It’s been gloomy out lately, but I’m keeping it sunny in my kitchen with these classic Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.They’ve got loads of bright lemon flavor from fresh zest and juice, a little crunchy texture from poppy seeds, and they stay moist for days thanks to ingredients like eggs, oil and whole milk.These muffins come together quickly and easily and don’t require a mixer. In fact, a mixer would be a detriment here. The secret to tender Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (and most muffins and quick breads) is to mix them as little as possible. You can stir the wet and dry ingredients separately as much as you like, but once they’re in the same bowl, you want to stir just 15 or 20 times.The batter is divided into 12 muffin cups before being baked at 400F for five minutes, and then 350F for fifteen more. That initial blast of heat helps them to dome, while the remaining bake time ensures they cook evenly.Once baked, let your muffins cool a few minutes before drizzling on a quick lemon glaze. You could skip it in the name of breakfast or health, but…why?
Life is short. Muffins are breakfast-appropriate cupcakes. This glaze is “secretly” an icing.
Don’t. skip. the. glaze.Serve your Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins up with coffee or tea or whatever makes you happy. Good luck resisting a second. I’ve been known to eat three or four of these throughout the day, which seems like a lot, but can you blame me?
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
makes 12 muffins
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 medium lemons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 medium lemons)
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2-1 medium lemon)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use your fingertips to rub lemon zest into sugar. Whisk in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.
In a small-medium mixing bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together milk, lemon juice, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon just until combined—no more than 15-20 strokes.
Divide batter among muffin cups—they will be full. Carefully tap the pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350F and bake for an additional 14-16 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a cooling rack over a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
Remove muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least five minutes before removing to prepared rack.
Make glaze. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar and lemon juice until thick, but pourable. Pour or drizzle over muffins. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Glaze will set completely after several hours.
Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days. Unglazed muffins may be double-wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 3 months.