Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Hints of vanilla and lemon with a fluffy and soft texture. These naturally sweet Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins pair great with a big bowl of berries, at least that’s how I like to enjoy mine! Enjoy them as part of your breakfast menu or serve them as a whole food dessert option. Sweetened with date sugar and made with oat flour, these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are packed with health promoting ingredients. 

I loving these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins! They have quickly become an almost weekly staple in my kitchen. My Lemon Poppy Seed Bread recipe recently got a makeover. While I was working on the update, I wanted to test a muffin version that uses date sugar, and tada! This recipe was born! Date sugar helps to make cupcakes and muffins closer to the texture of more traditional versions.

What’s so special about date sugar compared to cane sugar? Date sugar is just pulverized dates! So it’s actually just a fruit, that’s been pulverized into a sugar, but retains its benefits as a whole food.

To help make this a fluffy muffin, it’s important to follow a few key steps.

If your soymilk (or other plant-based milk) is super cold, allow it to come to room temperature before mixing all the ingredients. 

Old baking soda may impact the amount of rise. I buy my baking soda in a box, and I start to cover the opening  on the box to help keep the baking soda fresh as possible. 

Sifting the oat flour, while not necessary, can also help make a lighter flour. Which may also help with the overall texture of this recipe. 

While it may be tempting to whip the batter to get everything incorporated, it’s really important to not over stir. Follow a folding method will help to keep the wet and dry ingredients mix together without overacting the baking soda. I like to think of it as “pressing” the wet and dry mixtures together rather than whipping. Slice through the ingredients, fold the batter, and then press any visible flour into the wet. Then carefully do this repeatedly until there is no more visible flour. You’ll know you have a good batch when bubbles are forming in the batter, and it’s really important to not overly disrupt this process. That’s where all the rise will come from. 

A few notes before you get started:

SWEETER: If you want your muffins a little sweeter than what I have written, feel free to use 3/4 cup date sugar. Since I enjoy these as part of my breakfast and not dessert, I like to keep them a little less on the sweet side. You can also make them sweeter by adding a date-sweetened icing.

DATES VS DATE SUAGR: If you’d like to swap in whole, pitted dates in this recipe- feel free. I’d recommend using 3/4 cup chopped, pitted dates. Blend them with the lemon juice and soymilk until smooth and creamy. The date sugar does help the muffins have a lighter texture. I try to buy my date sugar on sale, when I can! I also check out stores like TJ Max and Home Goods to see if they have any that are discounted prices.

ZEST: I would highly recommend leaving the zest at 2 tablespoons. I have tried this with only 1 tablespoon and it didn’t have enough lemon flavor, at least for my liking. It does require 2 whole lemons just for 2 tablespoons zest. If you don’t have a zester, you can carefully slice a thin layer of the skin off and blend it with the wet ingredients. I prefer to add my lemon zest to the blender with the date sugar, lemon juice, soymilk, and vanilla, as I find the flavor to be much better when the zest is fully incorporated into the wet mixture.

SALT-FREE BAKING POWDER: I am still experimenting with the salt-free baking powder. I do find that using 1 tablespoon does help make for a fluffier batch. It does lack some of the same taste due to salt being significantly reduced. You may want to up the zest and the date sugar to help offset.

OAT FLOUR: You can swap in store-bought oat flour for the homemade version. Use 2 cups of the oat flour in this recipe. If you make your own at home, it can be cheaper- that’s my experience at least. I do find sifting it through a mesh strainer helps to get a really fine flour and lighter texture on the muffins. 


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Kristina DeMuth, MPH, RD, LD
Hints of vanilla and lemon with a fluffy and soft texture. These naturally sweet Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins can be enjoyed as part of your breakfast menu or served as a whole food dessert option. Sweetened with date sugar and made with oat flour, these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are packed with health promoting ingredients.  
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 12


  • cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons double acting, aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest  (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice  (from about 1 lemon)
  • cups unsweetened soymilk  (or other plant-based milk)
  • ½ cup date sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with liners. 
  • In a dry high speed blender, blend the oats until fine like flour. To get the flour extra fine, filter it through a fine mesh strainer. Lightly tapping the strainer over a bowl. Any remaining clumps can be added back to the blender. 
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds to the bowl with the flour and stir together. 
  • Wash and dry the lemons. Zest and juice the lemons. Add to the blender with the soymilk, date sugar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and creamy. 
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold and press the batter together until the flour is incorporated. Avoid whipping and over stirring the batter.
  • Add the batter to the lined muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes clean. 
  • Allow to cool and then store in the fridge. Top with optional icing or frosting.


Makes 12 smaller muffins or 9 larger muffins 
Optional to top with a lemon cashew icing or sweet potato frosting