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There's no need for the Muffin Man when you've got a formula that's as simple and foolproof as this reader-submitted recipe for lemon poppy-seed muffins. And while a poppy seed muffin may be more polarizing for some than the classic blueberry muffin, if there were ever a case for poppy seeds as the unsung hero of breakfast, this tangy baked treat may well be it—especially when it's fresh out of the oven. We'd be willing to bet that even the pickiest of breakfast eaters will be converted to the lemon poppy-seed life with just one bite. The addition of grated lemon rind dials up the muffin's zippy, zesty brightness. (Note: When you're grating the lemon rind, be sure to grate only the yellow peel, rather than the white pith. While the peel itself delivers intense fruit flavor, the pith promises bitterness and a less-than-satisfying taste.)The recipe yields 18 muffins, so it's an easy breakfast solution for a crowd when you're hosting overnight guests for a weekend or bringing baked goods for a coworker's birthday celebration. Best of all, these subtly sweet, citrusy muffins freeze beautifully for up to 1 month, so you can have a homemade breakfast in a flash, even when you don't have time to whip up a batch in the morning! Just be sure to thaw muffins at room temperature for 2 hours before serving to shake off the chill.

By Walton Turnage, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
20 mins
30 mins
Makes 18 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine first 5 ingredients together in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 4 ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Do not overmix.

  • Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.

  • Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans immediately.