Jumbo Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
for the batter:
- zest of two lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- juice of two lemons 1/4 cup
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Drop lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice one lemon
- 1/4 cup coarse sugar I used demerara sugar
- Preheat oven to 425. Line 6 wells in a jumbo muffin tin. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and mix together the zest and sugar until well mixed and fragrant.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add them to the sugar mixture in a steam as the mixer runs. A clumpy dough will form.
- Add the oil, juice, eggs, buttermilk and extracts. Mix until a fairly smooth batter forms. Stir in the poppy seeds.
- Fill each well about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if using.
- Bake for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean or with one or two coarse crumbs.
- Meanwhile, whisk together glaze ingredients, if using.
- Remove to wire rack and drizzle with glaze if using. Or leave the muffins unadorned all together!
- Cool on wire rack.
- I used this Microplane zester that makes fairly coarse zest.
- I glaze the muffins we are eating the day I bake them and then put sugar on any extras. The glaze does soak into the muffins with time. If you like that, is up to you! I find unglazed are easier to store.
- Store leftovers at room temperature.
I bought this jumbo muffin tin last year so I could make retro jumbo bakery-style muffins at home. First up was blueberry crumb so the next obvious choice was lemon poppy seed. I honestly don’t think I’ve had one in decades! They feel so eighties to me.
It’s lemon season in the US so it is the perfect time to make these muffins. Lemons are, of course, available all year long but they are at their juiciest most fragrant peak right now. Don’t let this time pass you by!
Lemon, like all citrus, has a tendency to “bake out” of baked goods so I’ve come up with a few tricks to make sure these muffins actually taste like lemon. First, I mix the lemon zest with the graduated sugar for about a minute. This helps the oils from the zest release and they get distributed in all in that sugar. I use slightly coarse zest made with this zester which I feel helps the zest not get “lost” in the mix. There is a healthy amount of lemon juice in the batter (I do not create recipes where you use the zest and are left with denuded fruit!) along with buttermilk which lends some additional tang. I also put in a single drop of lemon extract. It is pretty potent so I don’t like to use a lot of it. Even though it is made with real lemons, I think it can taste slightly lemon-candy if you use too much. Just a drop helps if your lemons aren’t quite as lemony as you might hope. There is nothing worse than a lemon poppy seed muffin that tastes more like vanilla cake than lemon muffins.
The batter looks a little funky coming together since you are starting with sugar first but trust the process. There were the absolute best lemon muffins I have ever had. So lemony, so light and fluffy. Perfect domed top. I like them best with the glaze but it does get sticky as time goes on so I glaze the ones we are going to eat the first day as we eat them and use sugar on any we don’t think we are going to eat for a day or two.
These really are fantastic!