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.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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.


  • 2 and 1/3 cups (292g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 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, melted1
  • juice and zest of 2 medium lemons2
  • juice and zest of 1 orange3
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) non-fat or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 425°F (218°C).  Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) 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).
  5. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Try them with a simple lemon glaze too!
  6. Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave if desired.

Recipe Notes:

  1. I have used salted and unsalted butter interchangeably in this recipe without changing the amount of added salt.
  2. 1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  3. My large orange yielded about 1/4 cup of juice and 2 Tablespoons of zest.

Did you make a recipe?

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© 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.

Poppy Seed Fact: It takes 900,000 of these tiny black polka dots to equal one pound!

Also, try these blueberry muffins next. ♥

Buttery Blueberry Streusel Muffins by

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!


  1. 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.

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

      • 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.

    • 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!

      • I agee ,I am originally from the Caribbean and the oranges are thin skin and you have to be careful with the zest as you will reach the white part quickly and it has a bitter after taste.

        I have made these muffins many times and you must be careful even in zesting citrus. Anytime I make this muffin it is in high demand from my friends at work.

  2. 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?


  3. Sorry for the same question again. Please disregard.

  4. Can I use mini muffin tins?

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    • 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!

  10. 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!!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. Would there be a problem if I used paper cupcake liners? Recipe sounds delish and the hint for temperature change for domed tops is excellent.

  14. My apologies if this has already been asked, but do you happen to know how many calories per muffin?

  15. Another recipe of Sally’s that I love and have made a handful of times! I’ve found they get a little dry after a few days, but they don’t usually last that long anyway! 

  16. Are there any adjustments to consider for high altitude?

  17. Thank you so much for this delicious muffin recipe!!  I used the zest from two oranges, as my supply of lemons was totally out, and it turned wonderfully orange-y!  I also tried almond flavoring in place of vanilla, which we also loved.  I agree with one of the other commenters that this is a fool-proof recipe; give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

  18. These were really yummy thanks for sharing your recipes!
    I made mine into mini muffins, I cooked them for 13 minutes in a 170 degree C oven 🙂

  19. Hey Sally – I wanted to use this recipe but do an almond poppyseed version of it. Would you recommend doing anything to make up for the lack of citrus juice or just do everything the same but add almond extract? Also how much extract do you think would be good and bold without overpowering? Thanks! 

  20. A family member is allergic to orange.  Could I omit it or replace it with something else?

  21. Can I make this recipe with just 1 lemon? I made these muffins last night and they had a strong lemon taste, i couldnt even finish my dispointed. i will try again today with just zest and juice of 1 lemon only. feedback please?

  22. Just tried your recipe and my muffins turned out perfect, reaaly moist and yummy. Im going to do a citrus cream cheese frosting with lemon and orange zest sprinkle. Thanks for a great recipe, will be doing these again definitely.

  23. one picture shows a glaze….do you have a recipe for it?    how many mini cakes would this make please?? ……….        thank you

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