Zesty Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon and poppy seeds are just a classic pairing. These flavors go so well together and I haven’t been able to find a recipe I truly love. These muffins are not too sweet and not too tart! I want lemon muffins to pop and these do the trick as we’re in citrus season. I’ve been playing around with cake flour and the muffins turned out so fluffy! This batter is much looser than traditional muffins that use all-purpose flour and so the results make a very light and lemony muffin.

Why Use Cake Flour instead of All-Purpose Flour for Muffins?

Cake flour actually has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. Now that means it has a finer texture and it is softer. With that lower protein content, cake flour has less gluten. Most muffins I make ( and recipes I see) use all purpose flour and create this dense, traditional muffin. However, I found the trick if you're trying to get a sweeter muffin but without adding cups of sugar, use cake flour. Even doing a 50/50 mix with cake flour and all-purpose flour will give your muffins a nice fluffy texture, that is similar to a cake. More recipes are coming that use a mixture of both types of flours! It makes such a difference in baking.

Tips for Making Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Don't overmix the batter! Muffins are meant to be light and fluffy. You can overmix a the batter quickly leading to a dense muffins. I find that by adding the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing until it’s barely combined on low speed and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl helps to keep them light. I use a stand mixer but you could use a hand mixer as well too. 

Zesting the lemon can add tons of citrus flavor but if you get the white rind from the lemon it can become bitter. Make sure to use a grater to only get that thin yellow top layer of lemon skin, not the white rind. It takes some practice, as I only get some rind too. 

Muffins or cupcakes? These lemon muffins make a great base and could even be made into a lemon cupcake. All you need to do is add some frosting. However, I do love the addition of the powder sugar glaze, as it adds just the right amount of sweet and tart. 

You'll need to make these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins?

Stand mixer with the paddle attachment
Medium bowl
Measuring cups + spoons
1 muffin pan (12 cups)
Parchment muffin papers or silicone muffin liners
Cookie scooper or large spoon 
Cooling rack
Small Bowl

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