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Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

I had so much fun live-streaming my small batch chocolate chip muffin recipe last week, I felt inspired to share a new muffin recipe! These almond poppy seed muffins are just as delicious and easy to make.

This small batch recipe makes 6 muffins. I love small batch recipes, but if you want to make a full dozen you can double this recipe.

image of almond poppy seed muffins stacked with a muffin cut into to show how tender and soft it is

What is a Muffin?

This might sound like a silly question, but I make loads of cupcakes and cakes. What ratio of ingredients makes this a muffin?

Muffins fall into the quick bread category because they don’t use yeast to rise. They bake up thanks to leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder.

Traditionally they’re also baked in a muffin pan! Some recipes bake them in liners, others have you grease the pan and bake them right in each little muffin cup.

image of almond poppyseed muffins in a muffin pan that've been baked and are ready to be glazed

I prefer making them in muffin liners, because it makes for an easier clean up. But if you don’t have liners on hand, you can grease your muffin tin and bake these muffins right in the pan.

The traditional ratio for a quick bread or muffin recipe is 2 parts flour, 2 parts liquid, 1 part egg, 1 part butter.

This recipe is similar to that, but uses a few extra ingredients to give these muffins a tender, fluffy and light texture.

What is the Muffin Method??

Another trademark of a muffin recipe is the way in which the batter is mixed. The muffin method mixes together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

The dry ingredients are then folded into the wet and mixed until the batter just comes together.

In fact, you should still be able to see a few chunks, and the batter shouldn’t be perfectly smooth. If it is, you have over-mixed the batter!!

Do your best to avoid over mixing your muffin batter, as it can lead to dense, tough muffins.

image of almond poppy seed muffins glazed with almond glaze sitting on a tray with one cut open to show how fluffy and tender the inside is

Getting This Almond Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe Just Right

When working on this recipe, I began with the basic ratio of a muffin. But I wasn’t happy with the texture.

When I eat a muffin, I want it to be just as moist and tender as the giant Costco muffins I grew up eating. Yes, that is the benchmark I hold all muffins to!!

I absolutely love Costco muffins. I used to eat one every morning with a giant glass of milk before school. I’d heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up, then savor each bite. They were heaven.

Those muffins always left a bit of oil on my fingers and I think they used more oil and/or butter than a classic quick bread recipe. I also remember them tasting sweeter.

Several batches of muffins later, I finally was happy with this almond poppy seed muffin recipe.

I played around with the baking temperature, bake time, different amounts of baking powder, butter vs. oil, adding in sour cream, and milk vs buttermilk.

In the end, I found I liked the texture of these almond poppy seed muffins best with a little extra baking powder, buttermilk instead of sour cream, and all oil.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin Substitutions & Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some people have different preferences! For example, if you know you love baking muffins with butter, you can swap half or all of the oil for butter.

Or you might not have all of these ingredients on hand! If you find yourself in either of these situations, below I share the purpose of each ingredient along with swaps and variations that can be made.

All Purpose Flour

I prefer these muffins with good ol’ all purpose flour. It gives the muffins the right texture, and helps them bake up properly with the oil used in this recipe. Be sure you measure your flour properly (fluff, scoop then level) or use a scale to make sure you’re adding the right amount.

image of flour being leveled in a measuring cup

But don’t worry, these can easily be made into gluten free almond poppy seed muffins! You can use a gluten free flour blend instead of the AP flour in this recipe (cup for cup).

Just be sure to stir the batter really well to help give it structure. It needs extra help since it doesn’t have any gluten! Also let the batter sit for 30 minutes before baking the muffins (helps the flour absorb moisture from the batter)

Granulated Sugar

A little bit of sugar gives these muffins the perfect touch of sweetness, and helps create that tender texture. I wouldn’t recommend reducing the amount of sugar in this recipe or it will change the texture of the muffins.

Buttermilk or Whole Milk

These muffins can be made with whole milk or buttermilk. I’ve tested the recipe with both and they taste great either way.

Buttermilk gives the muffins a bit of a tang and adds a touch more moisture. If you’re used to baking with and eating baked goods with buttermilk, I recommend using it!

