Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins // nutritionstripped.comLemons and poppy seeds marry so well together and sing spring to me; the idea of these Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins came to me naturally this time of year when the sun is shining and all things light and refreshing are calling my name. These muffins are incredibly light with a bold flavor of lemon from using lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest with a nice balance of nutty flavors from the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts. I love to use ground nuts or seeds as a base for many of my baking recipes to make them effortlessly gluten free and packed with minerals, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

“Poppy’s!” a quote taken from one of my favorite TV comedy shows, Seinfeld, the scenario where a character named Elaine finally realizes the reason behind her failed drug test for work because she ate a poppy seed muffin the morning of. Side note poppy seeds contain a natural opiate but you’d also have to eat heaps of poppy seed for it to have that result on a test. Anyways, besides loving poppy seed muffins for the sake of it reminding me of this hilarious episode, they’re found in one of my favorite recipes, lemon poppy seed bread, especially those made from family (Amy, you know I’m talking about yours).

What’s poppin’ poppy seedS? Poppy Seeds are one of the most beautiful seeds visually, they have a deep blue/grey color to them that’s very unique and also remind me of chia seeds with their similar size and shape. Most of us are familiar with eating poppy seeds in baked goods like muffins, breads, and cookies; rarely to I use them outside of these recipes tyes and it’s a shame I don’t as they’re loaded with healthy bone minerals! Poppy seeds are loaded with calcium and manganese especially followed by magnesium and phosphorus (all bone healthy minerals!). Theses little beauties also contain about 2 grams of protein, 4g of fat, and 2g of fiber per tablespoon. Not that I’m all about counting calories, because we need to focus on quality and the utter goodness of nutrients here on NS, but these muffins are super friendly to our waistlines, low sugar/carbohydrate and generally low calorie with 5g of protein per muffin. But wait there’s more, brazil nuts are used in here and pack a huge punch of selenium, more than 100% of your daily value per muffin!

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins // Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins //

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins //

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are perfect to make for brunch, breakfast with family and friends, bring to a picnic for a light sweet treat, or bring with you to work and school to share. I had the pleasure of my brother coming into town this past weekend and it was so much fun taking him around Nashville as I normally do, hitting my favorite coffee shops, vintage stores, walking the busy touristy streets of Broadway with good ole’ honky tonk music blasting from every open door, tequila testing (don’t ask, it was random…), and most of all sharing my love through food. I made a batch of these muffins prior to him coming into town so he could give them a taste test, mind you he’s a critic when it comes to food, and it passed his test with flying colors!

I love serving this muffins warm with a drizzle of sticky honey that melts beautifully on the warm muffins, or also enjoy at room temperature/cool with Sweet Cashew Cream. Another fun way to enjoy these is to purposefully crumble, I know sometimes it can be hard ruining a perfectly shaped muffin, but these crumbled muffins go great topped on oatmeal, yogurt, or dare I say… BanaNO Cream ice cream (so good!).

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins // Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins //

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins //

Vegan version // use flax eggs instead of farm fresh eggs by using 4 tablespoons ground flax seed + 8 tablespoons of filtered water, check my vegan egg replacer guide here. Note, the texture will be different than the main recipe, they’ll be a bit more dense and less fluffy, still delicious nonetheless!

Inspired recipe by La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Recipe type: breakfast, bakery
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
A hearty lemon poppyseed muffin made with no grains. VGN (option) GF Paleo
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, shelled
  • ⅔ cup (90g) brazil nuts
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 50 g coconut oil (may use vegan butter or grass fed butter)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon sumac, ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a medium hot skillet, gently roast the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts, only for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. In a food processor, nut grinder, or high speed blender, grind the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts into a fine flour.
  4. Add baking powder and sea salt to this flour mixture and keep in a large mixing bowl on the side.
  5. In a microwave (less than 20 seconds or so) or by using gentle heat from running hot water, melt coconut oil. If using butter, melt.
  6. Add honey, vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, and sumac to the melted coconut oil/butter.
  7. Stirring the honey together with the warmed/melted coconut will help the honey disperse throughout the dough rather than settling on the edges where it'll brown- take note of my pictures.
  8. Using the egg whites, beat until foamy- you may use a food processor, by hand, electric hand mixer, or blender.
  9. In the large mixing bowl with the nut/seed flour, pour melted coconut oil/butter, add poppy seeds, egg whites, and stir.
  10. Grease a muffin tin very well, I like using coconut oil for this.
  11. Divide the mixture and use about 2 tablespoons of dough per muffin tin cup.
  12. Sprinkle poppy seeds on the top as well (just a few for garnish).
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes (checking at 10) or until golden on the outside. Test the inside by sticking a toothpick or knife in the center until it comes out "clean"/dry.
  14. Note, don't over bake, they'll continue to cook as they cool and should become firm.
  15. Feel free to store leftovers in the freezer when making large batches.
  16. Enjoy!
NOTE: vegan version not tested, using eggs gives the best texture.
EDGES: I don't use cupcake tins/liners, but you can to decrease the browning on the outside.
RISE: these aren't like "normal" muffins, they're not supposed to rise very high since the base is nuts they'll be a bit more dense.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 150 Fat: 12 Carbohydrates: 9 Sugar: 7 Protein: 5

Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins //

I hope you all enjoy these just as much as I have as well as my brother and my sweet did this past weekend. I’d love to hear your take on them and if you love them, please do share- it’s always appreciated.

