Yield: 6 lemon poppy seed muffins // Total Time: 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Just 30 minutes stand between you and these 6 light and fluffy lemon poppy seed muffins!
Small batch lemon poppy seed muffins
These muffins are seriously so light and fluffy in texture with some great citrus flavor. They come together so easily and are great for when you want muffins but you don’t want a lot of leftovers! Plus, they only require 11 ingredients that you probably already have in your home, with the only special ingredient being poppy seeds.
Small batch lemon poppy seed muffin recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
It is super important to not overmix the muffin batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which is not desirable in these muffins. Not only will you get those pointy tops on the muffins, but you will end up with tough and chewy muffins.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the egg, milk, and sour cream at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. For some tips and tricks on how to get ingredients to room temperature fast, you can check out this blog post here!
Under-bake, don’t over-bake
Muffins like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 14 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
Get those perfect muffin tops
The trick to getting those nicely domed muffin tops is (mostly) all in your oven’s temperature! Bake the muffins at 425°F / 220°C for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C and continue baking until done. The super high heat will make the muffins rise nice and tall! You will also want to bake them lined in every other tin on the muffin pan, and fill them to the very top. This recipe makes the perfect amount of batter to fill every muffin liner straight to the top for those perfect muffin tops!
Get evenly distributed muffin batter
My favorite way to evenly distribute muffin batter is to use cookie scoops! Works perfectly every time. So long are the days of eyeballing which muffin may need a little more batter.
Ingredients and substitutions
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness. We will use flour in both the streusel topping and in the muffin batter.
Baking powder: for helping the muffins rise.
Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the muffins.
Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. We will use butter in both the streusel topping and in the muffin batter. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the muffins.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening and helping lock in moisture. We will use sugar in both the streusel topping and in the muffin batter.
Lemon: you will need one large fresh lemon for this recipe. We will use all of the zest from it, and 1 tbsp. of juice from it.
Egg: for binding and for moisture.
Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!
Whole milk: for moisture. You can use 2%, 1% or your favorite plant-based milk here, just note that the texture may change and the muffins may be less light and fluffy.
Sour cream: for moisture and tenderizing the muffin batter. You can also substitute in greek yogurt here!
Poppy seeds: the star of the show!
How to make small batch poppy seed muffins
1. Make the streusel. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour and sugar, using a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have small clumps of dough.
2. Mix the zest and sugar. In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest in to the sugar, then whisk in the melted butter.
3. Add wet ingredients. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, milk, sour cream, and lemon juice until the mixture is well combined.
4. Mix in dry ingredients. Add in the dry ingredients. Gently mix the batter together just until no flour streaks remain.
5. Transfer the batter to the muffin pan. Distribute the muffin batter evenly between the muffin liners. Top each muffin with streusel.
5. Bake. We’ll start the muffins out at 425°F for 5 minutes, which will help them rise up nice and tall. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C for the remainder of the baking time.
6. Serve and enjoy! Serve warm with butter, or room temperature without. Either way is delicious!
Small batch lemon poppy seed muffins Q & A
Can I double these small batch lemon poppy seed muffins?
Of course! Obviously they will not be small batch anymore but small batch isn’t always what we need! Simply double all of the ingredients in the recipe to make 12 delicious lemon poppy seed muffins. However, I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
How to store these muffins
Like most baked goods, these muffins will definitely taste the best on the day that they are baked. They will last for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
Muffin pan: I absolutely love USA pan products because of their great quality. This is their muffin pan.
Cookie scoops: A life saver for getting evenly distributed muffins. I have gone through a lot of cookie scoops in my baking journey, and these ones have lasted me the longest without breaking. Plus they are dishwasher safe!
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these small batch lemon poppy seed muffins?
If you made these small batch lemon poppy seed muffins I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Small Batch Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 20 g unsalted butter (1 ½ tbsp.)
- 30 g granulated sugar (2 tbsp.)
- 40 g all purpose flour (⅓ c.)
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ c.)
- zest of 1 large lemon (~1 tbsp.)
- 56 g unsalted butter (¼ c.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 65 g whole milk (¼ c.) room temperature
- 30 g sour cream (2 tbsp.) room temperature
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 120 g all purpose flour (1 c.)
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Use a fork to mix in the flour and sugar until you have little crumbles of dough. Set aside.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C. Line a muffin tin with 6 parchment liners, alternating between each cup.
- To a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Then, whisk in the butter.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, milk, sour cream, and fresh lemon juice. Whisk the mixture until it is cohesive and well combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Gently stir the batter together just until no flour streaks remain.
- Evenly distribute the lemon poppy seed batter between the six parchment liners. Then, evenly distribute the streusel on top of each of the muffins.
- Bake the muffins at 425°F for 5 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Serve and enjoy!