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Lemon 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 medium
  • zest 3 lemons unwaxed
  • 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.


Flour Substitutions

Sweet Rice Flour. I don't recommend subbing the sweet rice flour. Please don't switch out for regular rice flour as they are too different.
Oat Flour. You can swap for sorghum flour.
Almond Flour. You can swap for ground almonds but it will have a slightly more mealy texture.

Dairy-Free Version

Whole milk. You can swap for an alternative milk like almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk (the carton not the tin) which will make the recipe dairy-free.

Baking Tips

  • Use a trigger release ice cream scoop to scoop the cake mixture into the muffin cases. It makes the job clean and easy.
  • Transfer the muffins directly to a cooling rack as soon as they are baked. If left in the baking tin the heat moisture starts to encourage the muffins to pull away from the muffin cases.
  • Only glaze the muffins with the icing when they have totally cooled so the icing doesn't melt.
  • If you leave the icing to set on the muffins for a couple of hours it will achieve that lovely crunchy crackle which is such a lovely texture contrast to the sponge.

How to Store

These muffins last up to 3 days if kept in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

How to Freeze

Flash freeze the muffins in a single layer on a baking tray in the freezer for 6-8 hours. Then move the muffins to a ziplock bag or airtight container and place back in the freezer. The muffins will keep well in the freezer for up to 2 months. I prefer to freeze without the icing as it tastes much fresher. Defrost the muffins (individually if you like) naturally on the kitchen counter which will take 4-8 hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen.


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