Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins

Light and fluffy orange and poppy seed muffins are a wonderful option for breakfast, brunch, or snacking! Ready to enjoy in 30 minutes, this recipe makes delicious and moist muffins that are not overly sweet. A winning recipe to be sure!

an unwrapped orange and poppy seed muffin sits on it's wrapper surrounded by more muffins, a stack of white plates, and cut oranges.

I don’t know about you, but citrusy baked goods are some of my favorites (don’t tell chocolate). These orange poppy seed muffins are light, fluffy, moist, and the perfect amount of sweet… an all around great muffin! 

If you’re a fan of lemon poppy seed muffins, give these orange poppy seed muffins a try! This recipe may sway your citrus alliances to ‘team orange’. 

Orange poppy seed muffins are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or snacking! These would also make a nice gift for friends or neighbors needing a little cheer.

Jump to:

Why You’ll Love This Orange and Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe

Quick and easy to make! This easy orange poppy seed muffin recipe has everything measured, mixed, baked and ready to enjoy in 30 minutes!

Awesome citrusy flavor. Orange, honey, and poppy seed are the primary flavors in this delicious poppy seed muffin recipe.

Wonderful texture. Light and fluffy orange muffins with a nice crunch from the poppy seeds. An all around delightful muffin experience!

Refined sugar free. Using honey as our sweetener allows for these orange muffins with poppy seeds to be refined sugar free!

They freeze well. I love making a double batch of these and saving some for a rainy day… these orange and poppy seed muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients needed to make Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins.
  • Orange juice and zest give these muffins a big pop of citrusy flavor!
  • Poppy seeds add a slight nutty flavor and wonderfully crunchy texture to your muffins. Poppy seeds can be found in your grocery store’s baking aisle.
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt helps create a perfectly moist muffin! Baking with yogurt also adds a little tanginess and helps to activate the baking soda to create a light and fluffy texture. Using yogurt also adds a little protein to your muffins too.
  • Baking powder and baking soda are used as your rising agents in this recipe to help create light, fluffy muffins with perfectly domed muffin tops.

BAKING TIP: Using room temperature eggs is often suggested for baking because the eggs will incorporate into the softened butter easier. This results in a smooth, uniform batter. If you’re setting your eggs out on the counter to bring them up to room temperature, the standard rule of thumb is to set them out for at least 30 minutes prior to using them.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Amp up the orange flavor with orange extract. If you want your orange poppy seed muffins to be really orangey, add up to ½ teaspoon orange extract to your batter. 
  • Top with turbinado sugar. Before putting the muffins into the oven, add a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin. This adds a nice texture and a little more sweetness to your muffins.
  • Add a glaze. Once cooled, add a simple glaze to your muffins! Plain, orange, or even lemon would all be lovely. To make a simple glaze for your muffins, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of liquid until a smooth glaze is formed.
    • Using water with a tiny splash of vanilla makes a quick vanilla glaze.
    • For an orange glaze, use fresh-squeezed orange juice. Option to add some orange zest into your glaze if desired (½-1 teaspoon would work well, but adjust the amount to your taste).
    • If a lemon glaze is desired, use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Option to add in some lemon zest if desired.
  • Make mini muffins! This recipe can be made into mini muffins if desired. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tins and bake for 11-13 minutes. This will yield ~ 36 mini orange and poppy seed mini muffins.
  • Substitutes for the vanilla Greek yogurt. You can use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of the vanilla Greek yogurt in this recipe. Do this substitution in a 1-to-1 ratio. If you do this, I would recommend adding ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract to your batter as well.

