Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

lemon poppy seed pancakes 5

This recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes has been tantalizing me all week.  I adapted it from the Joy of Cooking.  This unexpected combination is a refreshing change from regular pancakes and it’s perfect for a special occasion or just any time you want to treat yourself!

lwmon poppy seed pancakes
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.

lemon poppy seed pancakes

And it’s the same thing with poppy seeds.  People seems to think that a tablespoon or two entitles them to emblazon the words poppy seeds all over their recipe title.

bright lemony pancakes with poppy seeds

I assure you that these pancakes have earned their name fair and square.  Lots of lemon flavor, lots of poppy seed crunch.

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.

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 POPPY SEED FRENCH TOAST and even AMARETTO POPPY SEED ICE CREAM!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Category: breakfast

Yield: 6 large or 12 small pancakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes


    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 buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 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


  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the wet ingredients together and fold in the poppy seeds.
  3. 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.
  4. Cook on a lightly greased griddle until lightly golden on both sides.
  5. Serve hot with maple syrup.

Make it your own ~

  • You might try another citrus fruit like orange or tangerine, that’s up next for me, so stay tuned!



Don’t forget to Pin these Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes!

This recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes has been tantalizing me all week. I adapted it from the Joy of Cooking. This unexpected combination is a refreshing change from regular pancakes and it's perfect for a special occasion or just any time you want to treat yourself! | Breakfast | Brunch | Citrus | Mother's Day | Spring |


  • Reply
    Spring weekly meal plan for eating seasonally
    April 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    […] lemon poppyseed pancakes […]

  • 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

    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
    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

    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 editor@mnparent.com.

    — Sarah Jackson, editor, editor@mnparent.com

  • Reply
    February 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    # of servings would be nice to know

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    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

    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

    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
    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
    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

    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.

  • Leave a Reply