Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Citrus Glaze

While growing up, my mom always had a sweet treat on our kitchen counter.  Whether it was Great Aunt Rose’s pound cake, apple pie bars, or sour cream blueberry coffee cake, you could always count on a homemade baked good in our kitchen.  I have continued this baking tradition in my home. Stop by my kitchen and there is rarely a time when I don’t have a muffin, cookie or brownie waiting to be enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee or icy cold glass of milk.  One frequently baked and family favorite sweet is my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Citrus Glaze.

During the winter months, the selection of fresh fruits can be lackluster and tasteless.  Even though strawberries are bright red and blueberries are plump, they can be surprisingly void of their summertime sweetness.  One group of fruits that does not disappoint during the months leading up to spring is citrus fruit.  Oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons are at their peak of flavor during December, January and February.


When shopping for citrus fruits and specifically lemons, choose ones that are heavy for their size and have a pleasant citrusy fragrance.  Lemons with smoother skin will be juicier.  Thick skinned lemons are best for zesting. Shy away from lemons that are squishy or have brown spots or blemishes.  Store the bright yellow fruit for up to a week at room temperature.  If kept longer, the refrigerator is best spot for them.

My Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Citrus Glaze are a super easy to make as all the muffin ingredients are mixed in one bowl.  They get an extra zing from the addition of both lemon juice and lemon zest.  A glaze made from orange juice, sugar, and almond and vanilla extracts add a sweet crunch and fills in the nooks and crannies on top of the muffins.  The recipe is easily doubled to yield 2 dozen muffins.  Perfect for serving for brunch with friends or stashing in the freezer to enjoy with a cup of coffee while dreaming of warmer weather ahead.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Citrus Glaze
Recipe type: breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • for muffins-
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ¾ cups milk
  • for glaze-
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard sized muffin pan with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the muffin ingredients. Mix until just blended. Fill muffin cups a little more than ¾ full. Bake for about 20 - 24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes and then pour over muffins. Let glaze harden before serving. Store covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe by Amy Casey

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