Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

lemon poppy seed pancakes 5

My Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes are a lightened up version of your favorite breakfast ~ they’re perfect for a special occasion, a cozy weekend morning, or just any time you want to treat yourself!

lwmon poppy seed pancakes

lemon poppy seed pancakes burst with citrus flavor.

So many lemon recipes suffer from the wimp factor. They add a tablespoon of lemon juice or the zest of one lemon and then have the nerve to call themselves a lemon this or a lemon that. It’s criminal. When it comes to lemon, I say go big or go home. This recipe uses the zest of two lemons and plenty of fresh lemon juice to insure you’ll get the lemon message loud and clear.

lemon poppy seed pancakes

poppy seeds add a lovely crunch to these fluffy lemon pancakes

And it’s the same thing with poppy seeds. People seems to think that a teaspoon or two entitles them to emblazon the words poppy seeds all over their recipe title. I assure you that these lemon poppy seed pancakes have earned their name fair and square with lots of poppy seed crunch.

bright lemony pancakes with poppy seeds

pancake making tips

  • Make sure your baking powder is fresh, you should replace every six months!
  • Don’t over mix your batter, whisk just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. When it comes to pancakes, lumps are your friends.
  • I like to rest my batter for 30 minutes. Let it sit undisturbed on the counter. Don’t be tempted to re-mix after resting, though.
  • Use a scoop or measuring cup (the size is up to you) to insure even sized pancakes.
  • Make a test pancake first.
  • Use a large skillet or griddle and preheat before cooking.
  • Grease the pan lightly with oil, not butter.
  • Serve with REAL maple syrup, it makes all the difference!
lemon poppy seed pancake batter

And in case you’re wondering, yes, maple syrup does go with the lemon, in fact the flavors complement each other beautifully. I’ve even gone on to make a Tangerine Poppy Seed Pancakes, which I love equally as much.

let’s hear it for poppy seeds!

If you’re a fan of the delicate crunch that poppy seeds bring to a recipe, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve used them in lots of delicious ways, from a basic Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Poppy Seed Mayonnaise to Almond Popy Seed French Toast and even Amaretto Poppy Seed ice Cream!

“I have made these for Mother’s Day the past couple years and they are always a huge hit! My mom LOVES them as do I. They are a very special treat for us every year, so thank you for sharing! We love them!!”

~ Natalie
bright lemony pancakes with poppy seeds
3.67 from 129 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes ~ This unexpected combination is a refreshing change from regular pancakes and it’s perfect for a special occasion, a cozy weekend morning, or just any time you want to treat yourself!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Calories 254kcal
Author Sue Moran


dry ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

wet ingredients

  • 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 3 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds


  • Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, blend the wet ingredients together and fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Add the wet to the dry and mix just until combined, don’t over mix, you want your pancakes to be fluffy! Lumps are fine.
  • Cook on a lightly greased griddle until lightly golden on both sides.
  • Serve hot with maple syrup.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.18g | Protein: 6.35g | Fat: 11.11g | Saturated Fat: 4.95g | Sodium: 310.98mg | Fiber: 3.07g | Sugar: 14.41g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing. I immediately know whenever a recipe calls for yogurt (I used Stoneyfield’s organic plain yogurt. Yum!) or buttermilk it’ll be a success. This is the perfect mixture of tangy and sweet. I took bites of my boyfriend’s as I was making his I couldn’t help myself. 11/10!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Do you have gram measurements instead of cups please so I can make these?

  • Reply
    May 15, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Hey! I just found this recipe and am planning on making it for breakfast for my family soon. I couldn’t find any poppyseeds at my grocery store, would chai seeds work as a replacement?

    • Reply
      May 15, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      Chai would not be a great replacement, I don’t think, because they absorb lots of liquid and create a gelatinous texture.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

    5 stars
    We had GF Lemon Poppyseed pancakes for Mother’s Day breakfast. They were absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Sue, These look great! Due to the quarantine still in effect, all I have is frozen lemon juice, would that work? If fresh is better I will wait until after to try, but these look so tasty! I used up my lemons in lemon curd before stumbling onto this recipe, so sad!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I don’t see why frozen wouldn’t work 🙂

  • Reply
    April 20, 2020 at 5:58 am

    Can’t wait to make these. If I don’t have buttemilk will milk with vinegar be a good substitute?

    • Reply
      April 20, 2020 at 6:45 am

      Yes, absolutely.