If you’re not used to the tang of buttermilk, I recommend using whole milk! It makes fluffy, light muffins that taste exactly how a classic muffin would taste.

You can also use alternative dairy milk (almond, soy, oat, etc.) in this recipe if you are lactose intolerant or dairy free.

Vegetable Oil

You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe, canola, vegetable, sunflower oil, etc.

You also can use melted butter to replace part or all of the oil if that’s what you have on hand.

1 Large Egg

The egg helps give this recipe structure, and brings the batter together.

If you don’t have any eggs on hand or want to make egg free almond poppy seed muffins, don’t worry! You can use a vegan egg replacer instead.

Almond Extract

The vanilla extract is optional, but the almond extract is an absolute must in this recipe. It gives it such an amazing flavor.

image of almond poppy seed muffins glazed with almond glaze sitting on a tray ready to eat

Tips for Making the Best Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

  • Don’t over-mix your batter! Mix until the flour has just been incorporated; there should still be some small chunks in the batter, and it shouldn’t be all the way smooth.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better, so be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your muffin liners.
  • Sprinkle additional granulated sugar or coarse/sanding sugar on top of your muffins to give them a perfectly crunchy muffin top.
  • One batch of batter can be used to make about 18 mini almond poppy seed muffins. Bake in a preheated 425 F / 218 C oven for 3 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 350 F / 175 C and bake for 12-14 minutes.
  • Garnish your muffins with a drizzle of almond glaze and sliced almonds to make them look just as delicious as they taste.
  • Use your favorite type of dairy free milk and yogurt to replace the milk and sour cream in this recipe to make dairy free almond poppy seed muffins.
  • To make gluten free muffins, swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend for the AP flour this recipe calls for. Be sure to over-mix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
image of almond poppy seed muffins being glazed with almond glaze

Making These Almond Poppy Seed Muffins in Advance & Storage Tips

Make your muffins in advance! If stored in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

image of almond poppy seed muffins glazed with almond glaze sitting on a tray ready to be eaten

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for almond poppy seed muffins or any variation of it, I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂

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Yield: 6

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

image of almond poppy seed muffins stacked with a muffin cut into to show how tender and soft it is

These almond poppy seed muffins are tender, moist, and the perfect way to start any day! They're super easy to make and will be gone in a flash!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (160g)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (133g)
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds (18g)
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder (7g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (1g)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, room temperature (120g)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (72g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (4g)
  • 2 tsp almond extract (8g)

Almond Glaze

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar (82g)
  • 1 Tbsp milk (20g)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (2g)

Optional Garnish

  • 2 Tbsp coarse sugar, optional
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • fresh lemon zest

Recommended Equipment

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F / 218°C and line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula, and mix just until combined and there are no visible streaks of flour. Your batter should not be all the way smooth, and it's ok if there are still some small chunks in it.
  5. Divide the muffin batter evenly between the 6 muffin cups, filling them to the top of the liner.
  6. If desired, add a generous sprinkle of coarse sugar on the top of each muffin to give them a perfectly crunchy top.
  7. Bake the muffins for 6 minutes at 425°F / 218°C to give the muffins a nice rise and a domed, golden brown top. Then (keeping the muffins in the oven) reduce the oven temperature to 350°F / 175°C. Continue to bake for an additional 20-23 minutes.
  8. While the muffins bake make the almond glaze! Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract in a small bowl until smooth.
  9. Let the muffins sit in the pan for 10 minutes to cool, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Drizzle them with the almond glaze at this point and garnish with coarse sanding sugar, sliced almonds, and/or lemon zest.

Notes

Making these Almond Poppy Seed Muffins in Advance:

These muffins can last at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Store in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

You can also freeze these muffins for up to 3 months. Let them to thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave.

Doubling this Small Batch Almond Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe:

This small batch almond poppy seed muffin recipe makes 6 muffins. To make a dozen almond poppy seed muffins, double the ingredients and fill 12 muffin liners. Bake as instructed above.

Making Mini Almond Poppy Seed Muffins"

One batch of batter can be used to make about 18 mini almond poppy seed muffins.

Fill a lined muffin pan with batter and bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 3 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 12-14 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 354Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 36mgSodium 309mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 1gSugar 26gProtein 6g

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