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Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins

If you love the bright flavor of citrus, you’ll love these Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins! They’re tender, moist, and made with a combination of lemon, lime, and orange.

Triple citrus poppy seed muffin with bite taken out

Moist Poppy Seed Muffins With Extra Citrus Flavor!

Classic lemon poppy seed muffins are always a favorite, but I decided to take them to the next level by adding lime and orange to the mix. The blend of these three citrus flavors is fantastic without being overwhelming, and the little bit of crunch from the poppy seeds is the perfect finishing touch!

I’ve said on more than one occasion that I like my muffins to be a little less sweet than today’s standard coffee shop muffins. I kept to that thinking with these muffins, but I did add a sweet glaze, which is something I very rarely do. I love the pleasant sweetness it adds to the muffins, and it dresses them up a bit, too. If you prefer to lean into the natural tartness of citrus, these muffins are perfectly lovely without the glaze.

Oh, and don’t be fooled by the deceptively long ingredient list for this recipe—it simply looks longer than a typical ingredient list for muffins because it calls for the zest and juice of the citrus fruits. If you bake often, you’ll likely only need to pick up a lemon, lime, and orange from the grocery store, and perhaps one or two other stray ingredients.

(If you love bright citrus flavor, try one of these next: 14 Luscious Lemon Desserts!)

Overhead view of ingredients for triple citrus poppy seed muffins

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the muffins:

For the glaze:

  • Confectioners’ sugar 
  • Milk
Overhead view of dry muffin ingredients in bowl before mixing

Can I zest with a knife?

Yes, you can zest with a knife if you don’t have a tool for zesting. Carefully shave off the outermost layer of citrus fruit peel; use a sharp paring knife to remove long strips, avoiding the white pith beneath as best as you can. Once you have collected enough peel, use your knife to finely chop it.

That said, I highly recommend using a Microplane for zesting. It makes quick work of zesting, plus it has so many other uses that it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools.

How to Make Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins

Making these muffins isn’t any more difficult than making lemon poppy seed muffins! Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400°F and grease or line 12 standard muffin cups.

Overhead view of dry muffin ingredients in mixing bowl

Mix the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the citrus zest. Form a well in the center of the mixture.

Finish the batter. In another mixing bowl, combine the cooled butter, milk, eggs, and citrus juice. Pour this into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Overhead view of unbaked muffins in muffin tin

Bake. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups (they should be 3/4 full) and bake the muffins for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Overhead view of baked citrus poppy seed muffins in pan

Cool. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)

Make the glaze. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk, stirring until the mixture is smooth and all the sugar is incorporated. If necessary, add more milk to reach a pourable consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins once they’ve cooled.

Unwrapped citrus poppy seed muffin with glaze running down sides

Tips for Success

Here are some hints and tips for perfect poppy seed muffins!

  • Don’t over-mix. It’s always better to have some streaks of flour in the batter than to mix it too much and end up with tough muffins.
  • Adjusting the glaze recipe. The glaze makes enough for a light drizzle; if you want more than that, I recommend doubling the recipe.
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar. Otherwise, you’re likely to have lumps in your glaze!
Stack of 3 citrus poppy seed muffins with glaze dripping down sides

How to Store

Store your Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze these muffins for up to 3 months. Store them in an airtight container or in a freezer bag; if you only have a few muffins to freeze, you can wrap them individually if you prefer.

Stack of triple citrus poppy seed muffins
Visit the Recipe Index for more muffin recipes.

Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins

Yield 12 standard-sized muffins
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes

Lemon, lime, and orange give these sweet muffins plenty of citrus flavor.

Stack of 3 citrus poppy seed muffins with glaze dripping down sides

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • zest of 1 medium lime
  • zest of 1/2 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • juice of 1 medium lime
  • juice of 1/2 medium orange

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (55g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 1 & 1/2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

To make the muffins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease or line 12 standard muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the three zests. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cooled butter, milk, eggs, and three juices. Add to the flour mixture. Stir together, mixing just until combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full (using about 3 tablespoons of batter per cup).
  5. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine the confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk until thoroughly combined. If necessary, add more milk until the glaze is the desired consistency.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins.

Notes

The amount of glaze is just enough to top the muffins as you see in the above photos. If you prefer more glaze, then simply increase the recipe by half or double.

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    8 Comments on “Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Muffins”

  1. It’s citrus fruit time over here in Spain so a very timely post. Thanks for sharing, they sound fantastic , I will certainly be giving them a try soon!

  2. I would always pick chocolate over lemon (or any citrus) when I was a kid but now that is a TOUGH choice. It’s so good, especially with poppyseeds! They look great Jennifer! PS I love your round cooling rack!

  3. Oh, YUM! Can’t wait to try! Thank you…there are just never enough good muffin recipes!

  4. I think I have bought at least one of every variety of citrus from Whole Foods lately because I am obsessed this year!! I have a feeling these muffins would come in handy as the perfect grab-and-go breakfasts.

  5. Looks so lovely!! I will definitely try this recipe this weekend. Thanks Jennifer for sharing this post 🙂

  6. Just made these but substituted the poppy seeds for chia seeds as poppy seeds are illegal here in Dubai and they taste amaaaaazing. Thank you 

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