This recipe for Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins yields the softest, most flavorful muffins filled with fresh blueberries, bright lemon zest, and poppyseeds, and topped with crunchy turbinado sugar.
I absolutely love these muffins and could definitely eat half a dozen in one sitting. This is in part because the blueberries play such a strong role and it’s not a super dense or overly sweet muffin. This makes it easy to eat one and not feel weighed down or sugared out. This recipe for 12 muffins contains only ½ a cup of sugar. Though they are topped with turbinado sugar, you can easily adjust how much you sprinkle on top.
Fresh Blueberries and Lemon Zest
I love using fresh blueberries that burst and leave little puddles of juice in the muffin as you bite into them. This recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and 1 ½ cups of blueberries which is a great flour to blueberry ratio.
Using lemon zest is a great way to incorporate that bright and sweet lemon flavor without diluting the batter with lemon juice or adding the extra acidity. Adding lemon zest allows you to add the sweet lemon flavor without any of the sourness that comes from the juice.
Poppy Seeds can be found in the ingredient section of the grocery store in a small spice bottle. It’s a nice way to add color and texture to the muffins. If you’re not able to find poppy seeds, leaving them out is totally fine.
Rather than spending a lot of time making a crumb topping (which if you have the time is certainly delicious), I use turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is sugar that comes in large crunchy granules and also contains a little bit of molasses similar to brown sugar. Adding turbinado sugar makes the top of the muffin just a little bit crunchy and sweet. You can find this type of sugar at Whole Foods ($3.99 for a large 32oz bag).
Extra Tall Muffins
Here are three tips for creating extra tall muffins.
1.High Heat Blast: Preheat the oven to a high temperature 425℉ and add the muffins. Immediately (right after adding the muffins) reduce the temperature to 350℉. This makes the baking powder (leavening) react quicker, creating a higher rise.
Many recipes will say to bake the muffins at 425℉ for 5 minutes then reduce the temperature. I think this adds extra complexity, and it might mean that you forget to reduce the temperature after 5 minutes and the muffins will burn (which has happened to me – see the picture further below).
If you reduce the temperature right away you don’t have to come back later to do it, so forgetting to turn the temperature down partway through becomes irrelevant.
Also, it takes some time for the heat in the oven to come down from 425℉ to 350℉ so you’re still getting a nice blast of high heat for your muffins.
2. Fill every other muffin cup. This allows for better circulation and better heat distribution and therefore taller muffins. But if doing 2 batches is too much, just do them all at the same time.
3. Don’t Overmix: Stir as little as humanly possible to incorporate the ingredients. This will help the batter to rise and will prevent tough, dense, muffins.
Another resource for muffin baking tips can be found here: Food52.
Over Baked Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Here is a photo to show you how the muffins look when they have been over baked. In this instance I forgot to turn the temperature down from 425℉ to 350℉ when I added the muffins to the oven. They didn't end up getting the full 22-25 minute in the oven, more like 15 minutes. I pulled them out as soon as I realized my mistake.
This is why it's beneficial to turn the oven down right when you add the muffins to the oven. It's less likely (though not impossible - I still forgot) you will make this kind of mistake and over bake the muffins.
The one on the top is the one that was over baked.
Paper Liners vs. Buttering the Muffin Tin
I've made lots and lots of muffins both ways: with paper liners and without paper liners and instead buttering the muffin tin. In fact, I did it both ways will working on this recipe. The end result: it doesn't make any difference in the look or taste of the muffins. The muffins turn out the same, but using paper liners is just easier.
So my recommendation (to myself) is just to go the easy route and use the paper liners. Less effort buttering, and a bit less messy.
If you make this recipe, I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment down below and let me know how it turns out! Your feedback means a lot.
If you're interested in other muffin or blueberry recipes you might enjoy these:
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins: Muffins with extra spices and lots of pumpkin, topped with cinnamon sugar.
Swedish Blueberry Pie: A simple pie made without a bottom crust in a square baker with a thick cake like crumble on top. Serve with ice cream.
Blueberry French Toast Casserole: Easy overnight french toast casserole made with challah bread, blueberry jam, and fresh blueberries.
Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- zest of 2 large lemons
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ heaping cups fresh blueberries
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 425℉. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl combine the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, lemon zest and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour and stir until just combined. Do not over stir.
- Add the blueberries and gently stir until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups*. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. *Note: To get muffins with a high dome top (not flat) fill every other muffin cup. This means if you have a 12 cup muffin tin you would only fill 6 cups, alternating cups. Which also means that you will need to do two rounds in the oven as this recipe makes 12 muffins. This is optional, see detailed note above.
- Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350℉. **This also helps with rising. See note further above.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes.