Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

A friend commented that since I’m on a maternity break from the cake stall that I must have a lot less cake wastage in my house. Ha, I invited her to come and visit the muffin graveyard that was currently overtaking my kitchen. At that particular time when she made the innocuous remark I had about 35 Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins crammed on top of my workspace that were begging for a home. These little guys were good muffins, every one of the six batches I made were fine but not quite the muffin I had in mind when I began my quest to come up with my ultimate gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

With the cake stall all my bakes are tried and tested recipes which I have made many many times and perfected. I don’t sell out every week, although that is the aim and usually there is not much left. Rest assured though all the unsold cake goes to good homes afterwards as I offer it to my fellow stall holders who have braved the cold day alongside me. The cakes and bakes which I make for recipe testing though don’t always have such a happy ending as quite often I can be absolutely inundated with half-finished, mediocre tasting fare which haven’t reached the potential I had intended. A lot is given away but those that fall way below par end up in the bin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

My current adventure to develop the perfect gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin can only be blamed on Cole. We were having lunch at a café together a couple of weeks ago when his head was turned by the collection of Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing to attention on the counter directly in his eye line. Every muffin in different brightly coloured cases, the icing glinting from the sunlight strewn window. There was no doubt, these were toddler catnip. He mewed for one from the moment we sat down and feeling magnanimous I acquiesced that he could have one for dessert.

As it turns out we were stuffed after our lunch but he still wanted a muffin so I got him one for later. Unfortunately they were not gluten-free so I went without. But the craving had set in and since we had no plans in the afternoon I decided that whilst he ate his muffin he could stand at our kitchen counter and watch whilst I showed him how to make the gluten-free version. Totally for his benefit you understand.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

So that’s what we did and it was great fun. However the end result wasn’t quite what I had intended, they were okay but the texture wasn’t right at all. In my ratio of gluten-free flours I had obviously used far too much almond flour. They were not the light and fluffy muffin that I was hoping for, a bit dense and claggy and certainly not enough lemon. I ate one slightly disappointed, resolving to give the recipe another go the following day.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

Two weeks and 60 muffins later I finally reached the ultimate goal and that’s the recipe I am sharing here. These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are the perfect muffin to begin your day, break up your afternoon with alongside a cup of tea or treat yourself to after dinner. There is plenty of zest in the sponge which is fluffy from the final selection of gluten-free flours:

  • sweet rice flour
  • oat flour
  • almond flour

The top is drenched with a tangy lemon icing and sprinkled with more poppy seeds for a little crunch.

Not only can I see these Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing the test of time in our family but the recipe is so adaptable that you can easily swap out the lemon zest and poppy seeds for perhaps blueberries, orange zest or something more adventurous. I’m thrilled I cracked this muffin, as is Cole so he can now have Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins on tap.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

If you make these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 396kcal


  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • zest 3 lemons
  • 150 g sweet white rice flour
  • 125 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Place muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin and pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  • Place the milk, sugar, olive oil, eggs and lemon zest into a large bowl and beat together until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, oat flour, almond flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat together until smooth.
  • Divide the batter into muffin cases, filling to just below the top.
  • Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • As soon as the muffin tin has been taken out of the oven, then lift out the muffins and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely before drenching with icing.
  • Make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar until the icing is just pourable.
  • Spoon the icing over each muffin then leave to set.


Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1.2mg


For these muffins I used almond flour, as opposed to ground almonds which kept the muffins fluffy. Finely ground almond flour isn’t as easy to find though and here in the UK I have to order it from Amazon. It’s not cheap (it’s gluten-free baking what can I tell you!) but a 1kg bag will keep you going for some time. I love RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) which is ultra fine flour and works perfectly in these muffins.

For more info on almond flour see my post on nut flours which gives the breakdown of the different between ground almonds, almond meal and almond flour.

As for sweet rice flour I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free. I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get in the UK but I use sweet rice flour a lot so this was a real find. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Gluten-free oat flour is thankfully a lot easier to get hold of but you will still have to order it from Amazon. I order it in bulk since it’s one of my favourite flours and the brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4)

The 12 hole muffin tin I always use and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability and ease of washing is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

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