Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins

56 reviews / 4.9 average

These Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins are the BEST! Lemony and bright and made with simple ingredients like zucchini, olive oil, flour, and sugar. Love these!

Annnd would all the zucchini lovers please stand up?

Although, I guess it’s fair to say that I’m not a MEGA zucchini lover, so maybe I should just be asking for all the Lovers of Excellent Muffins and Sweet Summer Flavors to please stand up?

If you are a) a lover of zucchini, or b) a lover of cold muffins straight out the fridge that are dense, moist, and so texturally perfect that you could basically forget all your problems for at least three seconds while you go into Muffin Bliss Land? Then yes, you are in the right place. These muffins are that.

These zucchini muffins are my idea of textural perfection. They are beautifully puffy, but not overly fluffy on the inside. Can we appreciate the difference here? The zucchini keeps things moist, as does the olive oil (!!!), and the brown sugar gets a little extra caramely so you have that barely-sticky browned crown of a muffin ridge, and then you get just the slightest textural interest from flecks of lemon zest and crunchy poppyseeds. That balance between dense, sticky, and rounded puffy top is just pure magic.


Lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins with bite taken out.

These muffins are actually modeled after one of my favorite quick bread recipes slash “cake” that is appropriate to eat anytime of day. Remember that one? I just wanted a smaller batch of that exact thing in muffin form for easy snacking, and voila. They worked beautifully.

If you’ve made the bread aka cake before, fair warning that it is a tad bit more dense than these newbie muffins are. If you want to replicate that original bread aka cake level of density, just omit the baking soda. But we’ll talk more about that in the recipe notes.

For now, please feast your eyes on the start of this golden crunchy brown sugar meets olive oil meets fresh lemon zest batter. THE FRESHNESS. Hold me.

Ingredients in bowl for lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins.

And now we add the fresh zucchini, which has been shredded and gently squeezed out over the sink in a very elementary hand-held method because we are the type of people who squeeze zucchini shreds with our own two hands, thank you very much.

Grated zucchini for lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins.

Not to be weird or anything, but I know some of you are like me so let’s just take a moment together to appreciate that this batter is lovely.

Batter for lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins.

Bake into muffins…

Lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins in muffin pan.

Go ahead and eat one while it’s still way too hot.

And then store the rest in the fridge for later. I know, you think I’m so weird, but they get REALLY delicious as they densify in the fridge. Yes, densify. Normally not what you want in your muffins, but for this one, you definitely do. There’s so much zucchini and olive oil in there that these are going to stay moist and delish no matter how dense they are.

Lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins.

You really don’t need butter on these. Promise. There is so much good flavor here already and the texture needs no help at all.

But, I guess if you really wanted to put your best foot forward, a tiny shmear of butter would not be a disappointment.

Butter on lemon poppyseed zucchini muffin.

This lemony, caramely brown, zucchini-packed muffin, cold out of the fridge in the morning with a mug of hot coffee?

I don’t know, you guys. It might be my dream start to an August morning.

Watch How To Make Our Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins (1 Min):

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Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins.

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 muffins 1x


These Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Muffins are the BEST! Lemony and bright and made with simple ingredients like zucchini, olive oil, flour, and sugar. Love these!


  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (1 medium size)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (mild tasting)
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin (for 9 standard size muffins).
  2. After grating, give the zucchini a quick squeeze by hand over the sink to get rid of excess water. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, olive oil, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then stir in the poppy seeds and zucchini.
  5. Divide batter into muffin tin (I usually get 9 muffins). Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed. Yum!


Weirdo alert here, but I like these best when stored in the fridge! They get almost a little dense and they stay super moist.

You can also make a more dense version of these by omitting the baking soda. You’ll need to bake those a little longer – closer to 20 minutes. They won’t get the puffy tops, but they’ll be super dense and moist thanks to all that olive oil and zucchini packed in each bite!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon poppyseed zucchini muffins, zucchini muffins, lemon zucchini muffins

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    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      These are so delicious! I cut the sugar in half and added the juice of one lemon. Definitely my new fav! Kids loved them too.

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These sound so good! I’ve had trouble getting moist Lemon Poppyseed, but I’m sure the zucchini will do the trick. Can’t wait to try!!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    May be a silly question, but what type of zester do you use?
    I’ve always struggled with zesting, so any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
    This looks delicious and I have a bunch of zucchini that needs to be used ASAP.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Google Microplane zester – mine has been going strong for almost 5 years now and shows no sign of stopping!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yumm these look incredible! I am totally into all purpose flour, but was just wondering if anyone has tried making them with whole wheat? I imagine they would still be moist and dense and delicious. I’m planning to make them tonight, maybe I’ll do half whole wheat half regular to start.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I’m curious if you tried this with the whole wheat flour? I’d like to try that instead of the regular

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I made these with half and half w.w. / a.p. flour and they were great! A great question. Did you try them with 100% w.w. flour yourself?

