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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed MuffinsHow much do you really know about your partner?

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

My husband and I have been married for, like, a million years. I cook nearly everything he eats. He doesn’t even open the refrigerator most days, ’cause he eats what I give him and isn’t home enough during the week to wonder about anything else.

I know he doesn’t care for cucumbers or watermelon (who doesn’t like watermelon? *he doesn’t*). He has preternatural affection for zucchini. In the summer, he has a long history of growing it all over the place & imposes it on me every single day for months. How much can you really do with zucchini in overabundance?

I did not know that Lemon Poppyseed Muffins were his favorite.

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Since he’s a man of few words, I have to read his body language like tea leaves. When he really likes something, he stares at the food in between bites.

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

So I did not know about his love of lemon poppyseed muffins. Until I made him—lemon poppyseed muffins.

These muffins are lightly sweet, lemony masterpieces. They’re a little crusty on the outside, and soft & moist inside. And they just say ‘spring’ to me, even though I’m not sure why. It’s not like I have a lemon tree in my backyard or anything. Oh how I wish I had a lemon tree in the backyard. I’d make lemon poppyseed muffins and Lemon Bars all the livelong day.

Try making this recipe. You never know. Someone you love might secretly be hoping against hope that you’re going to whip up a batch.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Love
Recipe Type: Brunch
Author: Nicole @ Glutenfreeonashoestring.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 22 mins
Total time: 37 mins
Serves: 12
GF Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
  • 2 cups (280g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon, separated
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream (low fat is fine, nonfat is not)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  1. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds, and mix to combine.
  3. Add the butter, sour cream, lemon juice and eggs, beating well to combine after each addition.
  4. Fill the 12 cups of the muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full. Smooth the tops of the batter with wet fingers. Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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  • What luck! It turns out I have all of these ingredients on hand, even the poppy-seeds (as I recently made your Everything Bagels), and I had been meaning to attempt lemon poppyseed muffins someday. Someday shall be Sunday.

    Regarding secrets… I grew up eating fairly healthy food that was high in vegetables and low in meat. Processed food was relatively rare in our house. One day, I confessed to my mom that I secretly liked sandwiches at other people’s houses that made with Wonder Bread, lunch meat, processed cheese and mayo. She laughed and said, “Actually, I secretly like them, too.”

    • Nicole

      Hi, Farida,

      I love your secrets story! What a sweet and poignant memory. A friend of mine tells a story about how she was never allowed soda at home, and so the moment she walked in a friend’s house, the first thing she said was, “May I have some soda?” even before ‘hello.’

      Enjoy the lemon poppyseed muffins on Sunday! Thanks so much for posting.

      Warm regards,

  • Krista

    My milk-free version turned out well! I used almond milk with lemon juice instead of sour cream, and shortening instead of the butter. I’ll be posting a photo if I can figure out how… Thanks for a great recipe, and help with the milk-free alternative!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Krista,
      Wow! You weren’t kidding about hopping right to it! I’d love to see a photo! You’re very welcome, and thank you for posting and sharing your success with substitutions! That is always such useful information!
      Warm regards,

  • love your description of how you tell if your husband really likes the food. Mine has a very limited vocabulary for food (despite being a writer) and I struggle to get him away from ‘fine’..

    • Nicole

      Hi, Lois,
      Brian is a writer, too! I’m always having to remind him that he expresses himself in words for a living, but still everything is good. I have to listen carefully to inflection and read body language, like a detective. I still wonder if one day he might surprise me with something more descriptive. Hope springs eternal!
      Thanks for posting!
      Warm regards,

  • These look great! Any suggestions on replacing the eggs though? My husband (funny enough, also a man of few words) can’t tolerate eggs, corn or gluten.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Traci,

      Sounds like a lot of us out there are married to the strong, silent type …
      For the eggs, you can try one of the following:
      * Ener-G Egg Replacer (and follow directions on the box
      * 2 tablespoons potato starch (corn starch also works, but not for your strong silent man) dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
      * 1/4 cup smooth applesauce + extra 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      Eggs in gluten-free baking are stabilizers and help with rising, and replace for gluten as protein. These substitutes are imperfect, but each should work.
      Let us know how it goes! There are definitely other reader who will benefit from your experimentation. Thank you for posting!

