Lemon poppy seed muffins are one of those muffins that can feel sinful and decadent, but can also be quite simple and understated. You may have noticed that I LOVE lemon and add it in some way to many of the recipes I create.
The recipe I’m going to share with you today came after playing with my simple blueberry muffin recipe. I’ve always wanted to add a bit of lemon to it and since lemon and blueberries pair so well together, I tried it. And it was great! And the muffins were delicious!
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So how did it go from blueberry muffins with a hint of lemon to lemon poppy seed muffins?
Well, I got to thinking, let’s kick up the lemon flavor a bit, add in poppy seeds and see what happens. Well, lemon poppy seed muffins are what happened and that's a really good thing.
One of the funny things about baking with lemon is that you think you are putting so much lemon flavor in, and then you find that what you baked is still lacking a bit. Not with these lemon poppy seed muffins. The trick here is making sure you zest the two lemons really well.
You are going to add the lemon zest (which is full of flavor) to the sugar before you do anything else. You will then beat them together for a minute. This will help release some of the oils from the zest and infuse the sugar.
The second thing is that we are going to use a lot of fresh lemon juice here. Which you need to do to really get the lemon flavor to shine. Two lemons worth of juice go into these lemon poppy seed muffins.
Now, how do you know how much zest and juice is in each lemon?
That’s a great question and you can’t be exactly sure. But in my experience I’ve gotten about 1 tablespoon of zest from a lemon and about 2 tablespoons of juice from the average lemon. Not being exact is okay this time. The only challenge could come if you use itty bitty lemons, really ginormous lemons, or old lemons that are dried up. Stick with average lemons and you are good to go.
What's the trick to keeping lemons fresh?
Or, how do you keep fresh lemons on hand so that you can bake lemon poppy seed muffins anytime you get the craving?
Here’s a great trick. It's one that I’ve been using ever since I first heard it.
When you first get lemons home, don’t leave them out on the counter. I know they look pretty there, but you’ll want to put them in a zip top bag and put them in the refrigerator. Keep the sealed until you need them. Some of my lemons stored this way have lasted a month or more (I did an experiment with a test group, because I go through lemons much faster than that).
The poppy seeds are the other key to making these great.
This recipe calls for ⅛ cup of poppy seeds. It didn’t seem like that many to me at first, but once you dump them into the batter and gently stir them in, you’ll find it’s the perfect amount. There are enough to make the lemon poppy seed muffins look pretty and to provide a nice added texture. However, there aren’t so many that you feel like you are eating a jar full of them.
Loving the poppy seed and lemon together? This lemon poppy seed monkey bread recipe is another way to use the combination together for a perfect brunch treat.
Tips and tricks:
- Buy your lemons in “bulk”. You’ll want to buy a big bag of lemons at the grocery and not the ones sold individually. It’s a much better value.
- Poppy seeds can seem expensive if you buy them at the grocery. I suggest buying them either at Whole Foods in the bulk section (or any store with a bulk ingredients section) or on amazon. I’ve found these two places have the best prices.
- You can “fancy” these up by adding a simple glaze of confectioners sugar and lemon juice. If you want to garnish them try using candied lemon peel. I typically just serve them as is 🙂
Looking for other muffin recipes? Check out some of my favorites:
easy lemon poppy seed muffins
- 1 stick of butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons about 1 tablespoon
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- juice of 2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ cup poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying it well with baking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together lemon zest and sugar. Add the softened butter and mix with a hand mixer until creamed together. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat well.
- Juice the two lemons into the milk measuring cup.
- Add half the flour, the baking powder and salt to the mixing bowl and mix until incorporated. Then add half the milk/lemon juice mixture and mix until just incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and milk mixtures.
- Once everything is combined, add the poppy seeds and fold into the batter.
- Using a cookie scoop, portion into the muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Once done, let cool in muffin tin for about 10 minutes and then finish cooling on a cooling rack
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don't be stuck without them again!