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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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.

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