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 such a shame. 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.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

what you’ll need

  • lemons ~ you’ll use the juice and zest for extra flavor.
  • poppy seeds
  • yogurt ~ you can also use sour cream.
  • buttermilk ~ you can make an acceptable substitute by mixing lemon juice with regular whole milk.
  • butter
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
  • flour ~ I use a combination of all purpose white and whole wheat, but you can use all white flour if you like.
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder, baking soda, and salt
bright lemony pancakes with poppy seeds

lemon poppy seed pancake making FAQs and tips

What can I use in place of buttermilk?

You can use regular milk, or make your own buttermilk substitute by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes.

How can I get my pancakes to come out light and fluffy?

Be sure not to over beat your batter. Once you add flour to the bowl, gently fold it in until no dry streaks remain, then stop. Don’t worry about small lumps ~ they’re fine. And make sure your baking powder is fresh! It doesn’t last forever, so check your label and when in doubt, toss it and replace. You should be replacing it every 6 months.

How do I get my all my pancakes to be the same size, and round?

Use a scoop or measuring cup (the size is up to you) to portion out your batter for equal sized pancakes. You can nudge the batter gently at the edges to ease it into a rounder shape.

How do I know when my skillet it hot enough?

You can add a drop of water to the pan ~ if it sizzles and ‘jumps’ around immediately, you’re good to go. I always do a test pancake to be sure.

What is best for greasing my pancake pan, oil or butter?

I like to use oil because butter tends to burn at higher temps.

Do I need to soak poppy seeds before using?

Some people like to soak poppy seeds in hot water before using on the idea that this makes them easier to digest. I don’t find that this is necessary.

Can poppy seeds go stale?

Yes, all seeds have a relatively high oil content and can go rancid. If yours have been sitting around for more than 6 months, replace.

lemon poppy seed pancake batter

maple syrup + lemon? it’s fabulous!

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. Just be sure you buy real maple syrup, not the fake stuff.

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:

poppy seeds in a spoon

“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
3.74 from 136 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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    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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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