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basic lemon cake recipe muffins fi

Basic Lemon Cake/Muffin Recipe

A lemon cake recipe that makes muffins, bread, or bundt cake. A sweet dessert idea that uses basic pantry ingredients & lemon zest. Poppy seeds optional!
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24 regular muffins


For the Batter:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks softened)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Zest and juice three large lemons. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, add butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
  • Add milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix to combine well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.
  • Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture in three increments, mixing very well in between. Make sure to scrape sides of the bowl.
  • Prepare a 12-vessel muffin pan with Baker's Joy or paper liners.
  • Using a two inch scoop, add a generous scoop of batter to each vessel.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes more.
  • When done, tops of muffins should not be brown but they should be slightly firm to the touch.
  • Cool five minutes in pan and them remove to a cooling rack.
  • Prepare glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  • Leaving muffins on the cooling rack, place rack on a cookie sheet. Drizzle glaze over cooled muffins.


Muffins will stay fresh for up to two days, loosely covered, at room temperature.