GF: Luscious Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins

Have you ever stood at the counter of your favorite coffee spot just wishing the line would move FASTER? Not necessarily because you were not truly enjoying the wait for the SuperFrappaWappaLappa whatever that the person before you had ordered, but because you were hungry and the goodies were making you think about it?

I am lucky not to be tempted by those treats. Usually I check them out to get flavor ideas. The other day I saw a HUGE (!!) piece of pound cake that looked like a good idea. We have some incredibly delicious strawberries now and I thought pound cake with strawberries would be good. And then I thought about the one pound of butter in the pound cake and thought maybe not. That, and let’s be honest, there are only two people in my house. We really do NOT need a whole pound cake floating around the house. Really. Not necessary.

When I got home, I opened the refrigerator to have a couple strawberries and saw a fabulous lemon sitting along side them in the fruit drawer. Oh yea. LEMON! I love lemony treats.

I must warn you here though. When I enjoy a lemony treat, I *really* want that lemon flavor to shine through…completely! I getdisappointed with lemon treats when the lemon flavor is just a glimmer or hint. I want to bite in to lemon goodness. What do you prefer?

Considering the fact that I contemplated the lemon long enough to completely forget the strawberries and pound cake idea, I knew I was going to be spending some time working on some treats today. And now I can’t wait for my mid-morning snack/breakfast tomorrow. (I don’t eat breakfast in the morning. I’m one of those people for whom the idea of food in the morning is NOT a good one.) Tomorrow, I’m packing some strawberries to accompany this luscious lemony poppy seed muffin.

It’s going to be the closest thing to heaven on a hectic Monday morning tomorrow. And it’s going to be hectic.

So, here’s a little treat for you in hopes that your Monday morning can begin with lemony goodness like mine.

Gluten Free Luscious Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins
Makes 6 muffins

4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon zest (or the zest from one large lemon)
2 Tablespoon lemon juice (from the lemon you zested)
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon GF Flour mix (with xanthan gum)
OR 1/3 cup tapioca starch + 1/4 cup superfine rice flour + 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond flour (otherwise called almond meal)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (+ to taste/preference)
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk

Lemon syrup ingredients:
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. Blend together well.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour(s), baking powder, salt, and almond flour.
  5. Add dry ingredients to creamed sugar/butter/egg mixture alternating with the milk.
  6. Fill muffin cups/paper liners and bake for 16-20 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. While the muffins are baking, mix together the sugar and lemon juice for the lemon syrup and set aside.
  8. Test muffins by inserting a toothpick. If they are done, the toothpick will come out clean.
  9. Puncture several small holes in each muffin (6 or so). Spoon the lemon syrup over the top of each muffin.
  10. Allow the muffins to sit for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. (Warning: the muffin liners may be sticky. If serving the muffins to guests, remove the liners before serving.)

Serve topped with cut berries and a dollop of whipped cream (not the super sweet cream though) or eat them plain.

Happy Lemon Muffin Making! :)

PS. UPDATE:  4/29/2008:   know I just made these the other day, but they were quickly gobbled up at home. I made another batch last night (for my afternoon meeting snack) and this time I folded some of the cut strawberries in to the batter before baking. Oh yea. I think I’m in love. 😉


  1. YUM!!!!

    These look so good. You did a great job. Funny I have never made lemon poppyseed muffins from scratch, even though it is one of my favorites.

    You just gave me the inspiration to try!

    Thanks. :)

  2. Too funny…SuperFrappaWappaLappa. My favorite order to quote is from The West Wing (I loved that show). One character’s drink was “a double shot, light on the soy, cinnamon-chia mocha chino, no whip, sprinkles and another shot on top.” What the heck???

    Anyhow, lucisous AND lemon. You sold me.

    Love that word luscious…don’t you? :) – kate

  3. Oh yum!
    I just made lemon bars yesterday and they were so lemony that my 5yo puckered and spit hers out. I love them, though!