      Warm regards,

  • These are in the oven right now, can’t wait to taste them they smell so lemony and yummy!! Thanks for all your help Nicole. My husband is similar, doesn’t say much, eats what I make. Every once in awhile he’ll compliment something so then I know it must be good!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Kristi,
      It’s my pleasure, Kristi. When something is in the oven that smells good, especially something lemony, my children & husband start to swarm around the kitchen. It’s like an infestation! It sounds like your husband is similar to Brian. Instead of everything being super-sized, everything is minimized!
      Enjoy the fresh muffins. You can do anything!
      Thank you so much for posting.
      Warm regards,

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  • Kate

    This is probably an old question, but if I have gluten-free all-purpose flour that has guar gum in it should I still add the xanthan gum (which I don’t have yet)? My very limited understanding is that they have the same purpose. This is day 7 gluten-free for me and I have a lot to learn! I did just order your book though!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Kate,
      It’s certainly a new question for you, Kate! I’m impressed that, 7 days in, you’re asking such an articulate question! The answer is that, no, if your all-purpose GF flour already has guar gum in it, you do not need to add xanthan gum. They do serve the same function. They are generally used in varying degrees, but I’m sure your all-purpose GF flour has taken care of all of that. That’s what makes it “all-purpose” (and why I love an all-purpose GF flour). Just grab it and go!
      You may be right that you have a lot to learn, but you have obviously already learned a lot! Go Kate!
      Thank you for ordering my cookbook. I really appreciate it, especially so early in your process. Post back with any other questions, and check us out on facebook.com/gfshoestring!

      Warm regards,

      • Kate

        Thanks for replying! I have immersed myself in gluten-freeness over the past week and learned a LOT, but I’m a little overwhelmed and suffered severe sticker shock on my first trip to the local grocery store! My following trip to Trader Joe’s was a little better, but I rushed right home and researched how to do this *without* going broke (and without needing ten different flours and weird ingredients) and found you. :) I love to bake so I’m very excited to try out your recipes with this fabulous invention of all-purpose gluten-free flour. Who knew?? It’s only been a week but I feel so much better off the gluten and now I’m starting to think this might not be the worst thing in the world. I’m a little scared to eat out, but I guess I’ll figure out as time goes by what works and what doesn’t.

        By the way, poppyseed cake was my FAVORITE growing up. Love the post!

        • Nicole

          Hi, Kate,
          I’m really, really pleased with and impressed by your ingenuity in realizing so early on that it didn’t have to be so difficult – or so expensive – to eat well while eating gluten-free. It took me a lot longer than a week to realize that, way back when! I think the ten-different-flours-and-weird-ingredients brigade is going to peter out, but for some reason it’s taking a while. Conventional home cooks use an all-purpose gluten-free flour, and with products like Better Batter out there, so can we. You are well on your way to being proficient, and you’ll be converting your own old recipes in no time.
          As far as eating out, it can be scary, but you might have some luck finding restaurants that participate in the Gluten-free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP), which educates mainstream restaurants on how to prepare and provide contamination-free gluten-free food. http://www.glutenfreerestaurants.org/ It’s run by GIG (the Gluten Intolerance Group), and was started by a member of the Board of Directors of my local celiac support group. It’s a wonderful resource.

          Best of luck – and go make some poppyseed cake!

          Warm regards,

          • Kate

            Thanks for your kind words and I will check out the website! If things like poppyseed muffins and a good pizza dough are still possible I’ll be happy. :)

  • Joy

    Love the recipe, love the blog design, but I think the font is hard to read. Maybe its just me. Keep up the great work!

    • Gluten Free on a Shoestring

      Hi, Joy,
      My literary agent had the same comment! I will ask the blog designer to experiment a bit. Maybe a “sans serif” font.
      Thanks for the feedback!

      • Gluten Free on a Shoestring

        Better now?

