It’s been hot. Like that old Sears commercial where the couple is arguing over their broken air conditioning, and the women is like “you’ll call them now.” I don’t know why that commercial has stuck in my head, but sometimes there are just weird little things that stay with you for years for no good reason.

But anyway, this summer calls for something light and refreshing. Although it’s rare for me to take a break mid-summer to bake something that doesn’t involve local, in-season produce, I just had to make these muffins.

I was just craving lemon. Maybe the heat wave put lemonade on my mind. I don’t know. And then, I had a bunch of extra lemons after whipping up a quick pitcher of lemonade (of course). And last, I had some leftover lemon curd after experimenting with some interesting strudel fillings. The strudel came out great, so look out for that recipe soon too!

Maybe the heat wave put lemonade on my mind.

It just came to me in a spark of inspiration. Why try to combine different flavors, when I could just make lemon poppy seed muffin even more lemony? I was sold. And it paid off. These babies were so good, and I really wanted to eat them all in one sitting, but I resisted!

Lemon Curd-Filled Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

A step above your basic lemon poppy seed muffins, because of the little lemon curd surprise inside! Muffin recipe adapted from Joy the Baker. Lemon curd adapted from Dam Good Sweet
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Chilling Time4 hours
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Kait


Lemon Curd

  • 3-4 Lemons large
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 stick Unsalted butter at room temperature, sliced into small pieces


  • 1 Lemon
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk or milk soured with apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 stick Unsalted butter browned and cooled
  • 2 tbsp Poppy seeds


Lemon Curd

  • Zest one lemon, into a medium glass (or heatproof bowl). Juice the rest of the lemons until you have 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Mix the juice, eggs, and sugar into the bowl with the zest.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with water to a depth of about 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, place the bowl over the pan. and reduce the heat to low.
  • All to cook for about 20 minutes, mixing vigorously with a whisk every five minutes. The mixture should thicken up.
  • Add the butter one piece at a time to the pan, stirring gently and allowing each piece to mostly melt before adding the next. Once all butter is incorporated, turn off the heat.
  • Place plastic wrap over the bowl of curd, with it touching the surface. Refrigerate until fully chilled, for at least four hours and preferably overnight. 


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a regular muffin tray with 12 liners and set aside.
  • Zest and juice the lemon. Mix the zest and sugar in a large bowl, rubbing the zest into the sugar. Whisk in flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, browned butter, and lemon juice.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Divide half the batter between the muffin cups. Add a tablespoon of lemon curd to the center of each one. Top with the remaining batter. 
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown on top, and a toothpick comes out clean of batter (there may be lemon curd on the toothpick). Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then continue cooling on a wire rack. Serve warm. 


  • If you have an actual double boiler, you can use that to make the lemon curd. If not, match up your bowl and saucepan before starting. The bowl should sit on the rim of the saucepan, but not fall into it completely. 
  • For the muffins, I use baking soda and cornstarch instead of traditional baking powder. You can use 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda if you prefer. 
  • The curd may spread from the centers and stick to the muffin wrappers a bit. Just lick it off the wrapper. Worth it. 

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