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Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Ultra moist and fluffy, these Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins are the perfect treat for breakfast or dessert; sweet and full of lemon flavor!


Units Scale

For the muffins:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or sub. Apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 300 grams (about 2 1/2 cups, spooned and leveled*) all purpose flour (see note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan yogurt (see note 3)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon organic powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract


  1. Prep: Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius). I know that seems high but trust me on this! Get out your muffin pan too. I like to use this hybrid silicone muffin pan because it has a metal frame but silicone cups, making it easy to get the muffins out and they don’t stick (they’re quite low in fat so silicone makes a difference). Since I have a silicone pan I like to put a plain baking sheet underneath it to keep everything even.
  2. Make the vegan buttermilk: Simply pour the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the non-dairy milk into a measuring cup or small bowl (I prefer the measuring cup as it has a spout) and whisk (or mix with a fork) to combine. It may separate after a few minutes which is totally normal! Just give it another quick mix when it’s time to add it to the dry mix.
  3. Make the lemon sugar: Add the sugar to a medium bowl and add the lemon zest (use a microplane or zester to zest the lemon(s)). Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, separating the zest as you go. This will help distribute it as you go.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together: Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk them together. Then add the lemon sugar and whisk that in too. Use a spatula to create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix wet ingredients together: Give the vegan buttermilk a quick mix and add the vegan yogurt (or applesauce), vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Give everything a good mix.
  6. Combine: Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the well you created in the bowl of dry ingredients. Fold the mixture in, but don’t over mix. It will be very thick. Gently mix until you just see streaks of flour. Add the poppyseeds and gently mix again.
  7. Add batter to pan: Add the mixture to your muffin pan but don’t overfill the cups. About ⅔ to ¾ full is plenty. I like to use a large cookie scoop to fill them quickly and easily.
  8. Bake: Bake the muffins on the center rack for 7 minutes and then WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR, turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 20-23 more minutes. The not opening the oven door is important. When we bake the muffins at 425 at first, we’re helping the muffins rise. Then lowering the heat without opening the door will help them bake perfectly and evenly. They’ll still be super moist and fluffy but with good color and height. You don’t want to let the heat escape by opening the door--that will cause muffins to sink. Muffins are done when they’re light-medium golden brown and a toothpick comes out with tiny crumbs or comes out clean.
  9. Glaze (optional): Let the muffins cool completely before glazing. Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar together with lemon juice and a little lemon extract if you like. Let the glaze set for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
  10. Store: Store muffins in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. They also freeze well.


  • Note 1: I say organic because, in the United States (I hear this is not the case in Canada or the UK), some cane sugars are filtered through bone char from animals, making them not vegan, and brands aren’t required to disclose this information. So while some brands have stepped forward and said that they don’t do this, I just buy organic to be sure. That being said, coconut sugar will also work; just keep in mind your cake will be a little darker in color. Coconut sugar is also a more intense flavor, similar to brown sugar which may overwhelm the lemon flavor in the recipe.
  • Note 2: Please measure your flour when baking by weight on a scale, as it’s the most accurate and will give you the best outcome. If you don’t have a food scale, measure by spooning and leveling the flour (tons of easy tutorials online, and I’ve explained in the article above how to do it). When you dig your flour cup into the bag, you’re packing extra flour into the measuring cup. Too much flour and this recipe may turn out dense. I’ve only tested this recipe with unbleached all purpose flour (I usually bake with Trader Joe’s flour, although I also often use Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Baking Company). If I were to make this recipe gluten-free, I’d use a good quality cup for cup gluten-free blend. I’ve personally used and loved King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour. I’ve also heard good things about Cup4Cup.
  • Note 3: The vegan yogurt is a great way to make the muffins super moist and fluffy without any oil or much fat at all. Use a thick non-dairy yogurt, nothing thin or drippy. I love Kite Hill, but Forager Project and So Delicious are also good choices. If you can’t find one, you can substitute unsweetened applesauce or the thick part of a can of full fat coconut milk.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan dessert, vegan muffins, vegan lemon muffins, vegan lemon poppy seed muffins