  • Amy


    Another awesome recipe! We loved the muffins . . .and my husband isn’t crazy about anything lemony and he LOVED them! Thanks for continuing to make us gluten free eaters so happy!!


    • Nicole

      Hi, Amy,
      I think your comment was one of the ones that disappeared into the ether in the switch from the old site. I’m so glad you posted it again! I’m thrilled that you & your non-lemony husband enjoyed these so much. See – husbands can surprise you! ;)
      Thank you for posting, & for coming back again and again. It means so much to me.
      Warm regards

  • Nicole
    I made these today using the potato starch sub you suggested. They are still a bit moist inside but DELICIOUS!! A definite winner recipe that will be a regular around here! Thanks!!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Traci,
      That’s great that the substitution worked so well! Thank you so much for letting us know.
      Warm regards,

  • Sarah

    Haha, very cute.

    Lemon is my favorite flavor and I do love muffins. Can’t wait to make these!

    • Nicole

      Ha ha hardy har har har. :)
      These are really nice. I should make them tomorrow morning for breakfast. I think I shall. …

  • I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of you before this. Your blog is fabulous, and I love your writing style! I just stumbled upon you because my teenage daughter, newly GF and still eating eggs and milk, is craving lemon poppyseed muffins. Of course if these are good, and I have a feeling they will be, this also means I will have to make a second batch for my little one without the eggs and milk . Anyway, I have a question. I have never heard of Better Batter but it sounds like you may use it yourself, can you tell me what is in it? I don’t generally use all purpose GF flour blends because they tend to have too much rice flour for my taste. Oh I just can’t tell you how excited I am to try these, and your pita bread…oh my gosh! Oh yes, one last thing, my mother doesn’t like watermelon either. We always thought she was the only one in the world. I guess there are two.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Charmaine,
      Better Batter is the all-purpose gluten-free flour that I use and recommend. If you click on the “Order Now” button on their logo in the sidebar, it will take you right to their site. It is a rice-based all purpose GF flour, but it doesn’t taste at all ‘grainy,’ if that is what your concern is with rice-based flours. I have met people at book-signings who have said that they do not like rice flours, and then they try something made with Better Batter and love it. Up to you, though. The only type of ‘all-purpose’ GF flour that I recommend AGAINST, since I do not believe it is at all truly all-purpose, is the bean based flours, like Bob’s Red Mill. They smell bad, have a terrible aftertaste, and do not behave the same as true all purpose GF flours.
      I hope that’s helpful — and welcome to the blog! I think we’ll get along quite well. After all, between the two of us, we know the only 2 people who don’t like watermelon!

  • I have altered the recipe quite a bit, but I thought it would still be polite to ask you first…
    Do you mind if I post my version of this recipe(GF and vegan) on my blog and include a link back to your recipe? Thank you by the way, these muffins are amazing! I decided I only wanted to make one batch (instead of one with eggs and dairy and one without), so I set straight out to make them vegan and both of my girls loved them, even the egg and dairy eater. I do usually blend my own flours, and they vary depending on what I’m making, but as soon as I have a little extra cash I am definitely going to order some Better Batter and give it a try.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Charmaine,
      Thank you for asking. It is definitely proper ‘blog etiquette’ to ask! :)
      I am so glad that you liked this recipe. If you indicate clearly, at the top of the recipe (rather than just a link afterward), that it is adapted from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, it is fine to include the recipe on your blog.
      I hope you enjoy Better Batter!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Thank you very much! Now I just need to find the time to post it.

  • Annette

    I started making these and then found out we didn’t have poppyseeds. So, I threw in some frozen blueberries…to die for! The batter alone was so awesome! Since we bought the poppyseeds, my hubby has been requesting that I make these. They should be ready in a few minutes.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Annette,
      Good to know that the recipe works well with blueberries! Oddly, I have never played with this recipe, so I’m glad to know that you were able to do that with success. Thanks for letting me know. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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  • Tara S.

    I lurrrve lemon poppy seed muffins…now just to figure out how to fit baking them into my schedule. As always, Nicole, you rock!

