These lemon poppy muffins get their incredible texture from sour cream.
Lemon Poppy Muffins A Better Way
I love lemon poppy muffins, especially ones I get from the bakery.
However, any recipes I’ve ever made came up very short, either on flavor or texture. Many lacked a depth of lemon flavor, but worse yet, most were dry even on the first day and inedible on the second.
I was searching for yet another recipe to try when I came across one I found on Google. I thought this one had possibilities because it included sour cream as an ingredient. Any cakes I’d made with sour cream had incredible texture, so this was worth a try.
Improvements But Made Even Better
The first batch of muffins I made from this recipe were an improvement over all the others, but it was still not quite right. Again, it was the texture.
These had a slightly less dry texture, yet they were dense and I could tell that the next day, they’d be dry. Then it dawned on me why every single recipe had the dryish texture–it was the butter.
Now, you’d think butter would make them soft, but it doesn’t. Then I remembered one of the nicest textured muffins I make is made with oil, and quite a bit of it too. Those are my Pumpkin Oat Muffins.
What I did was replace the melted butter with oil and also replace the vanilla with real lemon extract. I got the results I was after for years. Light, soft and very lemony!
Why Next Day Is Important
My reason for wanting these to be just as good texture-wise the next day is because lemon needs time to infuse for full flavor. Anything with lemon zest should sit a while to “mellow.”
And if you use the glaze instead of the sanding sugar, you’ll have a more intense lemon flavor, and especially after they’ve sat overnight.
I’ve made them with both toppings since and both are very good. The sanding sugar gives you a crunchy top. The glaze gives you another burst of bright lemon offset by sweetness. Try them both!
- ⅔ cup sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbs poppy seeds
- 1 cup confectioner’s star
- 2-3 tbs lemon juice
- Sanding sugar (if you don’t want the glaze)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or line a Texas-sized (jumbo) muffin tin.
- Place sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Rub the zest in the sugar until you can smell a strong lemony scent.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl with the sugar mixture. Blend well.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the sour cream eggs, lemon extract and oil.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and mix until just moistened. Do not overtax! Stir in the poppy sees.
- Divide batter evenly in prepared pan. If you are NOT using the glaze, top each muffin with about 1 tsp of sanding sugar (they can be left plain too).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove to a rack to cool completely.
- IF USING GLAZE:
- Mix the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled muffins.