  • Reply
    Brinda Mahalingam
    March 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely awesome! The pancakes were so moist, delicious and so full of flavor! It made a great Sunday breakfast, brightening up our day, in these stay-at-home days!!
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2020 at 5:36 am

    5 stars
    Just made a gluten- free, plant-based version of these for our Sunday breakfast during the Covid-19 lock down for my husband and myself. (Found your recipe on feedfeed instagram a couple days ago.) I subbed soya milk for buttermilk and yoghurt, flaxseed egg for egg, olive oil for butter etc. The end results were the fluffiest, softest pancakes we’ve ever had! The tanginess of lemon not sour or bitter – just right, and the texture of poppy seeds with real mapke syrup was a perfect marriage indeed, as you promised. I was planning to have them with some fresh fruits but in the end decided not to. Was heavenly delicious as they were… Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Oliver
    February 1, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    5 stars
    WOW…just wow!!! For some reason this recipe popped up in social media of some sort and I just had to make it. My husband is recovering from a surgery procedure(nothing major) and I figured he needed some perking up. What an amazing flavor. Not too much lemon. I did kinda have to do with what I had, so I ended up using cashew yogurt instead of Greek, and did the lemon whole milk trick for the buttermilk. Oh, and I dialed the poppyseeds down to 1/4 cup. I said a hail Mary as they were on the grill and it worked out beautifully. It was a light moist spongy cake, not tough or cakey at all. My hubby had three and I ate the rest…full disclosure. This one is a keeper. It’s very impressive. Next go-round I will try the original recipe. I can always count on a top notch meal from you. Thank you

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      You’re so welcome, I’m glad they helped your hubby feel better!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2020 at 9:04 am

    5 stars
    Just finished eating these delightfully light pancakes. What an excellent recipe – tastes like a fancy restaurant!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 9:05 am

      I’m so glad, thanks for coming back to let us know 🙂

  • Reply
    June 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    3/4 cup or container of yogurt?

    • Reply
      June 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      That’s 3/4 cup Jane!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Sue!
    If I don’t have whole wheat flour, can I just use 1 cup all-purpose instead?

    • Reply
      June 9, 2018 at 6:24 am


  • Reply
    May 17, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Sue

    This recipe looks so good and I would love to make these pancakes this weekend. However as poppy seeds are banned in my country, what can I use as a substitute? Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Oh, that’s so interesting, now I’m curious to know where you live! Let’s see…you’ve stumped me on this one, poppy seeds are so unique. How do you feel about plain lemon pancakes?? 😉

      • Reply
        September 5, 2018 at 6:43 am

        I don’t know where Adeline lives, but I’m a Dallas girl living in Singapore and poppy seeds are not allowed here. It’s due to the history of opium abuse. I doubt poppy seeds sold for consumption can actually be used to grow poppy flowers, but that’s the reason. We use black sesame seeds as a substitute. Different taste but not a bad substitute. Love your site. Just printed out this recipe and will try very soon. I’ll report back.

        • Reply
          February 15, 2019 at 10:29 am

          Thanks Jeanne, that’s so interesting!

      • Reply
        May 2, 2020 at 10:08 pm

        I use chia seeds instead of poppy seeds.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2018 at 8:25 am

    5 stars
    I have made these for Mother’s Day the past couple years and they are always a huge hit! My mom LOVES them as do I. The first time I made them we were out of our homemade maple syrup so I made up some buttermilk syrup. Oooh man, that was a game changer. We can’t have them any other way now! And now we put strawberries on top as well! They are a very special treat for us every year, so thank you for sharing! We love them!!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Thanks so much Natalie, I’m so intrigued by the buttermilk syrup, I’ve never had it, can you share your recipe? And I’ve been meaning to make these with strawberries, I need to try that!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Hi! I want to make these gluten-free. I can easily swap out the regular flour, but wheat flour tends to be heavier. Any suggestions on a swap-out for the wheat flour? Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      I think in this case I would go for the gluten free baking mix or flour substitute of your choice Kirsten, and not worry about adding in a different element.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 5:06 am

    For those asking, I made 7 large pancakes out of the batter.

  • Reply
    Jan Mazzetta
    July 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    5 stars
    LOVE these pancakes…AND I didn’t change a thing! ??

    • Reply
      July 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Yay! Thanks for letting me know Jan 🙂

  • Reply
    May 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Help! Pre mixed the batter for mothers day brunch tomorrow and there is a horrible bitter after taste. Can my batter be saved? ?

    • Reply
      July 3, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      It’s obviously too late now, but I made these yesterday and was really concerned by the bitter taste of the batter. Once they cooked though, it all disappeared and they were gorgeously lemon flavored with no bitter notes at all. My husband flipped for them.

      • Reply
        July 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

        I’m thrilled that you loved these Sarah, and I super appreciate your coming back to let me know 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Sowinski
    May 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    # of servings?