    • They’re quick, Tara! And you can definitely make the batter the night before, stick them in the refrigerator and just bake them off in the morning. Easy peasy. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • RebeccaLB

    Yum, yum, yum! My favorite muffins! My dear strong-silent-type husband can’t tolerate seeds so for him I add freeze dried strawberries! He calls them Strawberry-Lemonade muffins.

    • Oh, you are so good to him, Rebecca! Since he’s the strong silent type, too, I guess you’re lucky to know that he likes strawberry-lemonade muffins! They sound great.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kendra Mitchell

    My husband trained as a chef so I get, “This is good, but do you know what you could do?” Funny thing is I’m lucky if I can get him to even help with dinner once a month! And he doesn’t even work in the food industry anymore, so it’s not like he’s burned out after a long day in a kitchen. Sigh…. I guess I’ll keep him though.
    Anyway, these muffins look great and the heck with hubby, these are MY favorite so I can’t wait to try them.
    Also, I must tell you that after avidly following your blog, I am completely convinced that I must get the full line of USA Pans and that cool bread proofer (really excited to use it to make yogurt!) Too bad my birthday is 10 months away…

    • Hi, Kendra,
      Oh, I would not appreciate it if my husband gave me notes on everything I made for him! I think you absolutely should get all the USA Pans you like (and the proofer). After all, you’re the one doing the cooking and baking! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Kendra Mitchell

        Well, my hubby has his good qualities, too :)
        I have a question that you may have already addressed elsewhere, but what is the chance of cross contamination when using a nonstick pan (USA pans is a different coating than I normally see)
        I do gluten full baking for my husband’s customers and for others as well and try to use glass or solid surfaces, etc because I have heard that the non-stick can retain the gluten.
        I am still feeling my way through this whole experience being fairly new to team gluten free.
        Thanks for everything!

  • Hi Nicole ~ Are you also married to Brian? Will you be traveling to California with him? ( I am assuming you two ARE married! to each other! ) If so, I would love to give you two some destinations. I am native Californian, currently living in Northern CA near to Monterey Bay, on the Santa Cruz side. We are having a beautiful Spring! Please email back, if the answers are Yes…. and BTW, you are an inspiring baker. I am a good cook, and so, admire a real good baker. I can bake, but must follow your leads. MY hubby also LOVES lemon… lemon anything! One of our friends made Lemon Bars with only almond flour, and they were good. Until later, thanks for all your beautiful website & great ideas!! Hugs ~ Maria

    • Hi, Maria,
      Yes, Brian is my husband. :) We won’t be in Northern California at all, but thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Laura

    I am going to be making these to take to a volunteer appreciation breakfast tomorrow morning. I am going to need to make 3 dozen so my question is… Can I mix up a triple batch at once or should I mix them up seperately? :-) My son has already announced he will have to be the taste tester for these! He’s a lemon poppy seed guy through and through! :-)

    • Hi, Laura,
      Generally muffin recipes can be doubled without a problem, but I have never tripled this. In much larger quantities, recipes sometimes break down. If it’s not too much trouble, I would suggest making one double recipe, and one single, to be on the safe side. Enjoy the breakfast!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Judy

    Yum, oh yum, oh yum! Everyone loves these! I plan to take some for my friend’s husband who must eat GF when I visit this week. (I subbed Splenda for the sugar since I’m trying to cut carbs. Exceptional. Thank you!

    • I’m really glad to know that they worked well with Splenda, Judy. It’s always so useful when readers report back about things like that. Glad you enjoyed. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Patti

    Made these this week-end. I did dip the tops in a melted butter/lemon combo & then a touch of sugar after baking. To die for! If my gluten eating family rants & raves, it is in my cooking repertoire & they did.

    Thanks Nicole!

    • Sounds great, Patti. Love a new addition to the repertoire!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Joy McGinniss

    Hi Nicole,
    I assume these muffins can be baked ahead of time and frozen? Have you ever tried this?

    Joy McG.

    • Hi, Joy,
      I haven’t ever tried freezing them, but I’m sure you could do that. Before freezing them, just be sure to put them in something freezer-safe, and remove as much air as possible from the container.
      xoxo Nicole

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