    Ohh…lemon bars! I’m so intrigued. I love lemon bars… really. And the more ya pucker, the better, I’d say. LOL – it made me chuckle to read about your daughter. lol – I can only imagine. =) I’m glad you posted your comment… I needed a good smile/chuckle. Perfect timing. :) -Kate

  4. Kristina says:

    “Lemon” is just synonymous with “summer,” don’t you think? These look heavenly- can’t wait to make them! And I’ll second Sarah on the lemon bar idea- at my house, we call them “what lemon bars?” because they last for such a short period of time! :)

  5. Ooo, I have been craving lemon poppy seed bread. I love lemony treats too. Your picture may have pushed me over the edge to have to make some. :)

  6. lemon,..i like it very much, i’m italian and i come from Sicily..and so i konw very well all kind of lemon:)
    i’ve created a new blog, and i hope yuo’ll came to see it soon!!

  7. My mouth is watering. I need to go get some lemon and poppyseeds and butter and flour and sugar and egg and you get the point. Those look SO yummy!

  8. Kate-I looove lemon! The more, the better! My 1st job out of culinary school, I was working at this great restaurant where I learned an amazing lemon curd recipe…it is my pride and joy recipe :) So very tart, but just sweet enough. Perfect for lemon bars. It is my most popular filling in wedding cakes I make with strawberries and blueberries. Anyhow, I loooove lemon! :)

  9. those look fantastic Kate!!! YUMMMY!!!! You know how much i love anything lemon!! I love poppy seeds too! I will definitely have to give these a go!!

  10. You’ve just made me hungry. Those look and sound reaaaaally good.

    Oh, they are so tasty! :) I love the ones I just made with strawberries folded in too. I ate the last one for lunch this afternoon. LOL – Kate

  11. J Stahl says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I used to work about a year ago with a major book chain that has catering from a fairly well known (well, in the South they are ;)) Bakery chain… and they would cater the main offices once a month with brownies, muffins and other goodies.. They had those “monster muffins” that had to be 3x the size of usual muffins..

    When I was Dx’d though, I had to skip out and it really stank.

    I missed the lemon poppy seed ones and the chocolate ones the most…

    I just made these today (after waiting around a week to do so).. and oh Kate I could hug you!! 😀 Thank you so much for this recipe!

  12. This is the second time I have made these for my friend who has Celiac Disease. She absolutly adores them. The first time I didn’t have the almond meal and although they still tasted great, The didn’t rise and did’nt look pretty! This time I used it and made the syrup to top it off. I hope she loves them just as much as the first time around. Great recipe!!!

  13. Can’t do the almonds for the Lemon poppy seed mufins. What’s a good substitute?

    • Hello Karen –
      I would add more of the flour mix that you are using. The almond meal is more dense, so you may just have to play it by ear at first. Start with the 1/4 cup and then consider adding another tablespoon of flour if the texture doesn’t seem right to you.
      Let us know how it works!

  14. Hi! I just wanted to say thanks very much for this recipe. I tried it yesterday with a couple of tweaks (quinoa flour instead of almond meal and sucanat in place of sugar) and they turned out wonderfully. Your lemon/zest amounts are just perfect for a big amount of fantastic tang.

  15. They taste great but I couldn’t get the toothpick to come out clean. They are gooey and I baked them an extra 30 minutes at least. I made a double batch and put them in a “big” muffin tin and expected to bake them twice as long. I still didn’t think they were done after the extra baking time. Any suggestions? They are one of my favorite things and I was so glad to find the recipe. Thanks.

    • Hmmm…. I don’t know. Maybe you need a little less liquid than what I use? This can happen sometimes because of the different grinds of flours, etc. I would try lessening the liquid first. Sorry, Diane! I’m not sure!
      Hope it works –

  16. Oooh! Want to try with chia seeds!

  17. I was so excited for this recipe. I tried making these but they turned out all weird and gummy in the middle. I ended up having to cook them 2x as long and they still were gummy. :( What happened???

    • Hmmm…can you tell me more about your GF flour mix?
      Sadly, every blend is different – making the water absorption different.
      What kind did you use?

      I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you. I get the gummy middle when I blow the water:flour ratio in bread, but not usually with muffins. Maybe lessen the water AND lessen the xanthan gum?


      • Kate, I made these last week and had a similar result with the first batch. I think they turned out gooey because I over mixed them. With the second batch, I was careful to only mix the dry and wet ingredients together only long enough to moisten. Same flour/liquid both times … my guess is that over mixing somehow activated the xanthan gum?

        Just thought I’d share in case it helps. Loved the muffins, schmeared a little Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting on them too!


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