I wish someone had told me to take “Before” photos when quarantine started last March. In the nether regions of my mind, I can still see that former life of mine: a spotless home, a predictable schedule, and a family that, albeit wild, felt comfortable within the confines of our everyday existence. Sure, there was the occasional hiccup in the regimen of our daily lives- maybe a vacation, a last-minute addition to our calendar, or even (gasp!) an unforeseen bout of strep throat or seasonal cold- but for the most part, life was defined and fairly easy to get along with.
Fast forward to the “After” photo. The images that make up our day-to-day nearly 10 months after quarantine began are a blur of grey and barely-controlled chaos, a hot mess pile of face masks, hand gel, and flailing attempts to work, parent, and manage feelings and expectations. This season has been a dying to self, a loosening of my grip on all things I used to think I could control, and to be completely frank, it hasn’t been pretty. I’ve found myself feeling bitter and struggling with frustration more times than I can count, and, in a a lot of ways, dealing with the imperfect, self-serving parts of my heart have been the one of the more unpalatable doses of reality I’ve been forced to swallow in my life.
Looking for the gold.
This is really just a reminder to myself: look for the gold in all of this. If and when it’s all said and done, I don’t want to be defeated and worse for the wear; instead, my hope is that we all find ourselves stronger and more resilient under the weight of our own individual challenges. I hope we find ourselves more graceful, more open to love, and less in need of the temporary wants that rarely serve our lives in lasting ways. Deep down, I really think this shaking of our personal foundations will nudge a lot of us to start building our hopes and dreams on the stronger ground of relationships and beliefs that will actually last. Yes, the haze of uncertainty, fear, and loss is still thick and looming, but there’s hope and goodness burning through with an offering of its own: matured perspective, slower pace, and an opportunity to trim the proverbial fat in our lives. We’re definitely being pruned, but I’m feeling more and more certain that it’s making room for growth.
One of my favorite parts of these past few months has been including my children in my kitchen activities. Let me be clear: kids in the kitchen is anything but easy, neat, or quick. Anytime my babies strap on an apron, I need extra time and energy to clean up the millions of little disasters that ensue. But the benefit of time spent together and watching their little hands and minds explore makes it well-worth the effort. Like with these lemon poppy seed muffins.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Muffins are one of the most simple and forgiving things to make in the kitchen with kids. These lemon poppy seed muffins are a favorite of my oldest. These muffins are a great place for kitchen-curious people to start; all you need is a hand mixer and a few measuring cups. Here, a simple butter and sugar batter comes together with sour cream, eggs, lemon, and milk. The end result are lemon poppy seed muffins that remain moist and tender even after a couple of days. The glaze is simple, just powdered sugar and lemon juice,. It adds that extra tang and hint of sweetness that makes these extra-delicous for kiddos.
I’m eager to hear from you all. How are you doing? What have you learned in this season? How can your fellow baking friends (raises hand!) support you in love? Muffins seem like a meager offering, but they’ve brought me a lot of joy and I hope they do the same for you. Have a terrific week and happy baking!
If you like these lemon poppy seed muffins you should try:
Lemon Berry Crumb Cake
Blueberry Lemon Bars
Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Lavender Icebox Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
These lemon poppy seed muffins have a moist and tender crumb and are scented with fresh lemon zest and juice. A simple powdered sugar glaze tops each muffin to add extra sweet and tang!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 19
- Total Time: 29 minutes
- Yield: 12
- Category: Breakfast
For the muffins:
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 1–1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2–1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1–1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (plus more as needed)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-compartment muffin tin with liners (or lightly grease if you plan to use no liners).
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until well-combined, about one minute. Add in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, zest, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds on low, just until combined.
- Use a large cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins about ¾ of the way full. Bake in the preheated oven about 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin briefly before removing and cooling on a rack.
- Once cooled, whisk to combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add a smidge more juice to thin out the icing, if desired. Drizzle on top of the muffins and enjoy!
6 thoughts on “Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins”
I’ve been craving lemony cake-like things during this pregnancy. I think I just might need to make these soon 😉 maybe a double batch too for freezing…just in case.
Pingback: 15 Sweet & Spring-y Lemon Recipes To Make This Season
these are wonderful, kate.
didn’t use/need the icing.
super moist, super lemony.
and thanks for sharing about your life during this difficult time.
i feel like the pandemic has offered me a silver lining, giving me plenty of opportunities to notice where i’m stuck and how to gracefully move towards more ease.
stay safe and be well,
Thank you for sharing this! <3
Is the amount of flour correct in this recipe, 4 cups? I made these immediately after I got your recipe and they are not right. I’m thinking it’s the flour because they are dense and tough, with not enough moisture. Kate, your recipes are wonderful and many are part of my personal favorites. I’m thinking this was a typo? Please help. Hope to hear from you.
It was delightful to wake up to this recipe, and even better when I realized I had all the ingredients on hand! Thanks for your openness in voicing what most of the world has felt these last 11 months. I, too have felt bitter many times. I moved internationally last February, with the thoughts of learning French and using every free weekend to travel and explore Europe. Travelling has been (obviously) impossible for most of that time, and learning French has been much more difficult with masks and multiple lockdowns here. In addition, those long European visits from my college aged kids and dear friends that I had dreamed of have been forbidden. I shed many tears as trip after trip got cancelled and I missed my kids. I’ve been trying to remind myself that there have been lots of good moments, too. I may not have been able to see many sites I had been wanting to, but the places we have been able to visit have been less crowded than normal. If we hadn’t spent four or five months in lockdown, I probably never would have met my delightful, elderly neighbor, who speaks French with me despite the fact that her English is better than my French. Conversations with her have helped me put things in perspective. Hearing the stories about her life and her parents, who bought the apartment she currently lives in before WWII and had to flee it during the war, has helped me to put these more minor troubles in perspective and see that this is just for a season. If our kids can get here before we move back, we will certainly cherish those opportunities because we now don’t take those things for granted. Maybe I’ll be back living in the States before travel really reopens and maybe my dreams of European travel weren’t meant to be, but the experiences I have had during this time have definitely made me more resilient and able to stand on my own.