Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.

My Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are a twist on the original lemon version. Soft on the inside, slight crisp on the outside. And full of flavorful citrus! 

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

When life (Sunkist) hands you (ships you) a box of lemons, what do you do? Besides the obvious cake, cheesecake, and iced sweet roll. I definitely have lemon problems, I know.

Lemons Anonymous.

Make lemon poppy seed muffins, of course! One of my favorite muffins in the world (besides blueberry, double chocolate and bran muffins – so boring, I know) are lemon poppy seed muffins. I love these springtime, citrus-infused muffins so much that I included them in my cookbook last year. Have you tried them yet?

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

Today’s muffins are practically the same recipe, with a little orange infusion. I was originally going to make the regular lemon poppy seed muffins to freeze and eat over the next few weeks – nothing screams springtime more! But I quickly improvised when I found only 2 lemons left in the crisper drawer. My recipe calls for 3. Whoops!

And so today’s zingy muffin recipe was born. A happy accident, if you will. Hey, it turned out well because now I can share a new recipe with you. A win-win muffin situation. Hope you’re hungry for a bright & sunny breakfast.

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

These orange lemon poppy seed muffins are buttery, moist, and bursting with lemon and orange flavors. I’ve had my fair share of bland lemon muffins, but these are a far cry from flavorless. You’ll need 2 lemons, 1 orange, and a splash of vanilla extract for an added flavor punch. Make sure you have a zester handy because you’ll need the zest of all three fruits. Here’s the zester I own and love.

A healthy dose of poppy seeds give the muffins a slight crunch. That’s the best part about poppy seed muffins! They’re a perfect contrast to the muffin’s soft interior. I bought my poppy seeds at the regular grocery store – after two muffin batches, the bottle is already gone. It’s money well spent, I promise.

Next on my list? Homemade poppy seed bagels. I think I’m up for the challenge.

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

You don’t need a mixer for this recipe. In fact, I hardly ever use a mixer for my muffin recipes. I like to whisk them all by hand because I can be in full control. Muffin batters are fragile – even the slightest overmixing will give your muffins a heavy texture.

I love sprinkling the tops of muffins with coarse sugar. Similar to the poppy seeds, the coarse sugar gives these muffin tops a delightful crunch. Plus it makes the top sparkle – which I’m all about. 

The muffins are baked in a very hot oven for 5 minutes. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature down for the remaining time. This is my beloved “muffin dome” trick. A quick burst of very hot air allows the muffin top to rise up quickly. Then the lower temperature bakes the center.

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!

Warm from the oven, these orange lemon poppy seed muffins are not complete without a pat of butter melting into each and every crevice. The perfect springtime breakfast if you ask me!

PS: This is the recipe I was testing when Kevin decided to draw the directions. He said my readers might prefer I draw all my recipes going forward because it will make me different from other food blogs. Pretty sure he was serious.


Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Buttery and moist, these sweet citrus-infused muffins are the perfect treat to serve at breakfast or brunch. No need to lug out that heavy mixer, these simple muffins are mixed together by hand in minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling


  • 2 and 1/3 cups (292g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter, melted*
  • juice and zest of 2 medium lemons*
  • juice and zest of 1 orange*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120g) non-fat or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 425F degrees.  Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, and orange zest together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in the yogurt and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together until no pockets of flour remain. Do not overmix. The batter is extremely thick.

Spoon the thick batter into the muffin tins, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle each with coarse sugar. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F.  Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake for 10-13 minutes longer until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Top with additional lemon and/or orange zest if desired (optional).

Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Try them with a simple lemon glaze too!

Additional Notes:

*I have used salted and unsalted butter interchangeably in this recipe without changing the amount of added salt. 

*1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

*My large orange yielded about 1/4 cup of juice and 2 Tablespoons of zest.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Try my favorite blueberry muffins next!

Jumbo Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins


Poppy seed fact: It takes 900,000 of these tiny black polka dots to equal one pound.

Orange Lemon Poppyseed Muffins - moist, sweet, and full of citrus flavor. No mixer required!





141 Responses to “Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.”

  1. #
    Toddposted April 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Love poppy seed in a sweet bread. These should be just as good if not better.


