Orange poppy seed muffins are easy to make from scratch. This easy recipe makes fluffy, moist muffins bursting with citrusy flavor!

Orange poppy seed muffins on a marble slab next to oranges and orange slices

My family is a big fan of poppy seed muffins. Growing up, my brother, sister, and I would enjoy the breakfast treat my mom would make from scratch or sometimes from the muffin mix box. Poppy seeds have since become easier to find in stores so I decided to make some muffins from scratch.

Instead of the normal lemon poppy seed muffin, I swapped the citrus for orange. I love orange in my breakfast pastries because they bright flavor wakes you right up. Have you seen my orange cranberry scones?

orange poppy seed muffins with one muffin with a bite on a marble slab next to orange slices

Ingredient Notes

orange poppy seed muffin ingredients in bowls labeled with text
  • Orange juice and zest: Use oranges to get the zest and juice. The fresher it is the more flavor you get!
  • Poppy seeds: You can find poppy seeds at your local grocery store. They add a subtle nutty flavor.
  • Milk: Use whole milk for an extra tender and rich muffin. The poppy seeds are soaked in the milk so soften them up.
  • Unsalted butter: Use room temperature unsalted butter. Salt is added separately to activate the leavening agents.
  • Baking soda and powder: These leavening agents help the muffins rise. Check that they are fresh and not expired.

Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.

How to Make Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

photo collage demonstrating how to make orange poppy seed muffins in a mixing bowl
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F and lining a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the poppy seeds and milk and let stand for 20 minutes (more on this step below).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, then add the sugar, butter, orange juice and poppy seed-milk mixture.
  5. Once combined, add the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated (don’t over-mix!)
  6. Evenly distribute the batter in the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes and serve.

Did you know that weighing your ingredients is more accurate than measuring them? It also means less dirty dishes. I use this kitchen scale for all my recipes!

Recipe FAQ

Why should you soak poppy seeds in milk?

Poppy seeds have a tough outer coating and the flavor lies within. By soaking the poppy seeds, they soften up a bit and release their unique taste in the milk and, as a result, the batter. The flavor becomes even more pronounced in the oven!

Can you freeze poppy seed muffins?

Yes. Once the muffins have cooled, place them in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers if necessary so the muffins don’t stick. Freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven at 325 F until warm.

What to serve with orange poppy seed muffins

Muffins are the perfect accompaniment to weekend brunch. Serve them alongside a breakfast casserole and fresh fruit for a full spread!

orange poppy seed muffins stacked on top of each other in front of pitcher of orange juice and fresh oranges
orange poppy seed muffin with a bite stacked on top of another muffin

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

orange poppy seed muffins with a bite on top of another muffin

Get the Recipe: Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Orange poppy seed muffins are easy to make from scratch. This easy recipe makes fluffy, moist muffins bursting with citrusy flavor.
5 (18 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (25 g) poppy seeds
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cup (218 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, (pulp removed)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a standard size muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a small bowl, combine the poppy seeds and milk and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the granulated sugar, butter, orange juice, and milk-poppy seed mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until ingredients are moist and no flour pockets appear in the batter (avoid over mixing).
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full1. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with little crumbs. Let muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this step. It scoops the perfect amount of batter for each muffin.
  2. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  3. To make mini muffins, bake 12 minutes. Yields 36 mini muffins.
  4. Glaze: To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Drizzle over the tops of the muffins and serve.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 111mg, Potassium: 137mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 241IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 1mg

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking Cookbook

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