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 7:09 pm

      About 6, Jessica.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

    My children loved these pancakes! They were a little bitter for my taste, and turned out very flat, but then my lemons were very large and I should have added a little more flour or less lemon juice. I think next time I will use one lemon, less poppy seeds, and as much as I love butter I think I will use coconut oil instead. I like lemon but do not LOVE lemon. Definitely worth trying!! Thank for posting

    • Reply
      April 27, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Thanks so much for your feedback Tianna 🙂

  • Reply
    April 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    5 stars
    These are amazing! My husband and I love them but can you tell us the serving size/amount of servings since we like to track our calories/macros in an app. Not knowing serving size and amount of servings (even approximate) makes it difficult. THANK YOU!!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah Jackson
    February 28, 2017 at 8:30 am


    We’d love to republish your FABULOUS recipe in Minnesota Parent and Minnesota Good Age magazines!

    Would you be willing to give us permission and to send us high-res photos of the recipe?

    We can attribute the recipe to your blog!

    Write us at [email protected].

    — Sarah Jackson, editor, [email protected]

  • Reply
    February 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    # of servings would be nice to know

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      It’s about 6 servings, depending on size.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    5 stars
    With a big storm outside I had to make do with what I had. Evaporated milk instead of buttermilk and sunflower oil instead of butter. I’m alone and ate all the fluffy melt in your mouth monsters on my own then shared the recipe on Facebook. Wow wow wow

    • Reply
      January 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Haha, sorry about your storm, Karen, but so glad you enjoyed these. Evaporated milk can be a life saver 🙂

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice now. I have a dairy allergy so I used almond milk and 1/2 each of large rime and coconut oil instead of the butter. They are fabulous!!! So good. Yum yum yum! We have a boysenberry syrup from Maple Grove Farms that pairs so beautifully with the pancakes. I cannot get enough of them. I have a two year old daughter who lives to help me cook and she adores making these with me so it doubles as a fun family activity as well. Thank you for such a delicious and fun recipe!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      You’re so welcome, Carrie, and I’m now going to have to try these with boysenberry syrup 🙂

  • Reply
    July 12, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Doing a bit of an experiment with this recipe today. Pre-made the batter and packed it in the cooler to transport to a vacation cottage to be made tomorrow morning. The batter looked nice and thick and fluffy, so hoping it holds up!

  • Reply
    Sharon Dirr
    July 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    5 stars
    Just wanted to say made the Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes this morning . We both loved them . My husband suggested that I only zest one lemon next time . I love love loved these , will be making these a lot , Thank You for sharing

    • Reply
      July 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks so much Sharon, this recipe seems to work for some and not for others, so I appreciate your feedback and your suggestions. lately I’ve been skipping the lemon zest in my ‘lemon’ recipes so your husband’s suggestion makes sense to me. Thanks again 🙂

      • Reply
        Sharon Dirr
        August 5, 2016 at 5:27 pm

        Your very welcome Sue . they were really good . I love trying different recipes and I love to cook , so thank you very much Sharon Dirr

  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Funny thing, I forgot to add the butter. Also I substituted almond flour for the wheat flour and I used just less than a 1/4 C of poppy seeds (still should use a little less). Had no problems with the cakes cooking on low heat (about 260 on the griddle). My family loved them as well as my teen-aged daughter’s friends. Me not so much.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Just made- and I will say :
    Pros: flavor is good and I used powdered buttermilk and just all purpose flour
    Cons: very thin-

    Bad move on my part: I have been using my ninja single blender to mix ingredients lately -I think with the baking soda and not enough space-that led to a complete explosion of batter-however I spatulaed as much as I could up-lol

    • Reply
      July 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      I agree with you Mindy. They were very thin. And I didn’t even add all the wet ingredients since it was looking thin. I also used powdered buttermilk and all A-P flour. And I only used 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, since 1/4 cup seemed like an awful lot. Next time, I will add 1/4 cup more flour and 1/4 cup less buttermilk.

  • Reply
    Eden Passante
    April 27, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    These sound SO good! I love lemon poppy seed muffins, so why not make pancakes!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2016 at 5:31 am

    How many does this make/serve?

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      6 servings, depending on size.

  • Reply
    Lori Kaetterhenry
    March 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Flavor very good. Consistency and texture, not good

  • Reply
    March 11, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Brilliant! You are a culinary genius!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Staci — you’ve just made my day!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Yummy, easy pancakes. A bit too much poppy seed in my opinion, next time I will only add 1/4 cup or even less.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Did not enjoy, perhaps it was the buttermilk.

