Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Close up of lemon poppy seed muffin on a dark background

If you are a lemon lover, this recipe is for you! These lemon poppy seed muffins are packed with bright, vibrant lemon flavor, and combine an extra-soft, moist texture with perfectly crunchy, golden-brown tops. They are best enjoyed when still warm but also hold up beautifully for the next few days.

What makes these muffins light and fluffy?

These muffins contain sour ingredients (Greek yogurt and lemon juice) that initiate a reaction with baking soda even before the batter hits the oven. This early interaction generates a multitude of air bubbles, transforming the batter into a light and fluffy cloud. These air pockets expand further in the oven, resulting in muffins with such a tender crumb that would be unattainable using baking powder alone.

Lemon poppy seed muffins on a dark background

How to make these muffins rise high?

Let the batter rest for half an hour before baking. This is the time for the baking soda to do its magic and create air bubbles I’ve already talked about. Expansion of these bubbles in the oven will increase the rise of the muffins. Additionally, fill the muffin cups to the brim with batter. The fuller the cups – the bigger the muffins! Finally, start baking at a higher temperature. This initial blast of heat will help the muffins rise quickly and develop a delightful crunch on top.

How long can you keep these lemon muffins?

These lemon muffins are best the day they are baked, whether you enjoy them warm or at room temperature. The first bite will surprise you with a contrast of a crunchy top and a perfectly soft interior. After a day, the top will soften slightly, but the muffins will still be delicious and bursting with lemon flavor. If your muffins don’t disappear the first day, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Close up of lemon poppy seed muffins on a dark background

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Close up of lemon poppy seed muffin on a dark background

These lemon poppy seed muffins are packed with bright, vibrant lemon flavor, and combine an extra-soft, moist texture with perfectly crunchy, golden-brown tops. They are best enjoyed when still warm but also hold up beautifully for the next few days.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Bake / Cook Time20 min
  • Rest / Chill Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr 5 min
  • Yield12 muffins

Ingredients

  • ~5 g / 0.18 oz lemon zest (of 2 lemons)
  • 200 g / 7 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 medium eggs (100-120 g / 3,5-4,2 oz in total without shells)
  • 200 g / 7 oz thick Greek yogurt (4% fat)
  • 60 ml / 2 fl oz lemon juice (of 1 lemon)
  • 120 g / 4.2 oz unsalted butter (melted)
  • 250 g / 8.8 oz flour (all-purpose or plain)
  • 40 g / 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions

1

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Mix everything well and set aside.

Flour sifted into a bowl, poppy seeds added

Dry ingredients mixed in a bowl

2

Clean lemons thoroughly with a sponge and grate the zest (yellow part only). Squeeze the juice out of one lemon.

3

In a separate bowl, combine lemon zest with granulated sugar. Mix well or rub with your fingers till the sugar gets slightly wet from the lemon oils.

Sugar mixed with lemon zest

4

Add eggs, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and melted butter. Mix everything till well combined.

All wet ingredients mixed together

5

Add previously mixed dry ingredients and mix everything lightly just until combined. The batter will be quite thick.

Wry ingredients added into a bowl with wet ingredients

Prepared batter

6

Cover the batter and let it rest at room temperature for half an hour.

7

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F (without a fan). Prepare cupcake baking pan with standard-sized muffin liners (bottom diameter ~5 cm / 2 inch).

8

Spoon the batter into muffin liners. Don’t mix the batter, you don’t want to destroy all the air bubbles that you waited to be formed. Just spoon and flop. Fill the cups fully.

9

Bake for 10 mins at 220°C / 425°F, then without opening the oven reduce the temperature to 180°C / 350°F. Bake for 8-10 more minutes till the tops get golden.

10

After taking the muffins out of the oven, leave them in the pan for a few minutes. Then take them out and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

notes

  • If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can use sour cream instead.
  • If you choose to bake bigger or smaller muffins, adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • For an extra layer of sweetness, drizzle the tops of the muffins with some simple cookie icing.
Close up of lemon poppy seed muffin on a dark background
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