  2. #
    Whitneyposted April 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Made these today. Your description is spot-on: buttery and moist. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


  3. #
    Linseyposted April 14, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Hi! I literally just pulled these out of the oven and they are beautiful!! The sparkly coarse sugar on top is to die for! : ) (I get really excited about stuff like this…lol) Can’t wait to try one and take the rest to work tomorrow to share with friends (lucky ducks). : ) Thanks for a great recipe!


  4. #
    Alyssaposted April 18, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Hey there sally, could i substitute the poppy seeds for chia seeds?:D


    • Sallyreplied on April 18th, 2014 at 5:35 am

      I’m sure you could – though I’ve never tried it before.


  5. #
    Krystelposted April 19, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Hey Sally, if I don’t have poppy seeds can I leave it out and still make these orange lemon muffins??


    • Sallyreplied on April 19th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      That would be fine.


  6. #
    Jenniferposted April 19, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Made these last night to overcome my phobia of cale making (long story involving a lose bottom tin, wet mix and a dirty oven) and they turned out great!!! Now try and keep the flour and eggs away from me!


  7. #
    Simonposted April 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Hi what if I don’t have the yogurt? Is there another substitute or can I just omit it?


    • Sallyreplied on April 20th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Do not omit; you may use sour cream instead.


  8. #
    Jennyposted April 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    This is the most amazing recipe I have ever used! The batter is so fluffy and beautiful. The muffins came out to perfection!!! I would recommend this to EVERYONE! Go try it!


  9. #
    siljaposted May 10, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Made these delicious muffins together with my 3,5 year old daughter yesterday. As we only had raspberry yoghurt at home we used this instead. We made 24 little ones and decorated some of them with fancy little stars. Great and easy recipe. And ever so delicious fresh tasting muffins. Thanks:-)


  10. #
    cassieposted May 11, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    These are fantastic!! They were perfect for my mother’s day breakfast. Although the directions say to grease one muffin pan, I didn’t realize that I was only getting 12 muffins. (it was pretty early, and I hadn’t drank enough coffee, so that may have had something to do with it.) Moral of the story: make sure you double or triple this recipe, since they won’t be around long enough to get stale:)


  11. #
    Jackieposted May 20, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I’ve tried several of your muffin recipes before, and they’ve all been huge hits at my house, so I’m excited to bake these next!

    Quick question, though: you mention reduced-fat yogurt in the recipe. If I use full-fat plain yogurt instead, will it effect the consistency?

    Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Sallyreplied on May 20th, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Not at all – full fat will be just fine!


  12. #
    Monicaposted May 29, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I was going to omit the poppy seeds but add raspberries. Do you think that will make them too “wet”? Should I bake longer? Increase the flour?


  13. #
    Janiceposted July 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    hi Sally,
    I love your muffin recipes! I’ve tried a few and they all turned out to be wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing them!!
    I can’t wait to try baking these orange muffins as well. but it happens that i don’t have yogurt at home… is it fine to substitute the yogurt with milk or buttermilk?


    • Sallyreplied on July 7th, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Hi Janice! Buttermilk would be best.


      • Janicereplied on July 14th, 2014 at 3:22 am

        i just tried it with buttermilk. they came out MARVELLOUS!!! and they have a beautiful dome! thanks for the recipe =]

  14. #
    Kayleighposted July 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Another great recipe!! These turned out perfectly, and I’m sure my family of 6 will devour these within a couple days. I drizzled a lemon glaze over the tops of mine instead of the coarse sugar. I tested one (of course) before I put the rest away, and the texture was just great–light and fluffy. Thanks again for another tasty recipe!


  15. #
    CBposted September 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Made a half batch today into mini muffins. Used your timing from the chocolate chip muffin recipe (which I made last week!). Had no yogurt, milk or sour cream so substituted the yogurt with the only non-butter dairy product left in the fridge – vanilla ice cream haha. Still came out wonderfully. Thank you!


  16. #
    Amyposted September 21, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Excited to make these soon! Was just wondering if these muffins freeze well like your other muffin recipes?

    Hope you enjoyed your wedding!


    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Absolutely! 2-3 months in the freezer.


  17. #
    Amber Cushmanposted September 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I was wondering if I wanted to omit the orange just add more lemon to it?


    • Sallyreplied on September 28th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Amber – yep, simply replace the fresh orange juice and zest with lemon juice/zest.


  18. #
    Canadian Girlposted November 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    made with juice of 2 oranges and one lemon. Zest of 2 oranges and one lemon.
    Kind of gummy — tasted good. I would make these again.


