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I love this recipe, made it three times so far. They do rise nicely actually (I've posted a pic), and I do feel for every poster who got flat or sunken tops. Whoever braves baking deserves stellar results, for baking is not for the faint of heart.

Here's what I think:
I don't know how essential the eggs' temperature is (frankly, I never take the time to pre-warm the eggs; by the time they're mixed with the fat and sugar or beaten fluffy they're not going to be that cold anyway). But:

A. When the recipe says in steps 6, 7 and 9 "With the mixer on low speed", "Beat just until smooth" etc, etc., keep in mind that muffin batter needs to be mixed very, very little, so the dry ingredients are just moist. To me that means no mixer for mixing, but a wooden spoon, and "mixing" means lifting up and down with the spoon through the batter about 5 times, not more (5 turns for the dry ingredients, 5 for the yoghurt, etc) until the batter is barely mixed. Beat it more than that, and the wheat gluten will do something funny (resulting in dense muffins), the air from the beaten egg whites (that's supposed to make the muffins fluffy) will go wasted, etc.

B. Try mixing the baking powder with lemon juice before adding it to the batter. It will foam a lot, and that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

As one of my friends says, baking is a completely different beast compared to regular cooking. It's a bunch of chemical reactions, so you need to be careful with the amounts, the mixing, and temperatures. Nothing like that in soup or steak. :-) Here's to great, fluffy muffins!

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pinkro June 15, 2011

The reason they were flat is probably due to the eggs being cold (straight from the fridge). When baking, eggs should be used at room temperature. You can either take them out 20-30 minutes before use, or put them in a bowl of warm water while you are doing your prep work.
I made them and they turned out very well, tasty too!

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firstmomthenchef4 March 16, 2011

I didn't have any trouble with this recipe not rising but I made some alterations to the recipe based on other muffin recipes I've cooked. Firstly, I did not separate the eggs and go to the trouble of mixing the whites and what not because I've never had to bother with such nonsense before to get fluffy muffins. I just mixed the eggs, whole, when the recipe says to add just yolks. 2)I increased the amount of lemon juice to 3 tablespoons instead of the 2 that the recipe calls for. This is just because I like extra lemon flavor but find adding too much zest just makes things bitter. In the end the muffins were light, fluffy and delicious. Love that these aren't overly sweet. I've written this recipe down for future use.... With my little changes

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Megan C. April 24, 2014

Great tasting muffin (I substituted 1/2 t. pure lemon extract for the lemon zest). My muffins also did not rise as much as I had hoped, however I had left over batter and I poured it into a small bread pan and it rose and looked just beautiful! I also used muffin liners, because I made these for my students as an end of the quarter treat- however you are better off just greasing the pan rather than using muffin liners.<br/><br/>I think that a stand mixer vs. a hand held mixer makes a difference in beating in the yolks and creating the peaks for the egg whites. I will try again- not as pretty as I like- but they are very flavorful! My baking power does expire this month so maybe this is another thing to look at (baking powder and baking soda freshness)

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Danielle P. January 23, 2014

These fell. I added 1/2 tsp lemon extract to help with flavor as I didn't have fresh lemons. Way to sweet. These tasted like cake and gave you a hairy tongue from the sugar like they were cake as well. I also cut the amount of poppy seeds by half as it would have been too much. No one here liked them tat much, but they did eat them they all said too sweet for a muffin, and texture was too cake like.

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razzintaz November 01, 2012

excellent recipe! Had made 2 batches in 2 consecutive days! Thank you for the recipe!

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psasya May 20, 2015

Very nice. Rose beautifully. A few more dishes and a bit more work than ordinary muffins, but worth it!

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menzrob May 03, 2015

Regarding bitterness of the lemon zest, do not add the white part of the lemon skin and use it right away to avoid bitterness. To simplify everything, I leave the egg and butter at room temperature. Beat them up together with sugar (no need to separate the white from the yolk). Then add everything together. Turn on high speed for 1-2 minute. the muffins are fluffy. No need to make things too complicate. I love lemon poppy seed muffin. UPDATE: Today, I made another batch but incorporated healthy ingredients for breakfast that are full of protein and fiber. Here are my substitution: 1) Replace the butter with coconut oil 2) Replace the white flour with 50% oat flour and 50% whole wheat flour 3) Add 1/2 cup cashew meal (or almond) and 1/2 cup flaxseed 4) Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 5) Use 3 tablespoons lemon instead of 2 6) I use yogurt 7) I added 1 teapoon of lemon extract to have a strong lemon flavor (optional) The muffins are no longer junk food but good for me. They are delicious and nutritious.

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lynnisfun April 28, 2015

Great - followed the baking soda and lemon juice mixed together tip, as well as upping lemon juice to 3 tbls.

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Anonymous March 22, 2015

Amazing! I actually only zest ed 1 lemon used only 1 tbls of lemon juice and added 1 tbls of King Arthurs Lemon Juice Powder then sprinkled tops before baking minimally with sugar and then after cooled I sprinkled Cooks Vanilla Sugar on the tops. These were HEAVENLY!

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Jamie S. January 22, 2015
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins