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! 

stack of 2 orange lemon poppy seed muffins

When life (Sunkist) hands you (ships you) a box of lemons, what do you do? Bake with them!

One of my favorite muffins in the world (besides blueberry!) are lemon poppy seed muffins. I love these springtime, citrus-infused muffins so much that I included them in my cookbook. Have you tried them yet?

orange lemon poppy seed muffins

Today’s muffins are practically the same recipe, with some orange infusion and a little milk to help thin out the thick batter.

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 for the lemon and orange.

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 love sprinkling the tops of muffins with coarse sugar. Similar to the poppy seeds, the coarse sugar gives these muffin tops a delightful crunch.

orange lemon poppy seed muffins on a plate

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

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!

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
stack of 2 orange lemon poppy seed muffins

Orange Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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! 


  • 2 and 1/3 cups (291g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated 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*
  • 67 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 medium orange)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) non-fat or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure 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, 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, milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together until no pockets of flour remain. Do not over-mix. The batter is 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!


  1. Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Butter: I have used salted and unsalted butter interchangeably in this recipe without changing the amount of added salt.
  3. Lemon: 1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Keywords: orange lemon poppy seed muffins

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


Comments are closed.

  1. delish! Simple and refreshing for a muffin.

  2. I LOVE the flavor of these. I don’t love the texture. How could I make it more light and fluffy like store bought muffins are?

    1. Hi Sofia, try my master muffin recipe. They’re pretty soft and cakey! I include a note about turning them into lemon poppy seed flavor. Feel free to add some orange zest too and replace some of the lemon juice with orange juice.

  3. Hello. I would like to make these because your recipes have not failed me. However, my husband is not a lemon fan. What changes would I need to make to use Almond extract instead of lemon juice and zest? Thanks.

    1. Hi Leanne, instead of altering this recipe to leave out the lemon, I recommend using my favorite muffin recipe instead. Follow the base batter, then add 2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients. Add 1 teaspoon almond extract with you mix in the vanilla. You can leave out the cinnamon.

  4. These are great! Would it be possible to make it into a bread?

    1. Hi Reliance! I actually haven’t tried this recipe as a loaf before, but I imagine it would be incredibly dense. You can certainly try it, but keep that in mind. I’m unsure of the best bake time.

  5. Hi Sally. Firstly I am so pleased to have found your website, I am slowly working my way through your recipes and often take one of them to work for my colleagues so I dont eat a whole recipe myself! I have just made these muffins and loved them. I find that as my oven is fan forced I need to lower the temperature by about ten degrees but have also made quite a few of your muffin recipes and have to decrease the cooking time by 5-10 minutes. I live in Australia so I dont know if that makes any difference or could it just be my oven? Its not a problem as I just watch them carefully but wondered if I should be changing anything? Otherwise as I said, Im loving your recipes and my husband gets the leftovers of what I dont take to work! My theory is that way I get to bake (which I love) and try to just eat one muffin or piece of cake and then leave the rest at work!)

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Heather, We are so happy you have been enjoying the website! All of the recipes here are written for conventional settings. The rule of thumb when baking with convection/fan settings is to lower your oven by 25 degrees and the bake time may still be shorter so begin checking before the recommended bake time. I hope this helps!

  6. Could you sub the 1/4 cup orange juice and zest for lemon? To make regular lemon poppyseed?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brock, You can leave out the orange and replace with lemon zest/juice.

  7. Hi, Sally! I know you might be busy but if you are unavailable that’s okay, it is NOT urgent. How would I go about making these into mini muffins?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily! No changes to the recipe necessary for mini muffins. Bake them at 350F for 11-13 minutes!

  8. Ilakya Arun says:

    Hi Sally,
    I just made these lovelies with white poppy seeds(I didn’t have black one handy)and thanks for the simple yet delicious recipe. It’s so flavorful but I didn’t get the crispness on the top. I don’t know where I went wrong. Can u help me here?

  9. This made very dense, bread-like objects that didn’t taste particularly lemon-y. Furthermore, the 5 minutes at 475 almost burnt the outside of them. I did another batch for 18 minutes at 350 and they rose much better and looked much better as well.

  10. natiiebouzie says:

    I am such a big fan of your recipes, it’s sometimes hard to understand other recipes that use measurements such as ounces, but you provide cups and spoons which really goes a long way
    i’ve only just recently started baking and you’ve been my mentor 😀
    i do have a question.. i don’t have any yoghurt at hand but i do have coconut milk.. would it be okay to substitute it with that?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested this recipe with coconut milk as a substitute for sour cream or yogurt, but fear it would be too thin. Let us know if you give it a try!

1 3 4 5

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally