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Homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Make a batch of homemade lemon poppy seed muffins, perfect for breakfast or brunch! Easy, old-fashioned recipe for moist, delicious muffins.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff


  • KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Aqua Sky
  • Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater, 18/8, Green
  • Wilton Batter Spoons, Set of 3
  • Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 6-Cup Standard Muffin Pan, Set of 2, Silver
  • Ateco 1445 Cake Tester- 1 pack
  • Ultra Cuisine 100% Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack for Baking fits Half Sheet Pans Cool Cookies, Cakes, Breads - Oven Safe for Cooking, Roasting, Grilling - Heavy Duty Commercial Quality


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 milk*
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350° F., and line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • Grate the lemon zest with a lemon zester.*
  • Mix together the lemon zest and sugar, and let it sit for about 3 to 5 minutes to allow the lemon zest to really infuse into the sugar.
  • Add the softened butter to the sugar mixture.
  • Then mix in the eggs.
  • Mix in the milk, lemon juice, and sour cream.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together, and then add that dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing well.
  • Gently fold in the poppy seeds by hand.
  • Scoop the muffin batter into lined muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake at 375° F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.
  • Once the muffins have baked, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes; then put them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Serve them with butter and honey or your favorite jams, like peach jamstrawberry jam, or blackberry jam.


*If I were going to make these muffins dairy-free (and fair warning, I have not tried this), I would sub coconut oil or another acceptable oil for the butter, and then use a dairy-free milk like almond milk instead of whole milk. As for the sour cream, I might sub coconut milk.
*You can also use a good gluten-free flour with about 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum for leavening.
Simply put, you use a lemon zester and a real lemon. A lemon zester allows you to grate the colorful part of a lemon and use that for flavoring your favorite lemon recipes.
While you could use lemon extract in your muffins, I highly recommend the unbeatable natural flavor of real lemon zest. Especially when it's so easy to zest a lemon, why use anything but this?
Just be sure to wash your lemons well before zesting. I usually soak any fruits or veggies in a water/vinegar bath before consuming.
You may want to add in some optional ingredients to give your muffins even more bang for their buck (although they're delicious just the way they are).
Optional add-ins for your muffin batter…
Optional add-ons for your muffin tops after baking…
When it comes to storing these muffins, keep them in an airtight container or cupcake holder.
If you want to freeze the muffins, that's totally fine to do! Just be sure to put them in a sealed container or freezer bag so they don't get freezer burn.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 189mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g
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