You will LOVE these lemon poppy seed muffins, with their fluffy, moist, flavour-packed interior, the gorgeous tall bakery-style muffin top and the tangy lemon icing. They’re super easy to make and gluten free!
These are, hands down, the best muffins I’ve ever had.
I’m a huge fan of lemony desserts in general (the Lemon Drizzle Cake and Strawberry Lemonade Cake come to mind), but add poppy seeds into the mix, and you’ll have to fight me to get a bite. We’ve enjoyed the deliciousness of this flavour combination previously, in the Simple Lemon Poppy Seed Sheet Cake and the Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes – and now, it’s time for a new lemon poppy seed fix.
Enter these gluten free muffins. The best way to describe them is as moist, fluffy flavour explosions. Aside from the lemon juice, lemon zest and a handful of poppy seeds in the muffins themselves, we’re going a step further and topping what are already excellent muffins with a tangy lemon icing.
The icing adds a freshness to the muffins and really emphasises the lemon flavour. But more importantly, give it about half an hour to dry out after drizzling, and it’ll firm up into this crackly, sweet, lemony crust that melts on your tongue with every bite.
Is this muffin heaven? Well, it certainly tastes (and looks) like it.
Why are these lemon poppy seed muffins so amazing?
Let me tell you all about them:
- They’re easy to make.
- They have the most beautifully domed bakery-style muffin tops – as all proper muffins should.
- They’re fluffy and moist, which is probably the ideal muffin texture.
- Also, they’re incredibly flavourful, thanks to the addition of lemon zest.
- And I’m sure we can all agree that there are few flavour combinations as amazing as the lemon + poppy seed combo.
- The lemon icing – sure, you could have these muffins as they are… but why would you, when you can drizzle a refreshing, zingy lemon icing on top?!
- And to top it all off: they’re gluten free!!
How to make the perfect tall, baker-style muffins
Here’s a checklist of Top 3 things to remember when making muffins:
- Thick batter consistency: muffin batter has to be fairly thick, much thicker than cupcake batter. This helps the formation of a gloriously domed, tall muffin (rather than a flat, only gently rounded cupcake). When you scoop muffin batter into cupcake liners, you’re looking for a batter consistency that doesn’t spread out (like cupcake batter might) but keeps the shape of the scoop.
- Filling muffin cases (paper liners) all the way to the brim: this is especially important if you want to achieve that beautiful bakery-style (jumbo muffin) top.
- Bake muffins at a higher temperature compared to cupcakes: whereas cupcakes are usually baked at 320 – 350 ºF (160 – 180 ºC), muffins require a higher baking temperature of about 370 – 390 ºF (190 – 200 ºC).
How do you make fluffy muffins, and prevent them from being dense?
A thick batter can sometimes have the “side effect” of dry, dense muffins – but don’t worry, that’s not the case with this recipe. The addition of milk and yogurt keeps the muffins nice and moist, while a generous amount of raising agents and a few tablespoons of lemon juice ensure that they’re tall and fluffy.
The amounts of baking powder and baking soda are optimised to give a soft, fluffy crumb without leaving behind any aftertaste, and the lemon juice (as well as the acidity from the yogurt) gives the raising agents an extra boost.
The end result is nothing short of gluten free muffin perfection. But don’t take my word for it. Make them (ASAP), enjoy them… and thank me later.
Have a wonderful day, friends.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten Free)
For lemon poppy seed muffins:
- 2 1/3 cups (280 g) gluten free flour blend (Note 1)
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (80 g) almond flour (if you have an almond allergy, you can substitute it with an equal weight of gluten free flour blend, but the muffins will be slightly drier)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) caster/superfine sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum or if using regular flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2 - 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 stick + 1 tbsp (130 g) softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (140 mL) milk, can be cold or room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (140 g) plain yogurt, can be cold or room temperature
- 2 US large/UK medium eggs, can be cold or room temperature
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
For lemon icing:
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered/icing sugar, sifted
- ~3 tbsp lemon juice
- poppy seeds, for sprinkling
For lemon poppy seed muffins:
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases (paper liners).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, caster/superfine sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds.
- Add the butter and, using a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, work it into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, eggs and lemon juice, and add them to the butter-flour mixture. Whisk them together until you get a thick, smooth batter with no flour clumps.
- Scoop the batter into the muffin cases, dividing it equally between 12 (for standard muffins, cases filled to the brim) or 9 - 10 cases (for jumbo muffins, batter makes a small mound rising above the edge of the muffin cases).
- Bake at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for about 18 minutes (standard muffins) or about 20 minutes (jumbo muffins), or until risen, golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Leave in the muffin tin for 3 - 4 minutes, then remove from the tin and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For lemon icing:
- In a bowl, whisk together the powdered/icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. You should get a fairly runny icing that still coats the back of a spoon.You can adjust its consistency by adding more powdered/icing sugar or lemon juice, as desired.
- Once the muffins have cooled, drizzle them with the icing, and sprinkle with extra poppy seeds.
- The gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins are best eaten on the day of baking, but they can be kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. On days 3 and 4, they're best if first microwaved for 5 - 10 seconds.