Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Muffins

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This edition of Baking Adventure in a Messy Kitchen will heretofore be known as. . . The Flattening.

I don’t know why these mini muffins turned out so flat. The photos on the original recipe look lovely, with tiny, cute puffy little muffins perched on a tea towel. Mine came out flat as pancakes on top, almost as if I wanted them that way. Oh wait! Yeeah, I WANTED them that way. Flat muffins. Who doesn’t want flat muffins?

flat muffins


I think nobody really WANTS flat muffins.

I tried to make them look nicer, so I made a muffin flower.

muffin flower

Arty.  Not Artie, like what Paul Simon calls Art Garfunkel, but arty, like a muffin flower.  But I digress. Should we get to the heart of things?

I was intrigued by this recipe. I love lemon poppy muffins and this one boasted coconut oil, Greek yogurt, and honey instead of sugar, so I had to give it a shot.

I whisked together the Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and egg.

yogurt, oil, egg

And then, since I’d forgotten to do it earlier, I zested the lemon. The recipe called for the zest and juice of one lemon but wasn’t specific at all about how much that would generate; there wasn’t even an estimate.  I happened to have a particularly large lemon on hand and since I like strong flavors, I used the whole thing.

lemon zest

I told you, that lemon was huge.

Lemon zested, I stuck to the order in the recipe and briefly benched the zest while I added the vanilla and milk. (I opted for regular milk instead of almond milk, I have no issues with dairy.) Then I poured in the honey.

adding honey

I added the zest and the juice of my ginormous lemon, and mixed. I tried the spatula but the whisk did a better job getting the honey well distributed.

liquid ingredients, mixed by spatula and whisk

I set my utensils aside and whisked together the dry ingredients, using whole wheat white flour and wheat germ instead of spelt flour, along with baking powder, baking soda, sea salt (I didn’t have pink salt), and poppy seeds.

dry ingredients

dry ingredients, whisked

And then I was at the simple step of combining the two bowls, transforming everything into one cohesive batter. I always love this part.

adding dry to liquid

adding dry to liquid

adding dry to liquid

And that’s where it began. The Flattening.

I shouldn’t have filled up those mini muffin cups so high, but the recipe said it would make 24 mini muffins, and my tin was sitting there, and the batter just seemed to make it. I should have listened to my inner baking voice, which KNOWS that you shouldn’t fill mini muffin tins to the top, but I let my tired human being voice, which didn’t want to haul out another tin and then have to bake both, and then wash both, reign. Bad call. Because this picture foretells the future.

batter in tin

And the future arrived.

flat muffins in tin

flat muffins on rack

Other than that, though, it was a pretty good recipe. I actually think I made them too lemony — my oversized lemon was more than these muffins needed, and a smaller one would have imparted just the right amount. My friend Carol disagrees, she thought they were lovely and would have added a lemon glaze! (I secretly think she adds lemon glaze to everything, even breakfast cereal.) For me, the flavor was too strong, and I like a lot of flavor. But the texture? Perfect. And the harshest critic of all, 6-year-old Juliet, ate a bunch with great gusto.

So my suggestion would be one small-to-medium lemon, and save your Lemons of Unusual Size for other occasions. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to make these tasty little muffins, and don’t fear The Flattening. It might not happen to you, and then you’ll have some tasty, healthy little mini muffins to eat without the shame. (But also without the muffin flower.)

muffin flower


My version of Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (adapted from Natural Sweet Recipes)


1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup honey
zest and juice of one small-to-medium lemon
3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin or line with mini muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, and egg until thoroughly mixed. Add the milk, vanilla, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk together vigorously.

Separately, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, poppy seeds, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Pour dry ingredients into the lemon batter and stir just until incorporated.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Don’t fill right to the top; if there’s leftover batter just make more muffins. (Trust me on this one.)

Bake for 9-15 minutes. Let them sit in the pan for a few minutes, then move to a wire rack. (If not using muffin cups, use a toothpick to gently pry the muffins out.)

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