Step-By-Step Instructions

12 image collage showing how to make orange poppyseed muffins
  1. Soak the poppy seeds. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine the milk and poppy seeds and allow to soak while you mix together your muffin batter.
  2. Preheat the oven and prepare muffin tins. After setting up your poppy seeds to soak, preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare muffin tins by either lining with cupcake liners or spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients. Whisk together the melted butter, honey, egg, yogurt, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Once combined, stir in the pre-soaked poppy seeds.
  4. Add in dry ingredients. Slowly whisk in the orange zest, salt, baking soda, and flour. Stir until just combined, DO NOT overmix your batter (a few lumps are ok!).
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. Divide batter between 12 standard sized muffin tins, filling the tins about ⅔ full.
  6. Bake. Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (ok to have a few crumbs).
  7. Cool. Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tins for a few minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Enjoy! Enjoy orange and poppy seed muffins warm or cold. Option to slather with butter, honey, jam, or whatever else you enjoy!
  9. Store leftovers. Store completely cooled muffins in an air-tight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Why Do You Soak the Poppy Seeds?

Soaking poppy seeds in a liquid being used in your bake helps to soften their tough exterior. This process can help bring out the flavor of the poppy seeds in your bakes. You will oftentimes see recommendations to soak poppy seeds in a warm liquid for at least 30 minutes. 

I generally set up my poppy seeds to soak before I do any other steps of my recipe (including getting out the rest of my ingredients) to be most time efficient.

half of an orange poppy seed muffin sitting on it's wrapper on a stack of white ruffled plates. additional muffins surround it.

Possible Dietary Restrictions?

This orange and poppy seed muffin recipe is vegetarian as written. One quick swap can make this into a gluten free muffin recipe.

  • Using a 1-to-1 gluten free flour is a good option for making these into gluten free poppy seed muffins! I’ve had success baking with this 1-to-1 gluten free flour, however, I have not used it specifically for this recipe.

Expert Tips

Do not overmix the batter. To get light and fluffy muffins, mix your batter until just combined. This is sometimes described as being to the point where the dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps in your batter are ok! Overmixing will result in dense muffins.

Storage

Store completely cooled muffins in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

How to Freeze After Baking

Orange poppy seed muffins also freeze well! To do so, ensure your muffins are fully cooled and then wrap them individually in plastic-wrap (aka saran wrap). Place the wrapped muffins in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw, remove individual muffins from the freezer and either let them sit in the fridge overnight or let them sit out at room temperature for about 1 hour.

You can also warm them up directly from the freezer, removing the plastic wrap and microwaving them for 15-30 seconds!

an unwrapped orange poppy seed muffin sitting on it's wrapper with additional muffins and oranges blurred in the background.

Helpful Equipment

  • A hand grater is super helpful for zesting citrus fruits, like the oranges in this orange poppy seed muffin recipe!
  • Using a citrus reamer or lemon squeezer is super helpful when squeezing fresh juice from all kinds of citrus fruits. Having one of these in your kitchen is definitely worth the (small) investment.
  • You’ll need a standard size muffin tin to make muffins! I have two in my kitchen as many recipes make more than 12 muffins (or cupcakes), and then you don’t have to wait for your pan to cool down in between batches.

Recipe FAQs

Why soak poppy seeds in milk?

Soaking poppy seeds prior to baking helps to soften their tough exterior and bring out their flavor. You will oftentimes see recommendations to soak poppy seeds in a warm liquid for at least 30 minutes. 

I generally set up my poppy seeds to soak before I do any other steps of my recipe (including getting out the rest of my ingredients) to be most time efficient.

How long should you soak poppy seeds?

You will oftentimes see recommendations to soak poppy seeds in a warm liquid for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. 

What do poppy seeds taste like?

Poppy seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. They also have a nice crunch!

How do you freeze and reheat muffins?

For longer storage, muffins can be frozen. To do so, ensure your muffins are fully cooled and then wrap them individually in plastic-wrap (aka saran wrap). Place the wrapped muffins in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw, remove individual muffins from the freezer and either let them sit in the fridge overnight or let them sit out at room temperature for about 1 hour.

You can also warm them up directly from the freezer, removing the plastic wrap and microwaving them for 15-30 seconds!