As always, you can save the recipe for later by clicking the save button on my recipe. Have a beautiful, sunny day everyone!

xx McKel

Share your thoughts

  • These look insanely good,and as everything i’ve made from your site turned out great i’m sure they’ll be delicious!
    i was just wondering what i could sub the coconut flour for as it is not readily abailable anywhere near me?

    xx Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      Awesome, hope you love them. You can use brown rice flour if you’d like but you may not need additional liquid. Coconut flour is very absorbent of liquid. Let me know how they work out for you!

  • Tracey

    I don’t see poppy seeds in the ingredient list, do i just sprinkle some on the top of the muffin before baking?

  • Allison

    This look very good! So bright and spring-y. Do you think olive oil would work in place of the coconut oil in this recipe? Thank you for all that you do.

    • I would use butter instead, not olive oil, that’ll change the flavor! Hope you enjoy and thanks for your kind words 🙂

  • The lighting on these is amazing; your new kitchen does wonders for natural light photography! What would you suggest substituting for the sumac or would it fine to omit? xo

  • Shannon

    Are they supposed to be that dark on the edges?

  • Any substitute for brazil nuts? Don’t have any on hand but want to try these tomorrow. I was thinking cashews or almonds?

    Also, how did you decide to add sumac to these? I’ve never seen a baked good/sweet with sumac, but it’s a spice I use for a lot of savory dishes. I’m excited to try it in these!

    • You can use almonds or walnuts. I love adding sumac for a hint of lemon/citrus and spice to the muffin! I like to keep my ingredients interesting too 😉 Hope you enjoy!

  • Hunter

    I might be completely blind – but I can’t see the volume of poppy seeds listed in the ingredients. If you could let me know how I’m missing it that would be great! 🙂

  • I’m obsessed with lemon poppy seed everything! I just made lemon poppy seed smoothies on my blog and these muffins are next up on the list. Thanks for another lovely recipe!

  • What beautiful photos! I love lemon poppy seed anything, I bet these are fantastic!

  • Maureen

    Can I substitute another type of nut for the Brazil nuts?

    • Brazil nuts give it a great flavor and loads of selenium, as noted in the blog, but you can use almonds if you like!

  • Carol

    These look great! Any thoughts on adding Chia seeds into the mix alongside the Poppy seeds? Obviously totally different – just curious as I try to get my Chia on as much as I can!

    • Hi Carol, sure! If you add in chia seeds, just be sure to add in a bit more liquid since they love water- you’ll have to experiment with that a bit, but it may be helpful to grind the chia seeds first. Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • valerie

    Hey! 🙂

    can I use lemon juice instead of extract or it won’t work?


  • Misty

    Oh my yummy! With the banana no cream!!! Time to go shopping! Sunday breakfast my family is in for a treat!

  • Kathe

    So, I tried making your Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, and followed your recipe exactly as there were several ingredients I hadn’t used before now. Unfortunately, even though my Garland oven is calibrated, the muffins were burnt badly when I took them out of the oven after exactly 20 minutes. So, I cut the bottom off the muffins, so I could try them, at least. They were dry, dense, and very crumbly. Also, they didn’t rise at all. I’m thinking I’m going to try them again tomorrow with the following changes. I think I’m going to beat the egg yolks (I hate wasting food) into the room temperature fat in order to give it a little more fat (cohesion). Also, I think I’ll increase the baking powder to 2 tsp in order to give it a little more loft. I thought I’d add a little coconut water (2 tbsp?) to make them a little more moist, and set the timer to 10 minutes to see where they are. Do you think I’m on the right track for fixing this recipe?

    • Hi Kathe,
      Oh bummer! I’ve tested this recipe multiple times and they come out great! A couple of things to make sure you’re doing is beating the egg whites until they’re foamy, and of course every oven is a bit different so just checking them after 10 minutes to see how they’re doing. Mine routinely get a little brown around the edges only because I don’t use cupcake liners/tins and I grease them very well on the pan. You could always use tin liners to decrease the browning on the outside. The coconut oil is the main ingredient that makes these super moist, but feel free to add in a bit of water to the mix.

      Also note, these aren’t like normal muffins, they’re not supposed to rise very high since the base is nuts they’ll be a bit more dense. Hope that helps!

  • Kathe

    Actually, I made these again with the changes above. They came out perfectly risen, not at all dense, and not at all crumbly, with a lovely cake-like texture. I’ve never used muffin liners, and my many muffin recipes always turn out great with never a black edge. I did use coconut oil (which I always have on hand) and greased the tins as well. I used 2 tbsp coconut water, the 4 egg yolks, and an extra tsp of baking powder. Mine were done in 15 minutes, and my busy family loved them.

  • I’ve made these muffins twice now and the flavor and texture is wonderful, but both times the muffins want to stick to the bottom of the muffin tin and break apart easily. I used all the ingredients listed except I substituted fresh lemon juice for the sumac. I greased the muffin pan heavily with coconut oil. What am I doing wrong, any ideas?

    • Try using muffin wrappers! I don’t mind having the outer part a bit brown and firm, but if that’s bothersome try the paper muffin wrappers 😉

      • OK, will either bake them longer or use the wrappers, thanks! Even crumbly, they are still delicious!

  • carin

    Hi. In the instructions, I don’t see where to add in the cinnamon and coconut flour… Thanks!

  • Olivia

    Could I use almond flour instead of coconut? And could I take out the sumac?

    • It’ll be a different recipe with almond flour- coconut flour keeps it very soft and moist!

  • robyn

    do you think I could use chia seeds instead of poppy seeds? look great and would love to try them



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