Easy and delicious, these really are the best lemon poppy seed muffins ever! Fluffy and soft, they are ever so lightly sweet with a pop of fresh lemon flavor in the yummy glaze.

As you started off this innocent Wednesday morning, you may not have even known the one thing missing from your life might very well be a perfect lemon poppy seed muffin.

But I’m here today to gently inform you of that fact.

A coarse sugar-topped lemon poppy seed muffin with a piece of parchment.

I couldn’t live with myself if I let you go one more day without the best lemon poppy seed muffin recipe ever.

I fully recognize this may cause you to be a bit less productive as you drop whatever you are doing today and head immediately to the kitchen to make these muffins.

As I apologize for any inconvenience that may arise from this, I am also promising that your life will be infinitely more joyful when you have a batch of these muffins (in less than an hour!) staring you in the face.

A muffin tin of lemon poppy seed muffins.

Lemon muffins in general are often overlooked, in my opinion. They just don’t get the same attention and press as, say, a decadent chocolate muffin.

And while I can understand that, to a point (I mean, hello, chocolate!), lemon muffins are one of the most delicious, unassuming varieties of muffins around.

Perfect for almost any occasion and delicious year round, I think lemon muffins need a chance to shine again.

I’ve posted a few lemony muffins over the years – these lemon crumb muffins are a serious standout (sooooo yummy), and these wildly popular lemon blueberry muffins are timeless and fantastic.

But a quick inventory of my muffin archives and the shocking lack of a classic lemon poppy seed muffin had me feeling a bit lost.

Two lemon poppy seed muffins stacked on each other.

Lemon poppy seed cookies? Yep, got that covered.

But I wanted a really easy, really tasty lemon poppy seed muffin.

One you could whip up for an after school snack or make-ahead for breakfast. A muffin worthy of serving to a baby shower or bridal shower brunch crowd, but one simple enough to make just because.

Light and fluffy, but not overly sweet (we’re after a muffin here, not a cupcake).

And this really does pan out to be the best lemon poppy seed muffin recipe I’ve ever made.

A lemon poppy seed muffin with a bite taken out.

There really isn’t anything fancy, secretive, or difficult about these muffins.

A quick batter infused with fresh lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus some yogurt or buttermilk to help tenderness!) is dotted with poppy seeds and baked until fluffy and lightly golden.

The essential and somewhat special part of the recipe is the easy syrupy glaze (just fresh lemon juice and sugar!) that simmers until slightly thickened. Brush that tart, sweet glaze on top of the muffins right as they come out of the oven!

The extra pop of fresh lemon flavor from the glaze is fantastic and so yummy! If you have coarse sugar laying around, sprinkle some of that on top, too, for a fun bakery-style vibe.

This lemon poppy seed muffin is definitely fit for the “best of” archives!

a lemon poppy seed muffin on a piece of parchment

One Year Ago: Creamy White Chicken Chili {Stovetop or Slow Cooker}
Two Years Ago: One Pot Creamy Asparagus Bacon Pasta
Three Years Ago: Scripture Bars {i.e. Mud Hen Bars or Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars}
Four Years Ago: Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
Five Years Ago: Fudgy Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The Best Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

4.50 stars (287 ratings)



  • 3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups plain yogurt, Greek or regular or buttermilk (or a combination; see note)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1-2 lemons
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest, from about 3 lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, melted and cooled until no longer hot


  • ¼ cup (53 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional, but fun and delicious)


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (if using a dark-coated pan, preheat to 350 degrees F). Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins or line with muffin liners. If you only have one pan, you can easily bake in separate batches. See note about using a USA brand muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In another bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt/buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together once or twice to start combining (stop stirring before it’s fully combined; it’s ok if there are dry streaks remaining). Add the melted butter and gently fold/stir until just combined. Don’t overmix or the muffins might be dry and tough!
  • Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full (I use this handy dandy #20 cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins).
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch.
  • For the glaze, while the muffins bake, simmer the sugar and lemon juice together in a small pan on the stove, for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thickened into a light syrup. Remove from the heat.
  • Pretty quickly after the muffins come out of the oven (within 2-3 minutes), keeping the muffins in the tin, brush the top of the muffins equally with the lemon syrup. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
  • Let the muffins cool another minute or two in the muffin tin before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


Lemons: you only need about 3 lemons total for the recipe if you zest the lemons before juicing!
Yogurt: I’ve used 100% yogurt in these muffins, and I’ve also used a combination of yogurt and buttermilk (I use lowfat yogurt each time). I have not used sour cream (although I think it would probably work quite well), neither have I tried 100% buttermilk (yet). NOTE: some readers using extra-thick Greek yogurt haven’t loved the result, so I’d recommend using regular yogurt or a Greek yogurt that isn’t super thick.
Muffin Tin: if you have USA brand muffin tins, you likely can get away filling the liners quite a bit more full (the muffin tin is structured differently so muffins don’t overflow as easily as they are likely to do in other types of pans) and end up with more like 12-16 muffins that will be larger (and a bit more bakery-style). 
Serving: 1 Muffin, Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 176mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen