Simple homemade lemon muffins the whole family will love! Includes tips for making tall, bakery style muffins because those are the best! Make lemon poppy seed muffins by adding 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter!

single lemon muffin with glaze on white plate on white background

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 muffins arranged in a grid on a metal baking sheet

Ingredients

  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness and flavor
  • baking powder and baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the batter
  • salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness and enhances the other flavors
  • eggs: binds the batter together by providing structure
  • buttermilk: adds fat, moisture and flavor
  • vegetable oil: adds fat and moisture 
  • lemon zest and lemon juice: the star of lemon muffins

How to Make Homemade Lemon Muffins

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients. 
  2. In a larger mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients. 
  3. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. 
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  5. Fill the liners to the top with batter. Yes – to the top! 
  6. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. 
  7. Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keeping the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 13-16 minutes. 
lemon muffin batter in metal muffin pan

How To Make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Easily add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter to make lemon poppy seed muffins. 

How to Create Bakery Style Muffin Tops

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.

1. THE REST PERIOD

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes 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). Our 15 minute rest is just a quick rest. 

2. BAKE AT HIGH TEMPERATURE INITIALLY

Bake the muffins at a high temperature (425ºF) for 7 minutes then lower to 350ºF. Starting the muffins off at a higher temperature causes the batter to rise rapidly, producing a domed shaped.

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.

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

How to Make Gluten Free Lemon Muffins

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.

How to Freeze 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

Total Time Required

  • 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

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. 

Tips for Making Lemon Muffins

  • 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 15 minutes. 
  • 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. 
single lemon muffin with glaze on white plate on white background

More Lemon Desserts

Lemon Muffins

Simple homemade lemon muffins the whole family will love! Includes tips for making tall, bakery style muffins because those are the best. Make lemon poppy seed muffins by adding 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Beth

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 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, vegetable oil, 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 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners. Fill the liners to the top with batter. Yes – to the top! You might think there is no way to fit all the batter in 12 liners, but keep dividing the batter among the cups and fill the liners FULL! Use a butter knife to smooth the tops of the muffins if lumpy. 
  • Top the muffins with sanding sugar if desired. 
  • Bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF, then keeping the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. 

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 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Tag @beth_thefirstyear!