Why we love lemon poppy seed everything!

a slice of lemon layer cake with lemon poppy seed frosting

My favorite lemon poppy seed recipes ~ from muffins to layer cakes, salad dressings, pancakes, and more. We can’t resist this classic combination!

A slice of lemon cake with lemon poppy seed buttercream on a small plate with fork

the lemon poppy seed combo goes beyond muffins!

Lemon poppy seed recipes are a favorite around here. Bright, citrusy lemons and crunchy poppy seeds go so well together – why stop at classic muffins? There are so many fun ways to combine these two ingredients, from pancakes to salad dressing!

poppy seeds in a spoon

poppy seed FAQs

How long do poppy seeds last?

Poppy seeds, like all seeds, contain oil which can go rancid, so plan to use them within 6 months to a year from purchase. If you use a lot of them, store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Are poppy seeds good for you?

Yes, like most seeds, they’re a source of fiber, magnesium, calcium, and healthy fats.

Do you need to soak poppy seeds?

Some cooks soak poppy seeds to soften their outer shells and theoretically allow their flavor to infuse better into foods. It’s not necessary, though, and you can use poppy seeds right from the jar.

Do poppy seeds contain opium?

Poppy seeds do not naturally contain any opium, but can sometimes pick up trace amounts from the seed pod during harvest. Commercial poppy seeds are washed to remove any stray opium. According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “Poppy seeds contain only trace amounts of opium, not enough to get a high, but enough to influence a drug test. Experienced testers can tell the difference between use of heroin and consumption of poppy seeds by the presence of thebaine, a chemical only found when the person tested has been eating the seeds.

Can drinking poppy seed tea help you sleep?

Commercial (washed) poppy seeds don’t contain any opium compounds, so they won’t make you sleepy. It might be naturally soothing to drink warm tea before bed, though!

Lemon Tart with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust

I love using poppy seeds in unexpected places, like in the shortbread crust of my lemon tart. They not only look pretty, they give a nice crunch to the crust. My delicious Blueberry Poppy Seed Squares also use poppy seeds in a buttery shortbread crust, as well as in the filling.

lemon poppy seed tart with fork

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

I use poppy seeds in all kind of salads and dressings. This classic can be changed up using navel oranges, tangerines, or grapefruit. Wondering how to use your lemon poppy seed dressing? I love it on everything from chicken salad, to fish, to traditional leafy green salads. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is a 5-ingredient wonder --- it makes so many different kinds of foods just pop! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Frosting

A plain lemon layer cake becomes irresistible when you add poppy seeds. The speckled frosting is stunning, and would also be delicious paired with an almond flavored cake. Come to think of it, almond and poppy seed is a combination I love just as much as lemon and poppy seed!

a 3 layer lemon cake with lemon poppy seed frosting

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

A perennial favorite on the blog, these pancakes brighten up a winter morning like nothing else. Remember that you can swap out other citrus fruits with great results, like my tangerine poppy seed pancakes

lemon poppy seed pancakes, with syrup

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I could never resist those ginormous grocery store lemon poppy seed muffins, until I made them for myself and they were so much better! I think it has something to do with the glaze 😉

lemon poppy seed muffins on a plate with cup of tea

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Zucchini brings moisture and a lovely texture to the lemon poppy seed party. We made this zucchini bread on repeat all summer long, and haven’t stopped since. This lighter, brighter version is a winner!

lemon glazed zucchini bread

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