These vegan lemon muffins with poppy seeds are super moist and fluffy. You wouldn't think that they are actually vegan and gluten-free. The best part is that they are made with a few simple ingredients and come together in one bowl, which makes this recipe really easy. If you like lemon desserts, you may also like these no-bake lemon cookies and this vegan lemon pudding.
Citrus lovers will fall for this recipe because they have that perfect balance between sweet and zesty. You can eat them as a snack, serve them as a dessert, make them for brunch or even eat them for breakfast.
Why you'll love this recipe
- We're not exaggerating, these are the best moist vegan lemon poppy seed muffins, we've tried in a long time (better than the ones at the coffee shops). The texture of the crumb is perfect and they are not brittle at all.
- These vegan lemon muffins are also gluten-free. They are made with a blend of oat flour, almond flour and arrowroot powder. No gluten-free mixes or specialty flours are needed.
- They are lower in sugar (13 g of sugar/muffin) than other vegan lemon muffin recipes (20-30 g of sugar/muffin).
Gluten-free oat flour is a great base for gluten-free baking. It's mild in taste and relatively light, which provides airy and fluffy baked goods. It's also absorbent, which is great when baking without eggs as it acts as it has binding properties. Plus, it's high in plant-based protein and fiber. You can easily make it yourself by blending gluten-free oats in a blender.
Almond flour makes the muffins lighter. You can replace it with almond meal (made from peeled almonds versus unpeeled almonds). You can also make your own almond flour by blending almonds in a high-speed blender or food processor. We recommend running it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any bits and pieces.
Arrowroot powder is a key ingredient when making gluten-free muffins. It makes them bouncier and less brittle. We are quite sure that you could replace it with tapioca starch, although we have not tried it yet.
Flax eggs replace regular eggs in this recipe. You will need flaxseed meal to make them. If you only have whole flaxseeds, you can easily blend them in a small blender and store them in the refrigerator for your next baking sessions.
Coconut oil keeps the muffins moist for a few days. You can replace it with vegetable oil (e.g., olive oil) or melted vegan butter.
Granulated sugar perfectly balances out the tartness of the lemon. We've tried replacing it with the same amount of coconut sugar and it worked perfectly. Do not replace it with a liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup.
Lemon juice and lemon zest provide an intense lemon flavor. We like to add a lot of lemon juice (versus using lemon juice and almond milk) to make the muffins really zesty. The lemon juice also reacts with the baking soda, providing a bubbly batter that will rise high and make the most fluffy vegan muffins. Preferably use fresh lemon juice and zests from organic lemons.
Poppy seeds brings these lemon muffins to the next level. If you can't find them at your grocery store or if you don't like them, simply leave them out.
Add a handful of fresh blueberries to the batter to make vegan lemon blueberry muffins!
- Weigh the ingredients with a kitchen scale for best results. It's really important to get the measurements right in vegan and gluten-free baking to obtain the perfect texture. If using measuring cups, scoop the flour into the cup and level it out.
- If you haven't switched over to a scale for baking, we highly encourage it! It's really convenient, uncomplicated and you'll have fewer dishes to do.
- Don't overmix the batter. A few lumps are okay.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the muffin batter into the muffin form. This makes is very easy to fill the muffin cups.
- Fill the muffin cups up to the top. These vegan lemon muffins only rise a little, which is why you want to fill the cup as much as possible to have a full-size muffin.
- Work fast! You want to benefit from the leavening reaction between the lemon juice and the baking soda. Once you filled the muffin cups, put them in the oven as quickly as possible. Also, don't leave the oven door open for too long to prevent temperature drops.
- Let the muffins cool down completely before eating. The texture improves a lot when cooling down. Once you took the muffins out of the pan, place them on a cooling rack for an hour or two.
If you prefer muffins with frosting, try our vegan carrot cake icing without cream cheese! It goes incredibly well with these lemon muffins. Alternatively, make a simple lemon glaze by mixing powdered sugar and a few drops of lemon juice in a small bowl.
Step-by-step with pictures
Make the flax egg by mixing the flaxseed meal with water. Set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken and form a gel.
Zest 1 or 2 lemons depending on their size. Preferably wash the lemons first and pat them dry. Juice 4-5 lemons until you obtain ½ cup of juice.
Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, arrowroot powder and baking soda.
Add in the wet ingredients. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the flax eggs, melted and cooled coconut oil, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Start whisking at the center until the wet ingredients are well combined and gradually incorporate the flour from the sides. Finally, stir in the poppy seeds (if using). You should obtain a relatively thick batter.
Line a muffin pan with muffin paper cups (or silicone muffin cups). Scoop 3-4 tablespoons of batter into each cup. They should be filled up to the top.
Bake the muffins in the preheated oven (350°F/180°C) for 22 minutes. Use the fan mode if you have a convection oven. When the time is up, check if they are done by inserting a toothpick or a clean knife into a muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake them for two more minutes (but don't overbake them).
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Once you're able to touch it without burning yourself, remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack. Wait until completely cooled before eating.
Watch the video
Frequently asked questions
You can store these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Then, move them to the fridge for an additional 2 to 3 days. Do not let them out on the counter for too long as they will dry.
You can freeze these muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe container for 1 month. To defrost, let them sit on the counter. They taste best when reheated in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.
You can definitely make these vegan lemon muffins without poppy seeds. They add a nice little touch but are not necessary for the success of this recipe.
Yes, you can easily make this recipe with oranges or limes.
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Vegan lemon muffins
- 1 Kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoon
- 1 zester
- 1 juicer
- 1 Muffin pan
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 4 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1 cup (120 g) oat flour gluten-free
- 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) arrowroot powder sub tapioca starch or corn starch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zests from organic lemons
- ½ cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) fan.
- Make the flax egg by combining the ground flaxseeds with water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- If your coconut oil is solid, you can melt it in the microwave on defrost function at 15 second-intervals. This allows the coconut to melt without getting too hot.
- Grate 2-3 organic lemons using a zester. Juice the lemons until you obtain ½ cup of juice.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oat flour with the almond flour, arrowroot powder and baking soda.
- Form a well in the center of the ingredients and add in the flax eggs, melted coconut oil, sugar, lemon zests and lemon juice. Start whisking at the center and gradually incorporate flour from the sides until combined. Stir in the poppy seeds but don't overmix the batter.
- Line a muffin pan with 6 muffin liners. Fill each cup up to the top with 3-4 tablespoons of batter.
- Bake the muffins for 22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. The tops should be golden.
- Let the muffins cool down completely. The texture improves a lot while they cool down.
- Weigh the ingredients with a kitchen scale for best results. It's really important to get the measurements right in vegan and gluten-free baking to obtain the perfect texture.
- If using measuring cups, scoop the flour into the cup and level it out.
- Work fast! You want to benefit from the leavening reaction between the lemon juice and the baking soda. Once you filled the muffin cups, put them in the oven as quickly as possible.
- Storage tips: you can store the lemon muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Then, move them to the refrigerator for another 2-3 days.
- Freezing tips: you can freeze these muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe container for 1 month. To defrost, let them sit on the counter. They taste best when reheated in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.
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