Simple homemade lemon muffins the whole family will love! Includes tips for making tall, bakery style muffins because those are the best!

single lemon muffin with glaze on white plate on white background

There is nothing like pulling warm muffins out of the oven at home, filling your kitchen with the smell of homemade muffins! Check out the full collection of muffin recipes.

Why These Are The Best Lemon Muffins

  • Packed with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice
  • Uses everyday ingredients
  • Moist, soft muffins with tender crumb
  • Tall and domed muffin tops (bakery style!)
single lemon muffin on white plate with lemons in the background

Lemon Muffin Ingredients

These simple ingredients make the best lemon muffins! Keep scrolling to get the full measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Poppy seeds
  • Large eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter: Make sure it’s melted and cooled
  • Lemon zest: Fresh lemon zest is best
  • Fresh lemon juice: Juice from fresh lemons is best for a stronger lemon flavor!

How to Make Lemon Muffins

These easy lemon poppy seed muffins look like they came from a bakery, but are so easy to make! Get the entire recipe in the recipe card below.

Save This Recipe form

SAVE THIS RECIPE

Enter your email & we'll send it to your inbox. Plus you'll get our best recipes every week!

Note: This recipe requires that the batter rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.  I cannot guarantee the same results if the batter doesn’t rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. 

  1. Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients. In a larger mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, melted and cooled butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine with a fork or spatula for 30 seconds. 
  3. Combine all ingredients. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing by hand just until combined. The batter will be very thick!
  4. Let batter rest. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. I cannot guarantee the same results if the batter doesn’t rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  5. Add batter to muffin tin. For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other well allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other.
  6. Fill liners. Fill the paper liners super duper full with batter – see this photo. My muffins probably had about 8-10 heaping tablespoons of batter in each muffin liner. Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
lemon muffin batter in metal muffin pan
  1. Refrigerate batter waiting to be baked. While one pan is baking, be sure to refrigerate the other pan if it has batter in it. Or refrigerate the remaining batter if still in the bowl.  
  2. Bake. Place one pan in the center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keep the muffins in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Cool. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to bump the temperature back up to 425ºF.
  4. Add extra sanding sugar. I like to sprinkle a little extra sanding sugar on my muffins right when they come out of the oven. 

Total Time for this Lemon Muffins Recipe

  • 10 minutes to prep the batter
  • 15 minute rest (this helps produce domed tops!)
  • Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF
  • Bake for 13-16 minutes at 350ºF
  • 20-30 minutes to cool
lemon muffins arranged in a grid on a metal baking sheet

Lemon Muffin Recipe Substitutions

  • For lemon blueberry muffins add 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter. 
  • For lemon poppy seed muffins add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter.

How to Make Lemon Buttermilk Muffins Gluten Free

I’ve made these muffins with both regular and gluten free flour with awesome results on multiple occasions. I recommend King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Use it as a one for one substitute for regular flour.

Add a Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

You may possibly need more lemon juice, it just depends on how thin or thick you like your glaze. Mix the two together with a spoon. You can dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze or use a spoon to spread the glaze over them. 

How to Create Bakery Style Muffins

Bakery style muffins are known for their domed tops. Plus who doesn’t love them? I used a few techniques to help “lift” these muffins so they would have domed tops.

What is the secret to high muffins?

1. THE REST PERIOD

Let the batter rest for 30 minutes in the fridge after it’s mixed and before you scoop it into the muffin pan. During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter, causing them to swell and giving the batter a thicker consistency (ref the kitchen whisper).

2. BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE INITIALLY

Bake the muffins at a high temperature (425ºF) initially, then lower to 350ºF. Starting the muffins off at a higher temperature causes the batter to rise rapidly, setting the outer surface of the muffin, producing a domed shape.

3. FILL THEM TO THE TOP

Fill your muffin liners to the top with batter. Yes, this goes against everything you’ve heard but it’s important in helping the muffin gain that height.

4. FILL EVERY OTHER MUFFIN CUP

This tip has been a game changer! For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other cup allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. This technique also encourages the muffins to brown, creating a golden muffin top.

two lemon muffins with glaze stacked on each other on white plate on white background

How to Freeze Buttermilk Lemon Muffins

Allow the muffins to cool completely first. I like to wrap two muffins together (the bottoms of the muffins touching) in plastic wrap, then place all the wrapped bundles in a ziplock bag.

To thaw, either let them come to room temperature on the counter or place as many as you need in the microwave for 15 second intervals.

lemon muffin cut in half on metal muffin pan

Buttermilk Lemon Muffins Recipe Tips

  • Measure the flour using the spoon and level method.
  • For best results, make this lemon muffin recipe with buttermilk. This recipe has not been tested with whole milk, skim milk or a milk alternative. 
  • Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. 
  • Top the muffins with sanding sugar for a true bakery style muffin. 
  • Bake at a higher temperature initially to cause the muffins to rise quickly. 
  • Cranberry Orange Muffins pair perfectly with lemon muffins!
  • Have extra lemons? Make lemon curd with egg yolks!

How to Properly Measure Flour

The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a kitchen scale, weighing it in grams. 

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, follow this method. 

  • Aerate the flour with a whisk or spoon. Flour becomes heavy and compact as it sits. Aerating is the same as fluffing the flour, but not the same as sifting it. Do not sift the flour unless the recipe specifically calls for it.
  • Use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup. Do not tap the cup against the counter, as this will compact the flour.
  • Use the back of a butter knife to level off the excess.
single lemon muffin with glaze on white plate on white background

Lemon Muffins Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to moist muffins?

The secret to moist muffins is a delicate balance of ingredients and handling. Use moistening agents like buttermilk and butter in the batter, plus properly measure the flour. Avoid overmixing to prevent gluten development, and bake until just cooked through to avoid drying out

What does adding an extra egg do to muffins?

Adding an extra egg to muffins can make them richer and more moist, giving them a delightful texture. The added protein also boosts flavor and helps hold everything together. Just remember not to go overboard with eggs, as it could make the muffins too dense or rubbery.

More like this Lemon Muffin Recipe

Lemon Buttermilk Muffins

4.69 from 19 ratings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 10 muffins
Simple homemade lemon muffins the whole family will love! Includes tips for making tall, bakery style muffins because those are the best.

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 420 grams
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, 350 grams
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, 240 ml
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled, 113 grams
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 60 ml

Lemon Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, 113 grams
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a spoon to combine and set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, melted & cooled butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine with a spatula for 30 seconds. 
  • Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing by hand just until combined. The batter will be very thick!
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. I cannot guarantee the same results if the batter doesn’t rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffins liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other well allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other.
  • Fill the liners super duper full with batter. My muffins probably had about 8-10 heaping tablespoons of batter in each muffin liner. Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  • While one pan is baking, be sure to refrigerate the other pan if it has batter in it. Or refrigerate the remaining batter if still in the bowl.  Place one pan in the center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keep the muffins in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to bump the temperature back up to 425ºF.

Lemon Glaze

  • Mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together with a spoon. You may possibly need more lemon juice, it just depends on how thin or thick you like your glaze. You can dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze or use a spoon to spread the glaze over them. 

Notes

  • Measure the flour on a kitchen scale or by using the spoon and level method.
  • I’ve made these muffins with both regular and gluten free flour with awesome results on multiple occasions. I recommend King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Use it as a one for one substitute for regular flour.
  • For lemon blueberry muffins add 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter. 
  • For lemon poppy seed muffins add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter.
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast
Author: Beth
Calories: 454kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 499mg, Potassium: 105mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 48g, Vitamin A: 378IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 138mg, Iron: 2mg
Share a Photo!Tag @beth_thefirstyear!