paper liners to a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub the mixture between your fingers to increase the lemon flavor. Add eggs, melted butter, lemon juice and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add sour cream and milk poppy seed mixture. Whisk again until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir with a silicone spatula until combined (avoid over mixing).
  • Divide batter among cups in prepared muffin tin. Bake at 400° F for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Immediately turn muffins on their side in the pan so the bottoms don’t get soggy. While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze.
  • Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. Start with 1 tablespoon to achieve a thick icing consistency. If you’d like a thinner consistency, add another tablespoon of lemon juice. Use a spoon to drizzle icing over the muffins.

Notes

Sour cream substitute: Plain Greek yogurt (room temperature).
Store lemon poppy seed muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Freeze lemon poppy seed muffins (completely cooled) in an airtight container with parchment paper between layers. Muffins will keep in the freezer for one month. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
High altitude adjustments (Denver, CO, altitude 5,820 ft): Decrease baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon. Decrease sugar by 2 teaspoons. Add an extra teaspoon of milk.
Recommended tools: Kitchen scale, hand mixer and muffin tin.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 145mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 1mg

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