Recipe Review

Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Are Bakery-Worthy

published May 18, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen; Design: Kitchn

When looking for lemon poppy seed muffin recipes, John Kanell’s Preppy Kitchen version caught my eye for a few reasons. Compared to other recipes I looked at, he used a generous amount of lemon zest and a small amount of lemon juice in the batter. I liked his method of rubbing the lemon zest and sugar together to draw out the essential oils from the zest, that he used both butter and Greek yogurt for tenderness, and added a touch of vanilla extract. Plus, with their full tops and stripy lemon drizzle they looked great! I was curious to see if the muffins came out as bakery-worthy in my kitchen.

Get the recipe: Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen; Design: Kitchn

How to Make Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I preheated the oven and lined a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. I sifted the dry ingredients together, then, in another bowl, I rubbed the sugar and the lemon zest together. The friction created by rubbing the granulated sugar and the zest together made the sugar yellow and aromatic.

I whisked the rest of the wet ingredients into the lemon zest mixture, then added it to the dry ingredients, folding the ingredients together just to blend. Using a large ice cream scoop, I transferred the batter to the paper liners. I baked them for about 15 minutes, let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transferred the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

While they cooled, I whisked powdered sugar and lemon juice together for the glaze. When the muffins finished cooling, I used a fork to drizzle the icing over the muffins. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen

My Honest Review of Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

This is one very stunning-looking muffin, worthy of any bakery display. If you are into muffin tops, this recipe delivers, with a nice, golden-brown mound with that crispy overflow around the edges so many of us crave. The muffins are tender and full of lemony flavor from the 2 tablespoons of lemon zest added to the batter, and the icing delivers a nice lemony pop.

The flavor is spot-on, with a good balance of lemon and poppy seed flavor coming through. The Greek yogurt, along with the melted butter, adds moisture and tenderness to the muffin. And these delightful treats last! The muffins were still delicious after 2 days stored airtight at room temperature.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen

If You Are Making Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, a Few Tips

  1. Use the right yogurt. Preppy Kitchen advises to be sure to use plain Greek yogurt or skyr for his muffins. Plain regular yogurt has too much liquid, and that will affect how high the muffins will rise. 
  2. Grab an ice cream scoop. To make it easier to get the sticky dough into the muffin liners, use an ice cream scoop.
  3. There’s more than one way to drizzle. You can use a fork or a spoon to drizzle the icing over the muffins. For more even drizzling, you can place the icing in a piping bag or a zip-top freezer bag, cut off the tip of one corner, and squeeze the bag to drizzle the icing over the muffins.  

Overall rating: 9/10

Have you tried Preppy Kitchen’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins? Let us know in the comments.