  19. #
    Beaposted January 10, 2015 at 8:00 am

    These muffins were amazing! One of the best I’ve ever made! Thank you for the recipe. :)


  20. #
    Clemenceposted January 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I would suggest to reduce the flour (2 cups are enough) and to use regular yogurt instead of greek yogurt for moister muffins. They are delicious!!!


  21. #
    Meeraposted February 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Hi Sally
    My muffins turned out looking fine but had a horribly bitter aftertaste. I made these in a convection oven with 25f less temp, and I used oriental poppy(white poppy seeds) and oriental lemons, oriental orange(Indian lemons and oranges to be precise) and regular yoghurt, everything else was exactly like your recipe. I am not a novice at baking and i am SO heartbroken at these, PUHLEAAASH help Sally.


    • Sallyreplied on February 16th, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Are you sure you didn’t mix up the leaveners? Adding too much baking soda is usually the culprit behind a bitter aftertaste.


      • Meerareplied on February 16th, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        No, I did not, in fact I had barely a pinch of baking soda left that made up for exactly 1/4th tsp. I think it can also be the orange and lemon because Indian oranges and lemons can have a bitter-acidic taste but the juice tasted alright when I tasted it. And now I am in after-a-bad-batch-of-muffins depression.

    • Priyareplied on March 21st, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Indian lemons have a very thin skin, so you will hit the white part of the lemon very quickly while getting the zest. That might be the culprit to the bitter taste. Would suggest to not use lemon zest at all, only the Orange zest!


  22. #
    Susanposted February 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Can these lemon orange muffins be made without the orange juice? Or do you think the muffins would be too tart without the orange juice?



  23. #
    Susanposted February 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry for the same question again. Please disregard.


  24. #
    pattyposted February 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Can I use mini muffin tins?


    • Sallyreplied on February 25th, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Absolutely. I’m unsure of the bake time for mini muffins.


  25. #
    Melanieposted February 27, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Hi Sally! Just wondering if you could create a cookie version of this recipe. Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on February 27th, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Working on it!


  26. #
    Helenposted March 1, 2015 at 4:36 am

    This is the first recipe I have cooked from your site and it was so good I will be trawling through the rest of your recipes. Everyone loved the muffins and it is amazing how the flavour is enhanced by the lemon and yoghurt.. Thank you.


  27. #
    Adrienneposted March 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    These are phenomenal! Just made mini ones for a baby shower and love how they turned out: moist, soft and lemony! I baked them at 425F for 3min, then turned oven down to 375F and baked 5-7 more minutes. I “accidentally” devoured 4 or 5 and 1yr old daughter had 3 before they were completely cooled. Oops, better leave some for the baby shower!


  28. #
    Leiselposted March 7, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Made this a few times and it was a hit, the lemon and orange was refreshing. The kitchen smell heavenly while baking, even the car taking them to work smell wonderful.


  29. #
    Deborah Penningtonposted March 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Sally, I am a new fan of your blog. I am going to try these next. I wonder if you can help me figure out why my muffins sometimes fall after taking them out of the oven? Not sure what to do to correct this? thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on March 13th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Deborah, it could be a few things. (1) too much batter in the cups (2) opening/closing oven too frequently interrupting the leavening (3) underbaking (4) too much OR too little leavener. I’ve never had this issue with these muffins– let me know how you like them!


  30. #
    Priyaposted March 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Hi Sally, Loved this recipe!! I am new fan of your website after making the blueberry and lemon layer cake (which is the best cake I have ever made!). I didnt have lemons, so I used limes and blood oranges instead. Changed the colour a bit, but they have turned out beautiful! Thank you so much for your lovely recipes!!


    • Sallyreplied on March 21st, 2015 at 10:26 am

      Your muffins sound delicious Priya! I’ll have to try them that way sometime.


  31. #
    Tashaposted March 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I just made these, came out perfect! I didn’t have yogurt, so I used applesauce since I figured it was for the moistness factor & they are yummy!


  32. #
    Danielle Lanteigneposted March 29, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve been wanting to bake these for a while, and I just got them out of the oven. As I told my husband, it’s like eating a lemon pie in a muffin. Simply fantastic. All I changed was the flour – mixed 50-50 kamut and white flours. I had to bake them a few minutes longer. Taste of heaven, really!


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