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There was this cute little café that I used to frequent with a friend for lunch. It was just this hole-in-the-wall from the outside, but it was decorated in a charming, eclectic way inside. The food was quirky and full of charm too.

Their menu changed frequently and seemingly on a whim; sometimes they offered European classics like Crêpes or Gulaschsuppe, and other times it was more American-style fare like creamy chicken salad sandwiches or burgers smothered with caramelized onions and mushrooms. Their soups were killer – even their clear broths were rich and flavorful – and their salads were satisfying as a meal in themselves. Ladies, you know the salads I mean; the fancy lettuce that either has sweet dressing and adornments like fruit, nuts, and maybe some grilled chicken, or savory dressing and additions like bacon, cheese, and fried egg.


I won’t even get started on all the pastries and sweet treats they offered, except to say that they had a pretty big gluten-free variety available as well. My friend has eaten gluten-free for about four years now, and she has always ordered their lemon poppy seed muffin. After seeing her enjoy it time after time, I tried it myself and could immediately see why she was hooked.

When the café closed down for good not long ago, I decided to surprise my friend with a homemade version of her favorite gluten-free muffins.

These muffins are bright with the flavors of lemon and vanilla shining through. They’re sunny and perfect for spring, and also perfect for munching on along with a hot beverage while spending an afternoon with an old friend.

By the way, aren’t these paper muffin liners adorable? (Love Donna Hay!) They were a gift from my dear friend, the fabulous Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. Thank you, Lorraine!


Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 1½ to 2 dozen muffins
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons (175 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (250 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (preferably from an organic lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (480 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375F; line 2 muffin trays with paper liners.
  2. Add the milk to a small bowl and pour the lemon juice over it; let it sit for 2 minutes without moving the bowl or stirring the milk.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and then cream in the eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest, vanilla, and milk/lemon juice mixture (which will be curdled).
  4. Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate large bowl.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once and gently stir with a wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  6. Fill each muffin well about ⅔ full and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. I just made these and WOW they are delicious. The only thing I would add is more lemon juice

  2. Heather Stepniewski says:

    These were so delicious. I love serving gluten free baked goods to gluten eating friends and have them not notice a difference.

  3. Delicious! I love lemon and poppy seed together. It’s match made in heaven :) Plus i love that these are gluten free. I gotta cut out all that gluten in my diet!

  4. Aww Faith I’m so excited that you used these! I love putting those packages together for you every year and these are the perfect item to bake with! :D

  5. The liners are indeed terrific! I love citrus flavor in cakes and muffins. They look super tasty!

  6. no xanthan? terrific! these sound great, and yes, lorraine is a peach. :)

  7. Lemon baked goods are the best way to welcome spring :) I made some lemon bread this past weekend, so refreshing! Your gluten-free muffins look wonderful :)

  8. YUM! These look great. And it’d be so easy to make them vegan too. Definitely adoring the cute wrappers.

  9. Lovely and surely perfect with a cuppa!



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