Double Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These muffins have me fuming. I was angry because it took me three tries to make them perfect yesterday. I was upset since the third option worked out so well that I ate muffins before going to bed the previous night. Fortunately, they are healthier than typical muffins because they contain yogurt instead of sour cream and white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.

I understand that it is completely absurd to be angry with an inanimate, edible substance. It’s comparable to becoming upset with a dog for nibbling on your prized pair of shoes. Impossible! They’re just puppies and muffins being adorable little things.

Actually, I’m incredibly proud with these muffins after my leavening problems with the other batches yesterday. These muffins are overflowing with flavor since I increased the initial amounts of lemon zest and poppy seeds after my disappointing first batch. These are not sissy muffins. Additionally, I made the choice to use white whole wheat flour, which has a milder flavor and color but still contains all the nutrients found in whole wheat flour. The lemon might then really shine in this way.

Turbinado sugar makes a delicious, crackling top that complements the texture of the poppy seeds, so I chose to sprinkle the tops with it before baking. Even while the completed muffins don’t rise quite as high as they would if they were made with all-purpose flour and less poppy seeds, the resulting texture is still rich and almost pound cake-like.

Yesterday, I discovered some muffin-making advice that you might find useful (source: Diana’s Desserts). First, fill muffin cups no more than three-quarters full to avoid flat, flying saucer-like tops. Grease only the bottom and halfway up the sides of the cups for nicely rounded tops.

Also read: Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb and Yogurt Parfaits

However, I greatly prefer the crisp bottoms that come from baking the muffin batter directly against the pan. I have also discovered that paper liners make cleanup easier. Additionally, massaging the zest into the sugar instead of simply whisking it together releases much more citrus flavor. You’re aware now!

Last but not least, honey didn’t work here even though I adore using natural liquid sweeteners like honey in my baked goods. I made an attempt to reduce the liquid content so I could use one-half cup of honey in place of the sugar, but the resultant texture was quite spongy and the muffins didn’t taste particularly sweet. Additionally, adding zest to a liquid like honey is not possible, thus the muffins’ lemon flavor wasn’t very strong. Instead of using honey, I used organic cane sugar, and I’m happy with the results. Twelve muffins divided by one and a half cups of sugar is really not a concern.


  • 1 tablespoon plus half a cup of pure cane sugar
  • You’ll need the juice of one medium lemon and the zest of two medium lemons, preferably organic.
  • 1 1/2 cups of either regular or white whole wheat flour
  • Poppy seeds, 14 cup
  • Baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 teaspoon of sea salt, fine-grained
  • 5 tablespoons of melted and cooled unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of plain yogurt (plain Greek yogurt works, too)
  • One large egg (edit 3/20/14: use two eggs for richer, fluffier muffins that are more like cupcakes)
  • Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • two teaspoons of turbinado sugar for topping

Also read: Vegan Banana Nut Scones


  1. The oven should be preheated at 375 degrees. Butter or nonstick cooking spray can be used to grease your muffin pan. (Pro tip: oil the cups only halfway up and on the bottom to prevent your muffin tops from flattening out during baking.)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest together. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is aromatic and evenly pale yellow. Salt, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and flour should all be whisked in.
  3. Combine the butter, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and juice from one of your bald lemons in a different, smaller mixing bowl.
  4. The liquid ingredients should be added to the dry ones. To combine the two, use a large spoon. Just stir enough to combine the flour with the liquid.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter among the 12 muffin tins. Although the dough may be thick, your muffins will turn out beautifully. No more than three-quarters of the glasses should be filled. Turbinado sugar should be used to sprinkle the muffins, and any sugar that gets between the muffin cups should be removed.
  6. A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean after 16 to 19 minutes of baking, when the tops are golden. After five minutes of cooling in the muffin tin, carefully move the muffins to a baking rack to finish cooling.
  7. NOTES The Fauxmartha and Two Peas and Their Pod are mentioned, and the recipe was modified from my blueberry lemon muffins.
  8. produces a dozen muffins.
    You are welcome to use spelt flour in place of the white whole wheat flour.
  9. I believe you may replace 34 cup of the white whole wheat flour with 34 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter texture.