These Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Sour Cream are rich in lemon flavor and delectably moist and soft! 

I love lemon poppy seed recipes! There is something so appetizing about the combination — plus the lemon flavor is so fresh and delicious! For more amazing lemon poppy seed recipes, try my Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, and Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

A Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin with a bite taken out of it on a circular wire cooling rack.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Moist and flavorful. Using sour cream and vegetable oil make a big difference in this recipe. Those two ingredients are the key to getting a moist texture. When it comes to flavor? You can’t go wrong with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest! The zest sends the lemon flavor over the top! It’s the ultimate combination. 
  • Brown sugar muffin crumble topping. The crumble on the top adds a mouth-watering bit of sweetness and a yummy new texture to the muffins. 
  • Lemon poppy seed muffins with glaze. Not only does this recipe make deliciously moist muffins topped with a fun brown sugar crumble, but they are also topped with a lemon glaze! You could sells these in a bakery they look and taste that good! 

Ingredient Notes

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a white textured background.
  • Brown Sugar: This is used in the crumb topping to give a bit of a darker color to the crumble. I think the crumb toppings forms better with brown sugar than with granulated sugar. 
  • Butter: When it comes to baking, I always opt for unsalted butter. If using salted butter instead of unsalted, reduce the amount of salt 1/4 of a teaspoon per 1/2 cup of butter in the recipe. 
  • Eggs: When baking, always use room temperature wet ingredients. Pull the eggs out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before making the muffins for best results. This helps the eggs incorporate into the batter better.
  • Vegetable Oil: When looking at a baked good like cake, muffins, or sweet breads, see if the recipe calls for vegetable oil! If it does, that means the result will be moist. This is due to vegetable oil being a liquid at room temperature (verses butter a solid at room temperature).
  • Lemon Zest: The lemon zest creates a stronger lemon flavor than if just using lemon juice. 
  • Sour Cream: Lemon poppy seed muffins with sour cream are much more moist than without. This is due to the added fat. This will help the crumb of the muffins be much softer. For this reason, I use full fat sour cream. 
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice will be used in the muffin batter and in the glaze to really draw out that lemon flavor! 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the crumb topping. Mix the melted butter with the flour, and sugar until combined. Set aside.
A crumbly crumb topping in a glass bowl on a white background.
  1. Make the lemon poppy seed muffin batter. Cream the butter and sugar then add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and oil. Beat until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients and poppy seeds until slightly mixed, then add the sour cream. Mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix the batter. 
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin batter in a glass mixing bowl on a white background.
  1. Portion batter into muffin tins. To a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners, add the batter. The easiest way to portion the batter is by using a large cookie scoop. The tins will be about 3/4 full. 
  2. Top batter with crumb topping. Place the crumb topping over each muffin. Gently press the crumb topping into the batter.
  1. Bake. Bake the sour cream lemon poppy seed muffins at 350°F for 19-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out with just a few moist crumbs but no wet batter. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack too cool completely.
  2. Glaze the muffins. Once the muffins are mostly cool (they can still be warm), drizzle the glaze over each one.
A muffin tin with baked Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with a crumb topping and glaze.

Recipe Tips

You can make plain lemon poppy seed muffins by eliminating the crumb topping. The baking temperature will be similar, but may bake for just 17-18 minutes instead of 19-20. 

When combining the wet and dry ingredients, do not over mix. Over mixing the batter at this stage will make the batter tough. Tough batter will make for tough muffins. We want a delicate, moist, soft muffin texture, so be gentle!

Use fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for a stronger and bolder lemon flavor. 

Use room temperature eggs, lemon juice, and sour cream for best results. 

You can drizzle the glaze on top, spread it, etc. 

For the best drizzle effect, place the glaze in a ziplock bag and cut just the tip of the corner off (just a tiny bit!) to create an easy and beautiful drizzle. Using a spoon to drizzle will give the streaks different thicknesses. 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

I would make these lemon poppy seed muffins with sour cream just before you want to serve them. 

Store leftovers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for about 3 days. 

To enjoy warm, pop the sour cream lemon poppy seed muffins in the microwave for a few seconds. 

To freeze, let the muffins cool completely and then wrap individually in plastic wrap. Store the muffins in a Ziplock bag (for best results) in the freezer for 2-3 months. Remove and let thaw.

Do not freeze muffin batter. 

Recipe FAQs

Can I use store bought lemon juice?

Yes you can! If you don’t want to juice your own lemons, you can definitely use the store bought lemon juice. However, I highly recommend having lemons for this recipe for the zest! The lemon zest is a game changer when it comes to bringing out the lemon flavor. 

What can I use instead of lemon zest?

Use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract per teaspoon lemon zest. You can also add an additional 2 tablespoons lemon juice per teaspoon lemon zest. However, zest isn’t liquid, so note that adding additional liquid may slightly affect the texture of the muffins. Dried lemon peel is also a substitution option. 

Can I freeze muffins?

Yes you can! Making a big batch of muffins and storing some in the freezer is a great option. Let the muffins cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for 2-3 months. For best results, store the wrapped muffins in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. 

Do I have to use cupcake liners for muffins?

No you don’t. If you don’t have cupcake liners on hand, I would use a cooking spray that contains flour and spray the muffin tin really well. 

Glazed and crumb topped Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins on a wire rack with a bowl of poppy seeds in the background.

More Muffin Recipes

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A bite taken out of a Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin that's on a circular wire cooling rack.
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5 from 2 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Moist lemon poppy seed muffins are easy to make at home. These muffins bake up beautifully. They're topped with a brown sugar crumb topping and a zesty lemon glaze.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 15 muffins


Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter - melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar - packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Muffin Batter

  • 1/3 cup butter - at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs - at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream - I use full fat.
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Crumb Topping

  • Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl melt the butter. Add the flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the melted butter. Using a fork, stir until the mixture is combined and only small pieces remain. Set aside. 

Muffin Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside. 
  • In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until combined. Add the vanilla, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and beat until combined. 
  • Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, and poppy seeds, and mix until combined (but don’t overmix). Add the sour cream to the batter and mix until no streaks remain
  • Using a large cookie scoop, portion the batter in the muffin liners. This will make about 15 muffins.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping over each muffin. 
  • Bake for 19-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Drizzle the lemon glaze overtop each muffin. 


  • To make the glaze: whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl. 


You can make plain lemon poppy seed muffins by eliminating the crumb topping. The baking times will be similar, but one piece of advice would be to check for doneness about 2 minutes earlier than noted in the recipe.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag at room temperature for about 3 days. 


Calories: 385kcal (19%)Carbohydrates: 51g (17%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 12g (60%)Cholesterol: 61mg (20%)Sodium: 286mg (12%)Potassium: 160mg (5%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 428IU (9%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 80mg (8%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!