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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
Muffin mania ~
- Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins
- Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel
- Orange and Cardamom Muffins
- 7 Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Easy One Bowl Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 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
- 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.
Questions and Reviews
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!
The best thing if you don’t want the papers to stick is to use parchment paper muffin liners, they release like magic.
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?
Hi April, mini muffins should be checked at 10 minutes, they cook quickly!
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?
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 🙂
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!
Could I substitute lemon paste for lemon extract? I’m not familiar with lemon paste.
Resting overnight – in the refrigerator?
Yes, for an overnight rest you’ll pop it in the fridge.
What is old fashioned about these muffins–the size or the texture? I like my muffins on the tender side.