Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

My husband said that these muffins could easily be one of my best recipes yet. Our gluten-eating friends, as well as my cookbook recipe testers, agree. Buttermilk helps leaven these beauties. (There’s a dairy-free version, too.) The optional glaze adds a contrasting tartness.

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 - 16 muffins

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins pack plenty of lemon flavor, are moist, and ready to satisfy your sweet tooth at a moment's notice.


    For the Muffins:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (or Earth Balance spread)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups Carla's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend recipe
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 slightly heaping teaspoon lemon zest*, lightly packed
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (or homemade* using rice milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Lemon Glaze (Optional):
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or as needed


  1. To Make the Muffins:
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 12-cup, non-stick muffin pan; set aside. (Do not use paper liners. The muffins will shrink away from the pan and become dense.)
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes or until fluffy. (For heavy-duty hand mixers, beat on high speed.)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour blend, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  5. Add eggs to the butter mixture, and beat on medium speed until just incorporated. Using a rubber or silicone spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice during mixing.
  6. Add lemon zest, and beat on low speed until evenly distributed. Slowly pour in buttermilk, mixing on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add flour mixture all at once and beat on medium speed until thoroughly blended.
  8. Add vanilla and beat for a few seconds.
  9. Evenly distribute batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 17 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan 5 minutes. Then remove muffins and place directly on the wire rack to cool while you quickly make the glaze, if using.
  11. To Make the Lemon Glaze (Optional):
  12. While the muffins are beginning to cool, add confectioners' sugar and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk until blended. Add additional sugar or lemon juice to create your desired consistency. Baste each warm muffin with the glaze.


*The zest of a lemon is the grated peel (only the bright yellow skin, not the white rind).

**Each lemon contains about 2 tablespoons of juice. However, some lemons may not contain that much. To develop the juices, you can roll the lemon with the palm of your hand on a counter. Alternatively, you can microwave it on high for about 5 seconds (based on a 1200 watt oven).

Bake the muffins thoroughly. If you undercook them, they will fall a bit, causing a gluey/gummy texture in areas.

The recipe makes a different amount of muffins depending upon whether you use tapioca or cornstarch in the flour blend and the power of your mixer. Tapioca flour and the use of a high-powered mixer create higher risen muffins.

*See substitutions page for homemade buttermilk recipe.

One Reply to “Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins”

  1. Facebook Comment,

    “I have no lemons but a lot of oranges. do you think that may work as a bit of a twist?”
    Me: “Absolutely!”

    “Not as bright and sunny as the lemon ones – had to also use an all purpose gf flour but have some superfine rice flours on order and will try again! BTW, still yummy….love the orange glaze!”

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