    • Reply
      February 1, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      Try whole milk or half and half next time.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Oh yum, these look amazing! I can’t wait to try these! Visiting from http://kidscraftsandcakes.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Rhea Ahlanu
    September 19, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    5 stars
    OMG I can’t believe how good these are. Saw it, made it eating it now.
    Can’t understand why some people did not have success.
    I substituted soy milk for buttermilk and olive oil for butter.
    Will definitely be sharing this one with friends. Thankyou.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Fantastic – love your substitutions, and thanks for sharing Rhea <3

    • Reply
      Edna Siu
      October 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      I wonder if you have substitute the exact amount of milk and oil?
      I would like to substitute it with these ingredients, as I do not want to buy a carton of buttermilk for one recipes and I don’t want to use butter as much in my diet.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Epic fail. My pancakes were not fluffy at all and pretty much never cooked. They were so thin and and still didn’t cook in the middle! The flavor was good though. So sad.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    These look amazing, cant wait to try them. I’m going to use my homemade blueberry sauce on them 😉

  • Reply
    June 13, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Followed the recipe exactly for less-than-awesome results. Pancakes refused to cook all the way through, no matter how much extra liquid I tried to add. Raw pancakes left the family with stomach aches. Too many poppyseeds, make the pancaked bitter.

  • Reply
    Sue Hess
    June 9, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Who are you???? OMgoosh I stumbled onto your PINTEREST recipe then boards ans YUM, its everything that I love!!! I can’t wait to peruse your BLOG if its as goo as your PINS well then, I am in for some interesting reading, creating, tasting etc.!! You go girl 🙂 Have a super day!

  • Reply
    bent el deera
    March 1, 2015 at 1:35 am

    these looks sooooooo good
    i will be definitely making this recipe TODAY

  • Reply
    Caroline Hurley
    February 7, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I’m loving these pancakes! That golden color and texture looks like perfection. Pinned to make over the weekend!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2014 at 6:45 am

      I’m glad I inspired you — I was surprised at how much I liked the lemon with the maple!

      • Reply
        February 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        Do you have the nutritional value for these pancakes

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson-Ditch
    May 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Oh, I want to try this! I love pancakes, and I’m always looking for something new.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I had the same results as heather even using white and wheat flour. Fail

  • Reply
    April 7, 2013 at 4:21 am

    We had this for dinner tonight. My six year old ate six! The first batch I made I thought were a little thick. I added some water to the others. I also decreased the poppy seeds to 2tbsp. Still plenty to get the fun poppy seed crunch! Fun recipe!

  • Reply
    Brigitta Huegel
    March 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Mouthwatering, lovely, alluring – and I shared it on Facebook (together with the other authors) and am impatient to try it on Easter. Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Ahhhh, I attempted to make these at midnight and they were just a fail. Non-baking enthusiasts should note that wheat flour and white flour cannot be replaced 1:1. I used all white flour, as that is what I had available, and my batter turned out very runny. The pancakes simply would not cook through. I ended up stirring in heaping tablespoons of flour between batches on the griddle until they finally came to a decent consistency. Hopefully I can try this recipe again with the appropriate wheat flour…when I can afford another jar of poppy-seeds!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2015 at 8:34 am

      We have several stores that sell poppy seeds in bulk. Makes it more affordable. Check the stores in your area.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    if i’m going to eat something making use of the lemon-poppy seed combination, it’s going to be this. how enticing!!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    now that sounds good!
    never tried lemon poppyseed this way.
    nice photos!!!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    February 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    They look yummy and seem to have enough lemon and poppy seeds – you did good! I think you only made me want more too – very nice Sue!

  • Reply
    Marina D
    February 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I had pancakes for breakfast and I STILL want these so badly right now. They really look fabulous!

  • Reply
    Debby Foodiewife
    February 25, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I wish I had seen this before breakfast this morning. They are perfect for Sunday brunch. Lovely!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    February 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    These are downright gorgeous. I never make pancakes, but why not? I’m going to bookmark these to try one weekend day this spring.

    Happy sunday to you!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    February 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    How delicious! I wish I was sitting at your breakfast table right now, it’s snowing – again, and it looks like you’ve made the perfect winter’s morning meal!

    Did you have fun with your citrus week? I really enjoyed your theme!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      February 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the week, I had so much fun! I think I may try it with other themes; it’s useful to stock up on ingredients and so satisfying to be able to really delve into the subject.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Those look wonderful. It makes the plain pancakes I made this morning seem so sad 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      February 24, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      It’s gotten to the point that, even if I wanted to, I can’t imagine making a plain pancake anymore, there are too many varieties to explore!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    February 24, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Amazing! I love everything about these! I would eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Hello! I recently just started a youtube Korean food channel, EasyKoreanFood, where you can learn how to make fast & easy Korean food! It would mean the world to me if you could check it out because I’m just starting out! Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2013 at 1:20 am

    mmmmmmmmm….if they taste half as good as they look!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      February 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      These pancakes have a bright lemony flavor—and the maple syrup really is good along with the lemon—who knew?

  • Reply
    Krithi Karthi
    February 24, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Wish I had these for my breakfast! Awesome pics!!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    February 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    These are brilliant, Sue! You can make breakfast for me any day. Gorgeous photos as always too.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    February 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    They look wonderfully fluffy!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    February 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    These would certainly feed that lemon addiction of mine.

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