Easy One Bowl Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

lemon poppy seed muffin with dripping glaze

My easy one bowl Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are a classic breakfast treat with fresh lemon flavor and crunchy poppy seeds. The batter can also be rested overnight for the freshest muffins in the morning.

Perfect Poppy Seed Muffins, with dripping glaze

Let me say right up front that these lemon poppy seed muffins are the old fashioned kind

They don’t pretend to be bakery style or (gasp) grocery store type muffins. Somewhere along the line perfectly good muffins mutated into bloated big-as-your-head monstrosities, full of weirdly artificial flavors (have you had a ‘banana’ muffin lately?) I’ve sworn off them, but I’m so weak willed that I can’t seem to board an airplane without one stuffed into my carry on. I live to regret it before we ever reach 10,000 feet.

glazed lemon poppy seed muffins on a cooling rack

When I’m not traveling I get my muffin fix this way, and luckily these classic muffins are easy to throw together, all you need is a mixing bowl and a whisk. They’re a great recipe to have on hand when you want to get a retro, homey vibe going in your kitchen. And while blueberry is probably the most popular muffin flavor in the US, lemon poppy seed is always in the top 10, so you know they’ll get lots of love.

lemon poppy seed muffins on a cooling rack

The secret to lemony muffins

One potential problem with lemon poppy seed muffins is that they can lack that lemony punch that we all want and deserve when we bite into something that claims to be ‘lemon’ flavored.

I solve the problem in 4 ways…I add lemon juice and zest to the batter, but then I add a dose of lemon flavoring as well. I use a good quality lemon extract (nothing fake) or, one of my new favorite products, lemon paste, to the muffins to really enhance the flavor.

Finally, the glaze, which is simply lemon juice mixed with confectioner’s sugar, which gives the muffins their final punch of lemon.

lemon poppy seed muffins on a plate with cup of tea

A tip to get muffins to dome

Muffins can be so frustrating ~ sometimes they bake up with nice round domes, and other times they come out flat. There are a lot of variables, including making sure your baking powder is fresh, but here’s a great tip…

  • Let your batter rest for at least an hour, right on the counter, after mixing.
  • Don’t stir the batter again after the rest, just scoop the batter into your muffin tin and bake.
  • I find this results in great ‘dome-age’.

lemon poppy seed muffins on a cooling rack

Muffin mania ~

lemon poppy seed muffin with dripping glaze
4.73 from 18 votes

Easy One Bowl Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Old Fashioned Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are a classic breakfast treat with fresh lemon flavor and crunchy poppy seeds.  It's an easy one bowl recipe that can also be rested overnight for the freshest muffins in the morning.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 10 muffins
Author Sue Moran


wet ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk, half and half, or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp lemon paste
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds

dry ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


  • 1 heaping cup confectioner's sugar
  • lemon juice to thin


  • Preheat oven to 350F and butter a muffin tin, or line with muffin liners.
  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients well.
  • Whisk in the salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then add the flour and fold in until no dry steaks remain. Small lumps are fine. Set the batter aside on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Without any further mixing, spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling almost full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until risen and starting to turn golden brown around the edges.
  • Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to cool completely on a rack before glazing.
  • Whisk the confectioner's sugar with just enough lemon juice to make a glaze. Start with a tablespoon and keep adding slowly. You can spread the glaze on the muffins, or dunk them in headfirst.

Cook's notes

Muffins are small and easily over baked, so check them on the early side.
I like to eat muffins the same day, especially when glazed, but if you must keep them, cover them with foil or plastic at room temperature.  Revive next day muffins with a quick zap in the microwave.
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.

lemon popy seed muffin pin



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Quick question about cupcake liners. I use them simply because no one wants to take the time to clean the pan. ?. I usually use a liner with a spray of cooking oil. What is your recommendation to get the liner to not stick?
    *can’t rate this recipe as I haven’t made it yet but I find all your recipes are top notch!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 27, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      The best thing if you don’t want the papers to stick is to use parchment paper muffin liners, they release like magic.

  • Reply
    April Putney
    April 23, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    I’m really eager to try this recipe, it looks perfect for serving at tea time. How would you adjust the baking time for “mini” sized muffins with this recipe if I wanted to include them as a small bite with tea?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 24, 2021 at 5:18 am

      Hi April, mini muffins should be checked at 10 minutes, they cook quickly!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    5 stars
    Sue, these look mouth-watering!
    I have Lemon Extract. If wanting to use Lemon Extract instead of the 1 tsp Lemon Paste, how much Extract would you use?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 8, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      Lemon extract is strong, so I’d use 1/2 tsp, but don’t forget the all important zest, that’s going to give you the biggest lemon payoff 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet Newcombe
    January 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    5 stars
    Best lemon poppyseed muffins ever!! I didn’t have lemon paste so used a very good extract and only added about 1/4 of a teaspoon. I also used 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1/4 cup of meyer lemon olive oil from my local olive oil company! I only used 1/4 cup of icing sugar and some lemon juice for the glaze and used a fork to drizzle them lightly as we are trying to cut back our sugar intake. I calculated out the calories, and using only 1/4 cup of icing sugar they have 198 calories each, that is awesome!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Could I substitute lemon paste for lemon extract? I’m not familiar with lemon paste.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Resting overnight – in the refrigerator?

    • Reply
      February 10, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Yes, for an overnight rest you’ll pop it in the fridge.

  • Reply
    Donna Oliphint
    February 10, 2020 at 9:50 am

    What is old fashioned about these muffins–the size or the texture? I like my muffins on the tender side.

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