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made the bread last week and it was a huge hit! Any ideas for how to replace the egg?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I use applesauce or greek yogurt to replace egg and I’ve never had it not work. My friend has an egg allergy and another friend is vegan so I do it a fair bit.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    impressive! I’ve had or made a zucchini before, but never a muffin and never with olive oil and lemon zest, so nice tweaks, at least to me, and much appreciated

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay, I’ve tried quite a few of your recipes recently and I’ve become quite a fan. Just wondering- do you think these would freeze well?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What a gorgeous sounding recipe. Any brand of olive oil you particularly recommend for these? Thanks!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just saw the post on Instagram about these muffins and thought I would whip them up knowing I had a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used. Very easy and quick to prepare and the end result was a winner!

    Although, I did replace the oil with buttermilk as I prefer buttermilk in baking. Now I just have to make sure I don’t eat them all before my husband gets home from work 😜

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Krista @ Pinch of Yum

          We haven’t tried this recipe using yellow squash, but we think it’d work out just fine!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Great recipe, looking forward to trying it.

    I’d love to see this converted to be baked in a mini bundt pan in an instant pot! I like to use my IP when it’s too hot for the oven.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Unexpectedly had some zucchini leftover from the weekend when this recipe came through so I excitedly tried it last night… Came out as delicious as the photos looked! Shared with my coworkers today and everyone’s been asking for the recipe – great creation POY team!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    As a young kid growing up in Flatbush Brooklyn, I was exposed to a multi-cultural society and tried many foods from different cultures. I always LOVED Italian food. Back in the day in Brooklyn, we has famous pizzerias such as Lenny and Johns Pizza Flatbush Brooklyn, Napoli Pizza on Nostrand Avenue and Ave. I, and the famous Rocco’s pizzeria on the corner of Albany Avenue & Avenue J in Brooklyn. I had Baked Zito, Meatball sandwiches and I think other types of delicious Italian food. I always loved the taste of any Italian food because it was made fresh from scratch and your blog post with this nice looking Zucchini in it makes me wanna take a quick drive to Brooklyn just to pick up Brooklyn style Italian food and bring it back down yonder. Thank you for this blog Lindsay. Have a great week my friend! 🙂

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love zucchini. It is a fortunate thing, as I have about 10000 lbs of it right now. This looks like a good recipe to use a few ounces!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made these last night and there were AMAZING! When I make them again I will do them in mini muffins as that would be a better size for little girl!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made these yesterday with all the zuchinni coming out of my garden. They are PERFECT and moist and the perfect amount of sweet. Coffee + these muffins = breakfast heaven!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ruby Mosquera

    I subbed almond flour 1:1 for the regular flour. They are sunken in 🙁 What did I do wrong?!?!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      almond flour doesn’t have any gluten and it’s significant heavier than AP flour. when it comes to baking, almond flour can’t be subbed in 1:1 for regular flour w/o other modifications to the recipe.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Domyiu know what the conversion rstio is for AP flour : almond flour, and / or AP flour : cocnout flour? Thx

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Had a giant zucchini in the fridge that I didn’t know what to do with, this recipe popped up on my Instagram and since I love anything lemon poppy-seed, I thought I’d give it a go. Quite simply THE BEST thing I’ve put in my mouth, maybe ever. Seriously. The recipe is ideal as is, didn’t make any changes. I just had regular olive oil, so was worried about a strong olive taste, but it wasn’t noticeable at all. My oven took a few minutes more than 15, but it’s finicky. I stretched them into 12 muffins, and 2 hours later there are 4 left. Lol. My partner and I are devouring them over here. When you say they don’t need butter, they really don’t; somehow they taste perfectly buttered already. SO good. Will make many more times. Thank you Lindsay!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This really helped me, I always burned the muffins and it turns out I never put any none sticking coating on the tin. Thanks keep up the delicious recipes.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just finished eating one and they are wonderful! So moist and very flavorful. I have never baked with olive oil before so these were a wonderful surprise with my garden zucchini. Thank you.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made these last night and WOAH are they perfect!! I had to stop myself from eating all of them in one go. The lemon flavor comes through so well! I seriously can’t stop thinking about these and I just ate one 5 minutes ago.
    I did have to add almost 20 more minutes of baking time – the batter was really wet – so next time I’ll either work harder at squeezing the liquid out of the zucchini, or just do it exactly the same as I did because even with the extra cooking time, these came out perfectly.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just baked a batch of these after seeing the post of them on the gram! So far they look amazing! I had to bake them for a few mins more than the 15 in the recipe. I can’t wait to burn my mouth on one! 😉