Lemon Chia Seed Mini Muffins

This story starts out on a rainy Sunday morning, curled up in bed dying for a basket of lemon poppy seed muffins. The subtle hint of lemon flavor in a buttery crumb, sprinkled with crunchy seeds and topped with a sweet lemon glaze. I ran out to the store, bundled in a hat and boots, and went in search of poppy seeds and lemons.

But did you know that poppy seeds are SO EXPENSIVE? You need an entire tablespoon of seeds for a very small batch of muffins, and a small jar costs about $5. I just wasn’t having it. In the way that I gawk at designer clothing and figure out another way to get what I want, I gawked at those poppy seeds and said no chance, Lance.

I know what you’re thinking, I still didn’t have any seeds, and what are lemon poppy seed muffins without seeds? Not to worry, y’all, I had a huge bag of chia seeds at home that I was determined would be the same. AND THEY HONESTLY WERE!

Chia seeds are almost the same size, shape, texture, and color as poppy seeds, and you can buy them in bulk for a fraction of the cost. I happily substituted them into this recipe and reveled in my win against whoever the heck priced poppy seeds at such an ungodly amount.

The trick to these muffins is in the egg. Though I don’t usually like fussy recipes, lemon (insert your seed of choice) seed muffins can be dry and crumbly and flat. In order to avoid this, we add buttermilk to keep them moist and separate the egg into the yolk and the egg white. Whisk up the egg white until it is foamy and fluffy and then carefully mix it in, folding the batter around it to keep the egg whites fluffy. I also recommend using room temperature butter and eggs.

Lemon Chia Seed Mini Muffins

  • Servings: 18 mini muffins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg, separated
2/3 cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbs. Chia Seeds
1 Tbs. Lemon Zest
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2-3 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk.

2.  Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk in with the butter, sugar, and egg mixture, just mixing to combine them. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla and do not over beat.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites to a soft peak. Once beaten, fold the egg whites into the batter.

4. Fill cupcake cups 3/4 full with batter and then bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

5. While the muffins cool mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar to make the glaze. The glaze should be very thick and white, and only add more lemon juice if it is almost impossible to stir. Dip the muffin tops into the glaze and flip over to harden.

Recipe by Bunny Baubles Blog


13 thoughts on “Lemon Chia Seed Mini Muffins

  1. Hey BunnyBaubles, when do you choose buttermilk in recipes versus milk versus milk thinned yogurt? How do you think it changes it? I know sometimes with baking soda you have to have the acidity of it to react, but since that’s not in your recipe, there must be a reason!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Kelly! So most of the time if I’m making a cake or muffin recipe I like to use buttermilk, but if I don’t have any or it doesn’t take a lot (like if I won’t use an entire container) I will just use milk (any kind I have) and add lemon juice for the acidity like you said! Usually with 1 cup of milk I add 1 Tbs. of lemon juice. I have to admit that in the last year I’ve just started to understand the importance of the acidity from buttermilk in cake and muffins to make them fluffier so it’s possible in some older recipes that I didn’t use it. For cookies and other recipes like that, it is not as important so I will use milk. I don’t have much experience using yogurt.


    1. Thanks!! I just really didn’t want to buy poppyseeds when I had so many chia seeds at home – glad the substitution worked out so well! And yes, lemon is totally my favorite flavor!


      1. I actually mixed chia seeds with peanut butter when I made a fruit dip for my apples, etc. just the other day. Othewise I add them to my morning “steely ” oatmeal with the rest of the arsenal of fruit and flaxseed.


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