Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

There is something so cute about a mini-muffin. They look like little baby offspring of a normal muffin, and are the perfect size to simply pop into one’s mouth. They are also perfect to share: a normal muffin recipe usually yields a dozen muffins, but when baked in a mini-muffin pan, the recipe triples. So when I decided to bring in a breakfast treat for my co-workers, a ‘mini’-aturized muffin recipe was just the way to go.

Cut LemonLemon ZestJuiced Lemons

Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe was the perfect recipe to shrink and share. We’ve extolled the many virtues of our favorite baking goddess here before and this recipe did not disappoint. While I’m not normally a lemon person, I think the flavor brightens up breakfast food. The poppy seeds added crunch and a subtle flavor to the recipe and when the muffins are topped with a simple glaze they become a work of pure and utter genius. You may have thought that sweet and tart can only exist in candy form – Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin provides it in a perfect little baked good.

Lemon Poppy Seed Batter

Aside from changing the muffin size, I didn’t attempt to modify this recipe. The baking time was lessened to between 10-12 minutes – I just pulled them out when the tops of the muffins were slightly brown. After they were completely cooled, I drizzled one of the easiest glazes you can make (just lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar) and let it set. All that was left was to keep C from scarfing all of them down before I could take them away in the morning. And as for how the mini muffins were received by my co-workers – well ‘yummy’ was the word that I heard over and over again. And the only thing left after a few hours were crumbs.

Glazed Mini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Taken from Dorie Greenspan’s, Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the Muffins:
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 T poppy seeds

For the Icing:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 T fresh lemon juice


To Make the Muffins:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and hte fragrance of the lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whish the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the wish or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough-a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.

To Make the Icing:
Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 T of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely, the better to get an extra zap of lemon.