Love This Recipe? You May Also Enjoy

Did you make this recipe? Tag @ourlovelanguageisfood on Instagram & Facebook & be sure to leave a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ & comment 📃 below!

an unwrapped orange and poppy seed muffin sits on it's wrapper surrounded by more muffins, a stack of white plates, and cut oranges.

📖 Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins

Meredith
These orange poppy seed muffins are light, fluffy, moist, and the perfect amount of sweet… an all around great muffin! A wonderful option for breakfast, brunch, or snacking.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 13 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Muffins
Calories 217 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ C 2% milk (whole milk is ok too)
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • ½ C unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ C fresh-squeezed orange juice (approx. the juice of 1 medium orange)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (approx. from 1 medium orange)
  • ¾ C honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 + ¾ C all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine the milk and poppy seeds and allow to soak while you mix together your muffin batter.
  • After setting up your poppy seeds to soak, preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare muffin tins by either lining with cupcake liners or spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, honey, egg, yogurt, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Once combined, stir in the pre-soaked poppy seeds.
  • Slowly whisk in the orange zest, salt, baking soda, and flour. Stir until just combined, DO NOT overmix your batter (a few lumps are ok!).
  • Divide batter between 12 standard sized muffin tins, filling the tins about ⅔ full.
  • Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (ok to have a few crumbs).
  • Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tins for a few minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy orange and poppy seed muffins warm or cold. Option to slather with butter, honey, jam, or whatever else you enjoy!
  • Store completely cooled muffins in an air-tight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

*Note: Do not overmix the batter. To get light and fluffy muffins, mix your batter until just combined. This is sometimes described as being to the point where the dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps in your batter are ok! Overmixing will result in dense muffins.
 
*This recipe can be made into mini muffins if desired. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tins and bake for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. This will yield ~ 36 mini muffins.
 
*Optional toppings: sprinkle with turbinado sugar before baking or add a glaze once baked and cooled.
  • To make a simple glaze for your muffins, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of liquid until a smooth glaze is formed. Drizzle over cooled muffins.
    • Using water with a tiny splash of vanilla makes a quick vanilla glaze.
    • For an orange glaze, use fresh-squeezed orange juice. Option to add some orange zest into your glaze if desired (½-1 teaspoon would work well, but adjust the amount to your taste).
    • If a lemon glaze is desired, use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Option to add in some lemon zest if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 170mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 274IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I strive to provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend whenever possible.
Share this Recipe

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. Cristie says

    Question for you. Your instructions call for yogurt, but I don’t see a quantity listed in the ingredients. Can you clarify? Thanks

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      Hi Cristie – thank you for letting me know! The recipe card has been updated to add 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  2. Amanda says

    5 stars
    These are amazing!! I made 8 big muffins, the texture and flavor was perfection, will make again!

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I am so happy to hear that you loved these orange poppy seed muffins Amanda! Fun that you made them into 8 big muffins too! Thank you so much for making my recipe 🙂

  3. Denzel says

    5 stars
    These muffins were a lot of fun to make! Great recipe, enjoyed incorporating the Greek yogurt in this one!

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I’m so happy you enjoyed baking these Denzel! I love baking with Greek yogurt too 🙂

  4. Carl says

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe. Tasted delicious and can’t wait to make them again.

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I’m so glad you loved these orange poppy seed muffins Carl! Happy baking 🙂

    • Dj says

      Sorry – I do not see yogurt in the listed ingredients, but it is listed in the directions….

      • ourlovelanguageisfood says

        Hi DJ – thank you for letting me know! The recipe card has been updated to add 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. ANUJ says

    5 stars
    Loved the recipe!

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I’m so happy to hear it, thank you Anuj!

  6. M. says

    5 stars
    Made these to share with co-workers, everyone loved them! Thanks for the great recipe, I’ll definitely be making these again.

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      So happy to hear your co-workers loved them! And thank you for making and sharing my recipe 🙂

  7. Vivienne says

    5 stars
    Loved the honey flavor along with the orange and poppyseed. A good addition to my muffin line-up.

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed these, and that they’ll be added to your muffing line-up 🙂