Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

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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
Rate this recipe
5 ratings

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 |

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  • 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
    May 12, 2018 at 8:25 am

    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.

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    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

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