These vegan lemon poppy seed muffins are full of deliciously tangy lemon flavour infused into the moist and fluffy texture with the delightful crunch of poppy seeds. It’s a match made in muffin heaven! And it’s super easy to make too. They are perfect for breakfast, as a snack or dessert at home, work, school, or to take for a picnic on a sunny day!
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I’m so excited to introduce you to this new classic recipe of mine – this recipe will be sure to brighten up your mornings with fresh citrusy flavour and a lovely smell: vegan lemon poppy seed muffins! One of my favourite go-to muffins to grab at a cafe in the morning, I just love the tangy flavour and the crunchy little poppy seeds. So I had to make them at home! These delightful homemade muffins are light, fluffy, and infused with tangy fresh lemons and drizzled with silky icing glaze, just a perfect balance of sweet and zesty flavours. Enjoy them as a perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert!
Recipe overview – why you’ll love this vegan lemon poppy seed muffin recipe
- Level: Easy
- Taste: Deliciously tangy and sweet lemon flavour
- Texture: Soft, moist, and fluffy
- Diet: Plant-based, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, can be gluten-free
- Time: 35 mins
- Occasion: Breakfast, dessert, snack, picnic, and more
Main ingredients and substitutions
*Use room temperature ingredients unless otherwise instructed.
Caster sugar: I used regular caster sugar for this recipe as I wanted to keep the flavour nice and simple, but you can also use other sugar as well such as brown, coconut, date, etc. If using dark colour sugar, the colour of the muffins may become a little darker than the picture.
Melted vegan butter: Vegan butter from Naturli is my favourite one! It really is like regular butter but without any dairy. Earth Balance has a good vegan butter too! You can also use coconut oil or other vegetable oil as well but the texture will be oilier than butter.
Soy yoghurt: I love using soy yoghurt in baking as well as having it for breakfast! In vegan baking, it creates such a lovely moist texture. You can also use other plant-based yoghurts of your choice too.
Poppy seeds: Main ingredients, poppy seeds! The crunchy texture they give in baked goods is so satisfying and delicious.
Lemon juice: Who else loves the experience of squeezing freshly cut lemons? I find it so therapeutic! Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best but if you don’t have lemons you can also use bottled lemon juice too.
Soy milk: Feel free to use any other plant-based milk of your choice like almond, oat, rice, etc.
*I use bone char-free sugars for all of my recipes. I cover the topic in my article Vegan Baking 101. Go to the “Is sugar vegan?” section to learn more!
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Muffin tin: I have my muffin tin that can bake 9 muffins at a time.
Muffin cups/liners: I always use muffin cups/muffin liners when baking muffins because it makes it sooo much easier to remove the muffins from the tin without them sticking to the bottom and side!
Wooden spoon/silicon spatula: Muffin batter is very delicate so use a large wooden spoon or a silicon spatula to mix the batter gently. Works every time!
*The ingredient list and measurement for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make vegan lemon poppy seed muffins
Step 1: Make vegan buttermilk and mix wet ingredients
Preheat the oven to 180°C(350°F).
Let’s make vegan buttermilk by mixing well the lemon juice and soy milk in a medium bowl. Let it sit for a little bit until it’s curdled and thickened. Here we have our vegan buttermilk!
In a jug or medium size bowl, mix the melted vegan butter, soy yoghurt, and vegan buttermilk and mix very well until it’s smooth and well combined.
Step 2: Mix dry ingredients and make the batter
In a large mixing bowl, mix the plain flour, caster sugar, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds with a whisk until well combined. This step is important to distribute poppy seeds evenly throughout the batter!
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix very gently with a large wooden spoon or a silicon spatula until they are just combined. Gently is the key! Don’t overmix the batter as overmixing is the cause of tough and rubbery texture in muffins or any baked goods.
Step 3: Bake!
Line the muffin tin with muffin cups and fill them with the batter leaving a little room at the top for them to rise. About 3/4 full is good! Bake in the oven for 25 mins until the top is slightly golden. They should rise nicely with a cute muffin top. To ensure they are baked, insert a toothpick in the middle of a muffin and if it comes out clean with moist crumbs, it’s ready! If it has wet batter, bake for another 2-5 mins.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature in the tin. Transfer the muffins onto a cooling rack and cool them further.
Step 4: Make the icing glaze
Making the icing glaze is super easy! Just combine the icing sugar and lemon juice and mix until they are silky smooth. Voila! Drizzle it onto the muffins and serve. Enjoy!
Serving tips and ideas
- Simply enjoy the muffins as breakfast alongside a cup of hot tea or coffee.
- Sprinkle my lemon sugar on top for an extra lemony flavour and sweetness!
- Cut the muffins in half and have it with some vegan butter or with some whipped soy cream or ice cream!
Expert tips and tricks
Fresh Lemon Juice
For the best flavour, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. It adds the most amazing aroma and lovely citrus flavour to the muffins.
As I mentioned earlier, muffin batter is very delicate so try your best not to mix too much! Avoid mixing vigorously with a whisk until the batter is silky smooth. I know, tempting but not good for the batter as it causes gluten to form too much. Mix gently with a large wooden spoon or a silicon spatula until it’s just combined, that’s the key!
Use a digital scale to weigh ingredients
Always use a digital scale rather than measuring cups when you are baking. It’s so much more accurate and measuring correctly is very important to achieve the best result.
- Want more fruitiness in the muffins? Add a handful of fresh blueberries or raspberries to the batter for bursts of juiciness! Lemon and blueberry are a match made in heaven.
- For summer, why not add some shredded coconut to the batter to make it nice and tropical? Yum! I’d add 1/2 cup shredded coconut for a nice coconutty flavour!
- Add a tablespoon of grated ginger or 1 tsp of ginger powder to make lemon and ginger poppy seed muffins! This will be a very nice and cosy flavour for winter with a comforting cup of herbal tea.
- Throw some crushed nuts into the batter for a nuttier flavour and extra crunch! Walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc. would work wonderfully.
How to store
- Refrigerating: You can store your muffins in the refrigerator if you have some leftover muffins to enjoy in the next couple of days. Place them in an airtight container and your muffins will stay fresh for up to 2-3 days in the fridge. Heat it up in a microwave until it’s slightly warm to enjoy the freshly baked texture again!
- Freezing: These muffins freeze well too. Once completely cooled, wrap each muffin individually in cling film then place them in a freezer-friendly airtight container. Keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months. To enjoy, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat slightly in the microwave or oven until warm.
*Although you can store this recipe in the fridge or freezer, it’s always best to consume it fresh and as soon as possible.
Q and A
Is it ok if I use chia seeds instead of poppy seeds?
You can use chia seeds if you don’t have poppy seeds! Don’t forget to mix it with the dry ingredients first since chia seeds become gel-like consistency when mixed with liquid. Mixing it with dry ingredients prevents it from sticking together.
Can I use other citrus fruits?
I’d say why not! You can use the juice of oranges, tangerines, limes, grapefruits, etc. if you want. I’m sure it’ll be as delicious!
Want to master the basics of vegan baking?
Check out Vegan Baking 101 – the beginner’s guide to vegan baking for you to become an excellent vegan baker and familiar with the basics of vegan baking, ingredients, and techniques with useful tips!
You will LOVE these poppy seed lemon muffins because they are:
- easy to make
- full of sweet and tangy lemon flavour
- perfect for breakfast or a snack
- moist and fluffy
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious lemon and muffin recipes you might enjoy!
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe with 5 stars in the comment section below if you like the recipe! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!