Close view of the bakery-style top on a lemon muffin.

There is something so bright and happy about the delicious combo of lemons and poppy seeds! These fluffy, sweet, and wholesome lemon poppy seed muffins bring a bit of brightness to any morning or afternoon snack.

Our lemon poppy seed muffin recipe is a breeze to make—so simple even the kiddos can help! Let’s get baking.

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One lemon poppyseed muffin stacked atop two others, a small overturned bowl of additional seeds spilling out in front of them.

Why do people put poppy seeds in muffins? 

Itty bitty poppyseeds bring a subtle nutty flavor to baked goods, but more importantly, they add texture and visual interest! They are definitely worth purchasing for muffins and other baked goods, overnight oats, and salad dressings!

Where does the lemon flavor come from?

Lemon zest does the heavy lifting in this muffin recipe. We thought about adding fresh lemon juice for even more citrusy goodness, but it changed the texture more than we’d like. But no worries—the lemon zest brings plenty of sweet-tart flavor!

What do I need to make this lemon poppy seed muffin recipe? 

For these bright and sunny muffins, you’ll need some basic baking ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, whole milk, and vanilla extract. You’ll also need fresh lemons to zest and a few tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Top view of a lemon poppyseed muffin split on a white serving platter with additional lemons and another muffin.

How do you make lemon poppy seed muffins?

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. This may sound high, but a quick blast of heat will give your muffins beautifully rounded tops.
  2. Mix up the batter. We recommend whisking the dry ingredients together in one mixing bowl, and the wet ingredients and sugars in another before combining them. Then you can stir the two bowls of ingredients together. This will give you the most tender muffins that are never dry.
  3. Fold in the lemon zest and poppyseeds.
  4. When the ingredients are all mixed, either grease a muffin pan or line the tin with cupcake liners. Fill each cup of the muffin tin about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, then drop the oven temperature to 350°F to finish baking. 
  6. Let the muffins cool completely before serving.

Why are my muffins dry? 

Most likely, you accidentally overmixed the muffin batter. Too much stirring can make the muffins tough and dry. So don’t worry about a few lumps of flour in the batter—for the best muffins, it is better to err on the side of undermixing.

A trio of poppyseed muffins on a white background with bright citrus fruit nearby.

How do I make these lemon poppyseed muffins have a round top like the ones from the bakery?

There are two key steps to getting bakery-style muffins:

  1. Melt the butter completely before adding it to the batter.
  2. Start with a high baking temperature, then drop it to 350°F for the rest of the baking time. The high starting temperature gives the muffins their height and springy tops, while the lower temperature makes sure they bake all the way through.

Do leftover muffins need to be refrigerated?

Nope—they’ll be perfectly fine at room temperature for up to three days. For best results, store the muffins in an airtight container with a paper towel or clean tea towel.

Muffins can also be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid, then transferred to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to three months.

Close view of the bakery-style top on a lemon muffin.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

These sunny lemon poppy seed muffins are sure to make you smile. Pack them in a lunchbox, have them for breakfast, or serve them as an after-school snack!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugars.
  3. Whisk in the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  6. Line a 12-count muffin tin with muffin liners or grease heavily. Fill each muffin cup until it is almost full.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350°F. Bake for 14-17 more minutes until the centers are completely set, verified with a toothpick inserted in the center.
  8. Allow the muffins to cool, then serve!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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