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Lemon poppy seed muffins are a bright way to start the day! Fresh lemon and yogurt make these simple muffins moist and delicious.
Because it’s been so dreary lately, I find myself turning to lemon and making multiple batches of my lemon poppy seed muffins.
If you’re looking for an easy muffin with classic flavor, this is it! Even though it has both lemon juice and lemon zest, the lemon flavor is not overpowering, making it perfect for the whole family.
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Muffins are a go-to because they are really easy to make. In fact, muffins were one of the first things I learned how to bake as a child.
Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by lining with paper liners or coating with nonstick spray. I prefer to not use liners to prevent any paper sticking. You can also spray the papers if you like. Cooled muffins will be easier to remove from papers.
This recipe uses melted butter added at the end instead of creaming with the sugar. Make sure you melt the butter and let it cool before mixing so you don’t cook any of the ingredients in the bowl.
Combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make sure you stir well to evenly disperse the poppy seeds.
In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. The mixture should be smooth and not too thick.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. We do this to make sure we don’t overmix the batter once the wet ingredients are added.
Pour the wet ingredients into the well you just created and stir to combine, but just until ingredients are mixed. Again, you don’t want to overmix, which will make your muffins tough.
If your batter looks too thick, add a small amount of milk until it is smooth.
Fold in the melted butter, then divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake at 375°F for 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and tops bounce back when lightly pressed.
You can swap the yogurt with an equal amount of sour cream.
No poppy seeds? These are just as delicious without!
Sometimes I make these muffins using Meyer lemons, which are sweeter than standard lemons. Look for Meyer lemons during the winter months at your grocery store.
Bottled lemon juice is OK to use if you don’t have lemons on hand. The lemon flavor will be more subtle without fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, however.
To make these into vegan lemon poppy seed muffins, swap in vegetable oil, plant-based yogurt, and your favorite alternative milk such as almond milk.
If you like, mix up a simple lemon glaze for the muffins by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and milk as needed until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cooled muffins and let rest until hardened.
I use 2% milk in this recipe.
However, you can use whichever milk you have on hand, including plant-based milks. Keep in mind that if you use a flavored milk, it can affect the muffin taste.
My favorite yogurt is Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt. Any variety of yogurt will do; if yours is extra thick like Greek yogurt you might need a tablespoon or more extra of milk.
I recommend using plain yogurt rather than vanilla or even lemon yogurt. This is to help control the level of sugar in the recipe, as flavored yogurt will add quite a bit.
Yes, muffins are great for making ahead and freezing! I like to make a batch for breakfast and freeze any leftover muffins.
Let the muffins cool completely, then place them into a zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, then store in the freezer until desired, up to 3 months.
I store muffins in bags of 4. Smaller bags help prevent freezer burn and are perfect for taking just a few out at a time.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or pop into the microwave for 30 seconds, or until warmed.
Other muffin recipes to try
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or coat with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Melt butter and let cool while you mix the batter.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Stir to combine, just until no dry bits remain. If mixture is too thick, add a small amount of milk. Fold in melted butter.
- Divide batter equally among muffin cups, filling nearly to the top. Bake 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.