Lemon and poppy seed muffins

Lemon and poppy seed muffins

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
120g butter
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 eggs
120g soft light brown sugar
75ml milk
3 lemons
150g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a gentle heat, then set aside to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the poppy seeds and set aside. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together the cooled butter, sugar, beaten eggs and milk. Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemons. Add all the zest and the juice of 2 lemons to the liquid ingredients, reserving the remaining juice.
  4. Using a large metal spoon, fold the flour mixture into the lemon mixture, using as few folds as possible. The more the mixture is worked the heavier the muffins, so it needs a light touch. Fill the muffin cases two-thirds full with the mixture.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and pale golden brown, and a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Transfer the muffins in their paper cases to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  7. Mix half the remaining lemon juice with the icing sugar to make a glacé icing. Drizzle over the cooled muffins.


  • Lemon blueberry muffins: Omit the poppy seeds, use the zest and juice of just 1 lemon and fold in 100 g fresh blueberries just after the flour.

    Lemon raspberry cheesecake muffins: Omit the poppy seeds. Instead of adding the lemon zest to the liquid ingredients, mix it with 150 g cream cheese and 50 g icing sugar. Fold 100 g fresh raspberries into the mixture just after the flour. Half-fill the muffin cases with the mixture, place a generous teaspoonful of lemon cream cheese in the middle of the mixture and top with the remaining muffin mixture.

    Apple cinnamon crumble muffins: Omit the poppy seeds and lemons. Soak 50 g dried apples in 100 ml apple juice for 3–4 hours, then drain, finely chop and add to the dry ingredients. Continue as for the main recipe, two-thirds filling the muffin cases. Sift 100 g plain flour with a good pinch of ground cinnamon, rub in 75 g cold butter, then stir in 50 g demerara sugar. Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the top of the muffins before they go in the oven.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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