Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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! Recipe on

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! Recipe on

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! Recipe on

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.

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! Recipe on

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


  • 2 and 1/3 cups (292g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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!

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. 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!

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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! 

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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! 

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

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

  13. Hi Sally! These look amazing and I just happen to have heaps of lemons in the fridge! Just wondering if I can omit the poppy seeds and add blueberries instead for a lemon blueberry muffin? Or will that be too wet? Thank you!:)

  14. I wanted to try these in mini muffin form. Do you know the oven temperature and time that should be used?

  15. I just made these, and am (impatiently) waiting for them to cool. They look AMAZING! Thanks so much for the domed-top tip. I never thought I’d be able to make muffins that look so perfect!

    I had to tweak the recipe a bit… I didn’t have whole eggs, just egg whites, so I used 1/2 cup of egg whites. I only had half a lemon and 2 oranges, so mine will be more orange-y. One thing that I found strange is that this batched made only 6 perfect muffins, not 12, and I filled the tins to the top as instructed. Maybe it could be the egg whites? But that still seems off to have the recipe cut in half. Anyways, I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Hello Sally. I would like to make Orange Lemon Poppyseed muffins with your Master Muffin Mix.
    What tweaks would be needed for the Master Mix. thank-you.

  17. Thank you for adding in weights and not just cups! Makes being Aussie easier 🙂

  18. These are my new favourite muffins! So so good. Does this recipe work doubled? 

    • I always recommend making two separate batches– it’s easier to work with less batter at a time. And less risk of over or under mixing.

  19. Hi Sally.. I’m a huge fan of your recipes! Especially with the weight provided for ingredients. Makes my life easier here in Australia . I’m desperate for a moist orange poppy seed cake recipe. Would this recipe work for a cake as well?
    Thanks, Prerna.

  20. Hi Sally!
    I made your lemon poppyseed muffins (from Sally’s Baking Addition) last night and they came out really dense I guess you could say. They aren’t light and fluffy like a muffin you would get at the grocery store or a cafe. Are they supposed to be like that? I followed the recipe and used Oikos triple zero vanilla yogurt in them. The batter was SUPER thick. Other than that they are really tasty and satisfying my craving for lemon poppyseed muffins (been craving them since before Christmas!)! Going to make these next and I’m also going to use this recipe and make an orange cranberry muffin too! Any suggestions on getting a fluffy bakery/ cafe style muffin? 

    Oh and I commented on this recipe because I couldn’t find the regular lemon poppyseed recipe on here. 

    • Hi Meredith! You’re right– they are on the denser side and start with a very thick batter. For a lighter muffin, I suggest starting somewhere different than with this recipe and the one in the cookbook. Try this master muffin recipe. Included in it is a lemon poppy seed version. Very light and moist muffins! And here is my cranberry orange muffins recipe you can try too.

      • Hi Sally! 
        Thanks for such a quick reply! And thank you for the suggestions. I’m glad to hear that I isn’t over mix the batter (it seemed like I had to mix it a lot to incorporate the flour so I figured that’s why they turned out they way they did). Definitely going to try both of these recipes, maybe even this week. Can’t wait to give them a try. I love all of your stuff hat I’ve made 

  21. Hi Sally would I be able to leave out the lemons and replace them with oranges to turn this into an orange poppyseed muffin?

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