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

  • 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 (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, melted*
  • juice and zest of 2 medium lemons*
  • juice and zest of 1 orange*
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) non-fat or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt, 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, 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!


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

Keywords: orange lemon poppy seed muffins

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

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. Kevin cracks me up – that is hilarious!! Lemon poppyseed muffins are one of my favorite muffins – and the citrus from the orange is an awesome addition! Pinning to make!

  2. I love lemon poppyseed muffins, but have never tried orange lemon poppyseed. Sounds delicious. I think if you do draw your recipes it will definitely make you stand out. Bahaha – loved that, Sally.

  3. I love love the twist you did on these muffins! I haven’t even gotten around to trying my hand at lemon PS muffins, but when I do you can bet I’m going to be adding orange to my batter! I love how soft and moist these muffins look! That split muffin photo is just begging to be spread with cream cheese. 😉 Pinned.

  4. Ah! Sally, I saw poppy seed muffins earlier this week somewhere on the blogosphere, and my craving hit. I haven’t gotten around to making them yet, and I’m glad that I haven’t, because I love your orange AND lemon twist even better! Especially now that it’s warming up – citrus fits the bill perfectly. You always have such delicious stuff on your blog!

    1. Thanks Lisa – and you’ve got to try these. Hands down the best lemon muffins I’ve ever had. Love the orange infusion too!

  5. Can’t wait to try these. We love lemon poppyseed muffins, so these are sure to be a hit. I loved the little drawings of the ingredients. So cute. You and Kevin need to write a cookbook for kids and have him illustrate all the recipes!

  6. these look like exactly what i need on a snowy day like today! so summery and delicious, and they remind me of summer.

  7. Sign me up for Lemons Anonymous, too, because this baby’s got me wanting citrus nonstop! These muffins are irresistible, Sally!

  8. Wow! These look so fluffy and delicious. I absolutely love the idea of orange and lemon with poppyseed. So smart. And I think Kevin is on to something. 😉 Have a lovely weekend, sweet Sally! xoxo

  9. I love the amount of lemon, orange, and citrus-y flavors popping up these days!!! So excited for warmer weather and to make lighter recipes. And I must say, I am so happy to have read about your muffin dome trick! It definitely makes a nice looking muffin!

    PS. A recipe full of drawings would have been the GREATEST april fools!

    1. Hahahaha Lauren, yes – that would’ve been the BEST April Fool’s joke. Totally writing it down for next year. You’re a genius.

  10. Sally these look so good! You wont believe it but i’ve been thinking of poppy seed muffins for ages! Unfortunately the black seeds arent available in India very easily, i’ve looked all over 🙁 hoping to find them and make these soon!

  11. These are so you! My mom loves poppyseed muffins and when I see the mega abundance of seeds in these, I know she’d love them! And with the citrus, so perfect for spring!

  12. Sally, we’ve got some major telepathy going on. I just posted a recipe for lemon poppyseed muffins on my blog today too! I even used the technique of baking the muffins at a high temperature for the first five minutes, a trick I learned from you first!

    Your muffins look spectacular–I love the addition of orange, it must add a whole new dimension to the citrus flavor! Next time I make muffins, I’m trying these. Than is for yet another delicious recipe!


    1. Molly, that’s too funny. Great minds think alike! The high temperature trick works wonders. I swear by it. Hope you give these a try!

  13. Lemon Poppyseed muffins are my kids’ favorite and these sound even more amazing. Love that dusting of beautiful zest. Perfect for Spring!

  14. YUM! I tried to make lemon poppy seed bread two weeks ago and it was terrrrrible and ended up turning into a brick which I had to throw away 🙁 But. these look so yummy and might get me to attempt lemon poppy thing again 🙂

    1. Alexe, poppy seed bread sounds delicious! So sorry yours didn’t turn out. You definitely need to give these muffins a try now!

  15. These warm from the oven…that’s EXACTLY what I’m craving right now. Love the lemon/orange combo. How spring-y!

  16. YEEESSSSS!!! 😀 Sally, thank you! Poppy seed muffins are my favorite and I couldn’t stop grinning when I saw this new recipe. I think I’ll make these over the weekend! 🙂

  17. These look absolutely amazing! I’m a big fan of these muffins and love the fact you included orange. I hope you decide to make the bagels, because that would be epic!

    1. Thanks Kenton! Ok, now I definitely have to make those bagels. I’ll get around to it, I promise. Hope you try these!

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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

Recipes You’ll Love



Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

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

View More

Sally's Pie Week

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