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Make your kitchen smell divine with a batch of these sunny, yet sophisticated muffins.

Updated on August 24, 2022

Photo: Greg DuPree

Total Time:

1 hrs 20 mins

A great lemon-poppy seed muffin recipe can be hard to come by—they’re either too sweet, too oily, or too dense. Not here. This one-bowl recipe turns out a dozen ultra-tender, just-sweet-enough muffins that are right at home alongside black tea or a cappuccino. The glaze on top has a hint of rose extract to enhance the lemon flavor (though you can skip it if you’re not a fan, of course). Rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar not only adds floral notes to the muffins, it draws out the flavor-packed oils from the peel.


  • Baking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • ½ cup canola oil

  • ½ cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

  • Lemon-Rose glaze, optional (see below)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat cups of a 12-cup muffin tray with baking spray. (Alternatively, line cups with paper baking cups or parchment paper and coat with baking spray.) Place sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub zest into sugar until coated and fragrant. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, oil, buttermilk, and lemon juice. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; stir until batter is smooth. Stir in poppy seeds.

  2. Pour batter evenly into muffin cups (about 3 tablespoons each). Bake until center of each muffin springs back when gently pressed, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer tray to a wire rack and let muffins cool for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tray and let cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes. Top with glaze, if using.

Lemon-Rose Glaze

A simple icing makes these scrumptious muffins even more luscious. Whisk 1½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon rose water (optional). Spoon over the cooled muffins.

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