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lemon poppy seed muffins scattered on a cooling rack

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
  • Yield: 11 muffins 1x


These are the BEST lemon poppy seed muffins! They’re bakery-quality with super tall muffin tops, a moist texture, super fresh lemon flavor, and homemade lemon simple syrup brushed on top. 



Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour*
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (65g) sour cream**, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or lemon extract)
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 cup (255ml) milk, room temp

Lemon Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • Lemon peel from 1 lemon


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and use a rubber spatula to combine.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. In the meantime, make the lemon simple syrup.
  6. Add the lemon juice and sugar to a saucepan and place over medium heat. 
  7. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to let the sugar completely dissolve.
  8. While that simmers, peel the zest from 1 lemon. I recommend using a paring knife to carefully peel away the zest and try not to cut into the pith too much. Place the zest in a heat safe bowl.
  9. Remove the lemon syrup from the heat and pour into the bowl of zest. Let it cool at room temperature while the muffin batter continues to rest.
  10. Close to the 1 hour mark, preheat the oven to 425F and line a cupcake tin with one of these two options: 1 – line with 11 paper liners. 2 – line with 6 paper liners, placing in every other cup so they are evenly spaced. This method means the muffins are baked in 2 batches (if you only have 1 cupcake tin), but it will also lead to taller muffin tops. It’s up to you, but I prefer method 2!
  11. Using a large 2 oz scoop (or about 1/4 cup), fill each liner all the way to the top and then some. Be careful not to disrupt the batter too much when scooping. That hour of rest helped fluff up the batter for a taller rise in the oven, so we don’t want it to deflate!
  12. Bake for 8 minutes. Then change the oven heat setting to 350F and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  13. *If baking in two batches, make sure to set the heat back up to 425F once the first batch is done baking.
  14. When the muffins are fresh from the oven, brush with a generous amount of the lemon simple syrup. 
  15. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with more poppy seeds if desired and dig in while they’re still warm!


*FLOUR – For accuracy, I recommend weighing the flour if you can. Otherwise, spoon and level the flour when measuring. Do so by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife. Do not shake it or pack it down into the cup, otherwise you’ll end up with dry and dense muffins.

**SOUR CREAM – Full fat Greek yogurt can also be used here.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon poppy seed muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins recipe, lemon poppy seed muffin, lemon muffins, poppy seed muffins

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