Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins

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

close up shot of an unwrapped orange and poppyseed muffin. additional muffins and fresh oranges are blurred in the foreground and background.

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’. 

These would also make a nice gift for friends or neighbors needing a little cheer.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS ORANGE AND POPPY SEED MUFFIN RECIPE

Level of difficulty: Easy. Measure, mix, scoop, and bake!

Flavor & Texture: Orange, honey, and poppy seed are the primary flavors in this delicious poppy seed muffin recipe.

Time: It will take you approximately 30 minutes to prepare this orange and poppy seed muffin recipe. This does not include cooling time…but I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t help but dive once they’re out of the oven and moved over to the cooling rack.

ingredients needed to make orange poppyseed muffins.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 2% or whole milk
  • Poppy seeds
  • Salted butter
  • Honey
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • All-purpose flour
  • Coarse sugar for topping (turbinado sugar)
12 image collage showing how to make orange poppyseed muffins

See a quick story series on these orange poppy seed muffins here!

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE ORANGE POPPY SEED 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.
close up on the the inside of an orange poppyseed muffin. The muffin sits it's wrapper on a stack of plates. Additional muffins and orange halves are surrounding the plate.

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 tsp 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 tsp 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.

MODIFICATIONS FOR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: GLUTEN FREE

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.
close up shot of an unwrapped orange and poppyseed muffin. additional muffins are blurred in the foreground and background.

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.

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.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

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close up shot of an unwrapped orange and poppyseed muffin. additional muffins and fresh oranges are blurred in the foreground and background.

Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins

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
  

  • 1/4 C 2% milk (whole milk is ok too)
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C fresh-squeezed orange juice (approx. the juice of 1 medium orange)
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (approx. from 1 medium orange)
  • 3/4 C honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 + 3/4 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 tsp 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.
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Comments

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

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

  1. 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 🙂

      • 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!

    • 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 🙂

  2. 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!