Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

July 5, 2009

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Everyone seems to love these muffins. They are nice at breakfast or with tea. sweet enough

Food52 Review: Heather adapted these from a cake recipe she makes all the time, with great success. The muffins are extra-lemony: not only is the glaze made with both lemon juice and zest, but the batter also contains lemon zest. And the poppy seeds aren’t exactly shy. They congregate throughout the rich, buttery muffins like so many hundreds and thousands, providing each mouthful with a delicate crunch. We used a pastry brush to apply a generous amount of syrup to the muffins a few minutes after they came out of the oven. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 12


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup plus one tablespoon sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup each freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar for glaze
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a dash of salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the eggs one at a time and beat in one tablespoon of the lemon zest, the poppy seeds and the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low beat in about half of the flour. Beat in the sour cream and then beat in the rest of the flour.
  4. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
  5. Make the glaze by simmering the lemon juice, sugar and zest until the sugar has dissolved. When the muffins come out of the oven, spoon about 1/2 of the glaze over the top. Let it sit over night and spoon the rest of the glaze over the muffins when you take them out of the muffin tin the next day. You can cut back on the glaze if you prefer not to have the outside of the muffins so sweet. I like it sweet.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Muffin|American|Seed|Sour Cream|Lemon Juice|Fruit|Lemon|Make Ahead|Breakfast

Reviews (17) Questions (1)

17 Reviews

nancy E. August 18, 2018
Fantastic recipe. So rich though. I never told the ladies I made them for how rich. Just perfect with that snappy glaze. thanks so much<br />
Jessica J. January 5, 2018
How much sugar goes into the glaze?
nancy E. August 18, 2018
It says use 1/2 cup lemon juice "and" sugar. so...1/2 cup of sugar
Ross R. December 4, 2017
I'm confused about the sugar. How much goes in the butter mixture base of the muffins and how much goes in the glaze?
Allison A. April 2, 2016
I'm thinking of making these for my mum's upcoming visit, but would need them to be GF. Would substituting almond flour work for this recipe?
sevenfaces May 1, 2014
Can I add my voice to the songs of praise for this recipe? Best muffins I've ever made in my life! I subbed out sour cream for greek yoghurt (as I do for almost everything), oranges for lemons (reducing the sugar in the glaze by over half) and as I didn't have enough butter as written I was glad to read in the comments that half the amount worked just as well for others, which it did for me too. I swapped the beaters for a spatula when folding in the flour and sour cream just to make sure I didn't over-mix. Delicious, fantastically moist yet fluffy results.
ErinC October 15, 2013
I made this yesterday--they came out excellent! Very moist with a solid crumb. I might use slightly more zest next time for a more lemony flavor.
hookmountaingrowers August 23, 2013
These were so delicious even without the glaze. Can they be frozen?
LeeLeeBee June 11, 2013
Is the 1/2 lb butter a typo? Most muffin recipes I make seem to use 1/2 cup of butter (one stick), max.
LeeLeeBee June 14, 2013
I just used 1/2 cup butter instead of 1/2 lb and the muffins were fantastic!
adele93 April 24, 2013
would greek yogurt work as a sub?
Melissaiscooking April 8, 2013
I made these pretty much as written, and they were quite lovely. I did have a little extra batter, which I used to make some mini muffins. I like that the interior of these muffins is very moist, but not overly sweet. The sweetness comes mostly from the lemony glaze. Thanks for a great recipe!
Blissful B. November 21, 2011
Is the 1/2 pound of butter a typo? Did you mean 1/2 cup? As written, it's twice the butter of a normal muffin recipe. Although I embraced the excess of lemons & poppy seeds, I couldn't embrace that much butter on top of the sour cream, so I altered it to 1/2 cup (1 stick) & made the rest of the batter as written. They were perfect! As for the glaze, I cut the sugar by 1/2 because I wanted the lemon taste to outshine the sugar. Delicious! These are the best lemon poppyseed muffins I've ever eaten. Thank you so much for this recipe.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 25, 2011
These just came out of the oven and taste soooooo good. I made tiny muffin-ettes made in small fancy molds for a potluck tomorrow morning with some beautiful strawberries I found at WF today! Thanks for a great recipe!
Casey M. July 22, 2010
easy to make and eat... absolutely delicious!
SoulDogWalker July 7, 2010
Don't be fooled by my lame pictures of these muffins! These are fantastic and dense and ever so yummy! I decided not to do the glaze because (1) I'm lazy and (2) I found them just right. I don't like things too sweet.<br /><br />Regarding the instructions 'pour the batter' - um...I found the batter to be so thick that I had to spoon it into the muffin pan. I also needed a few extra minutes of cooking time. Probably an error on my part, but they're awesome. And yes, I licked the bowl. :-)<br /><br />As a novice baker (yeah, at 40, I'm still a novice), I found it quick and simple.<br />
mvloves October 12, 2009
i can't wait to try it!! Sounds delicius and i love poppy seeds