Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins






We’ve discussed my sincere appreciation for lemons previously on this blog, and now I must take a moment to acknowledge poppy seeds.  As a gal with Eastern European roots, I feel that poppy seeds are the seeds of my people.  Slovaks and Hungarians are crazy about poppy seeds.  We grind them into dust and cook them with sugar and water to slather inside dough for poppy seed rolls.  We put them on breads and in muffins.  My dear friend Tara (to whom I would swear I am related, perhaps as a distant fourth-cousin) always offers a poppy seed cake as a condolence at wakes, as is her family tradition.

The person who wrote the recipe below claimed that it yielded 12 muffins when baked in a standard muffin tin.  I’m not sure in which universe a recipe with three cups of flour only yields 12 muffins, but hey, I’m not going to judge.  I tweaked the recipe slightly and added more lemon zest for extra flavor, and when all was said and done, I had 27 muffins.

A note about poppy seeds: they can turn rancid when not stored properly or used in a timely manner, so they must be frozen or kept in the refrigerator.  I keep my seeds in the fridge for up to six months; they should remain blue-black in color and retain their poppy seed smell when fresh.  If they look or smell suspicious, throw them out.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

For lemon glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • About 3 ½ tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.

Add lemon zest, beating until combined.

Add the flour mixture and yogurt in thirds, alternatively, beating until just combined – take care to not over-mix your batter.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop or two tablespoons, drop batter into lined muffin tins, distributing batter evenly.  Refrigerate any extra dough while the first two batches bake.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for two minutes in tins, then remove to a wire rack.

Prepare lemon glaze; place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and add lemon juice, one tablespoon at a time, until you achieve a very, very drizzly consistency; I used about 3 ½ tablespoons of juice.

While muffins are still warm, brush the tops with the lemon glaze.  Muffins can be glazed a second time if you wish.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s