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Bread RecipesCOURSE

Baked lemon poppyseed cupcakes

If you love big, fluffy bakery-style cakes with cute domes, this is the best lemon poppy seed cake recipe. Packed with real lemon flavor and topped with poppy seeds, this is a dessert you won’t want to miss.

Cakes are wonderful baked goods that you can make. It cooks quickly, so it’s convenient to portion it into small portions. With my tips and tricks you can achieve the most beautiful dome.

I love the refreshing taste of poppy seeds and lemon, it’s almost like lemon pie, but is it good for breakfast? If you want to stick to the breakfast theme, you don’t have to add frosting, but instead add butter or Spread with cream cheese…but I think the lemon glaze makes it special!

Ingredients you’ll need

Below is a visual overview of the recipe’s ingredients. For measurements, scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Ingredients: Flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt (not pictured!), Greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, melted butter, eggs, and powdered sugar.

Ingredient notes

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour here. If you want to add some whole grains, feel free to swap half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat. You may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to the batter if it’s too thick. I cannot advise on using an alternative flour like almond, because the behavior in baking of these types of flour are very different from wheat.
  • Butter: A neutral vegetable oil is fine to use in place of the melted butter.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh is best, but bottled works in a pinch.
  • Greek yogurt: I use plain full-fat Greek yogurt. You can use low fat, but it must be Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt. A thick sour cream can be used in place of the Greek yogurt.
  • Baking powder and soda: I highly recommend using both in this recipe, for best results. If you only want to use one type, it should be the baking powder.

*Recipe variations

  • Coconut: Try reducing the flour by ¼ cup, and add ½ cup shredded toasted coconut to the dry ingredients. A great twist for spring and summer!
  • Lemon curd: Use spoonfuls of lemon curd in the muffin centres for a tasty surprise. Spoon ⅔ of the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add a heaping teaspoon of lemon curd into the middle of each muffin, then divide the remaining batter on top of the muffin cups. Bake as directed.
  • Raspberries: Fold 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries (do not thaw if frozen) into the batter

How to make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

1.Dry ingredients: Start by combining the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. I use a whisk to break up the flour and evenly distribute the poppy seeds, baking powder, soda and salt for better rising and better taste.

2.Wet ingredients: Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I like to use a large measuring cup here, for easy pouring in the next step.

3.Combine: Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula (NOT the whisk!) to combine them into a thick batter. A few lumps are fine, but make sure no more dry flour is visible. Do not overmix – you want to carefully fold, not vigorously stir.

4.Scoop: Scoop the muffin batter into lined muffin cups. I use an ice cream scoop for this – it’s SO easy and absolutely mess free! Even young kids can do this without getting batter all over the kitchen.

 

5.Bake: I bake muffins in a special way, to really get those nice and big domes on them

I preheat the oven to 425°F (yes, really).

Right before I out the muffins in the oven, I reduce the temperature to 400°F. I bake the muffins at 400°F for 5 minutes.

Then WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN, I reduce the oven temperature to 360°F and finish baking for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick entered into the middle of a muffin comes out with no more wet batter sticking to it.

6.Cool and glaze: Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you want to use the glaze, combine the icing sugar with just enough lemon juice to make a smooth, thick glaze. Drizzle over the cooled muffins. I garnished with small lemon wedges and poppy seeds.

Recipe notes

Muffin batter: This batter is on the thick side, but it shouldn’t be overly gloopy. If you think you accidentally added too much flour, you can thin out the batter with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.

Flour measuring: Measuring flour with measuring cups can be quite tricky to get right. You shouldn’t scoop the flour with the cup, instead you need to spoon it into the cup to make sure it’s fluffy – then level it off with a knife. I wrote a post about the “spoon and level” method, which yields the most accurate amount of flour in baking recipes. If you’re unsure about how to measure out your flour, I highly recommend reading it!

Can the batter be made ahead and baked later? I frequently get this question, but I do not recommend doing this. The baking powder is partly activated when they come in touch with liquids and especially with acids (lemon juice!). You’ll want to get the batter into the oven as soon as possible after making it to get the best rise. Otherwise, your muffins may turn out flat.

Recipes for flatter baked goods (like pancake recipes that only rely on baking soda) may turn out better when the batter is left to rest for 15-30 minutes, but this is not the case here, so I recommend baking right away.

*Quick tips

  • Don’t use a whisk when combining the wet and dry ingredients – use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to avoid overmixing.
  • An ice cream or cookie scoop makes it virtually mess-free to transfer the batter into the muffin cups.
  • My favorite muffin liners are from If You Care – the only ones I’ve ever found that never stick to the muffins!
  • For the perfect domed muffins, stick to the oven temperature instructions in the recipe. The initial boost of heat quickly activates the baking powder and causes the muffins to rise very nicely.

Storage

Make ahead: Store the muffins in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days on the counter, or for 3-4 days in the fridge. If using the glaze, it will soften in the container but still be perfectly delicious.

Freezer: Cool the muffins completely before freezing. Do not glaze. If using a freezer container, make sure the muffins don’t touch. If using freezer bags, you may want to flash-freeze the muffins on a baking sheet, without touching, for an hour before transferring them to bags. This way, you can remove one at a time.

Label the freezer bag or container with the name and use by date, then freeze for up to 2 months.

To defrost, remove from the bag/container and place on a cooling rack on the counter for a few hours, until completely defrosted. The muffins can be warmed in the microwave, or glazed after thawing.

Bakery-Style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

This is the best recipe for big, fluffy Bakery-Style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with those beautiful domes – full of real lemon flavor and studded with poppy seeds!
Prep Time 15 days
Cook Time 20 days
Total Time 35 days
Course Easy
Cuisine American, French, Italian
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

For MuffinsDry ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour spooned and levelled
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice fresh preferred, but bottled is fine
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs

Icing

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Heat oven to 425°F and line 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick liners.
  • Combine ingredients separately: Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in large measuring jug until smooth.
  • Make batter: Pour wet over dry ingredients and stir just to combine – lumps are fine. Evenly divide batter between prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake: Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Bake muffins at 400F for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 360°F (DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR FOR THIS!) and finish baking muffins for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool and glaze: Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients into thick glaze, spread over cooled muffins.

Notes

Ingredient notes

  • Flour: Feel free to swap half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat. You may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to the batter if it’s too thick. I cannot advise on using an alternative flour like almond, because the behavior in baking of these types of flour are very different from wheat.
  • Butter: A neutral vegetable oil is fine to use in place of the melted butter.
  • Greek yogurt: I use plain full-fat Greek yogurt. You can use low fat, but it must be Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt. A thick sour cream can be used in place of the Greek yogurt.
  • Baking powder and soda: I highly recommend using both in this recipe, for best results. If you only want to use one type, it should be the baking powder.

Recipe tips

  • This batter is on the thick side, but it shouldn’t be gloopy. If you think you accidentally added too much flour, you can thin out the batter with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
  • Don’t use a whisk when combining the wet and dry ingredients – use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to avoid overmixing.
  • An ice cream or cookie scoop makes it virtually mess-free to transfer the batter into the muffin cups.
  • For the perfect domed muffins, stick to the oven temperature instructions in the recipe. The initial boost of heat quickly activates the baking powder and causes the muffins to rise very nicely.
Keyword Bakery, Bakery-Style Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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