Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Once upon a time I thought it would be easy to start a food blog.  An if you bake it, they will come kind of thing.

It turns out that is not the case … at all.  It’s time consuming with baking and writing and photographing and posting and promoting.  Sometimes inspiration doesn’t strike in one of those arenas or the sun isn’t out so pictures won’t turn out and it’s raining so a soufflé won’t rise.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

And it’s hard to get people to read your blog and follow you on social media and care about your blog in general.  People say mean things like your food is ugly and you are weird.  For some reason people really take joy in this.

You have to learn to tune it out.  To grow thick skin, which is not easy.  You also have to train yourself not to get caught up in the fact that other bloggers are going to be exponentially more popular than you regardless of whether your recipes are as good as theirs or not.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I had to decide what I wanted.  I want to be a writer, but the blog is a good way to keep track of the amazing recipes I make and share them with you in case you might want to try them as well.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Deciding that has taken most of the pressure off, but there are times, moments, when I think about what could be if my post takes off on Pinterest or something of the like.  Then I check my traffic numbers and snap back to reality and realize really, it’s okay, because being the most popular blogger out there isn’t really what I want, but it might be someone else’s dream come true.

These Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins are definitely a breakfast dream come true.  They are packed with flavor with lemon zest, poppy seeds, olive oil, ground ginger, and crystallized ginger and a lemon glaze.  Plus, they are so tender, they almost fall apart when you peel the paper off.  No dry, lifeless muffins here.

Before zucchini season runs out, you have to try these muffins.  You’ll never look at zucchini muffins the same way.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins, plus 1 small cake


3 cups grated zucchini

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 large eggs

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line a muffin tin with paper liners. If you have a ramekin handy, pull it out as well for the extra batter.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and poppy seeds. In another large bowl, stir together sugar, crystallized ginger, lemon zest, vanilla, and olive oil until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine.

Stir in the flour mixture. Then grab a handful of zucchini at a time, wring out the excess liquid, and add to the batter. Stir the zucchini in. scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin. Place any leftover batter in a ramekin or another oven safe dish.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Allow muffins to cool for about 10 minutes, before making the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and lemon juice until combined, adding more sugar or juice as necessary to achieve a spreadable glaze. Spoon evenly over the muffins. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.


Recipe adapted from Food 52


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  1. Oh no – I hope nobody said your food is ugly or you are weird! I’m so sad to read your comments – I’ve always found the blogging community to be quite kind and supportive. I would definitely tune out the haters. Honestly, sometimes the food I post is less than attractive, but it’s made with love and it tastes good, and that’s all that matters to me. I always think as long as I’m happy with my blog, that’s all that matters. Take care and I hope you get lots of positive comments. xo

    • Oh, many people have said my food in ugly. In fact, I made something that I thought was so pretty and the photos turned out great and someone on FB said it looked disgusting. It broke my heart. I have also been the topic of a Reddit for my meatloaves which were ranked one of the ugliest food pictures ever. I do tune out more than ever, but it gets hard sometimes. I agree, my focus is that the food tastes great, but sometimes my feelings are hurt. Thanks, Beth!

  2. I love following your blog and seeing your creative recipes and reading your stories! If I could offer one piece of constructive criticism though – sometimes there’s a disconnect between what tastes really good and what looks really good on the internet, especially if you are thinking about visual channels like Pinterest. Your recipes always sound great, but I think sometimes the photography sells the end result a little short. Have you considered taking a photo class? Or, many popular bloggers like Smitten Kitchen and David Lebovitz have sections on their sites about cameras and lighting. Just a thought! And if you are using the blog more as a writing outlet… then it doesn’t matter at all 🙂 Good luck and don’t let the haters get you down!

    • Hey Cara! Thanks for your nice comment! I definitely struggle with photos, but I do try really hard. In fact, for these I held the muffin tin in one hand and the camera in the other so I could get enough light right next to the window 🙂 But I don’t want to spend tons of time on photos and do want to focus more on the writing. However, know I am trying to improve me photos all the time; it’s sooooo hard.

  3. I think that not the other bloggers are unkind, at least I have never experienced that, they either ignore you (which is ok, not all people can be friends with all people) or they are nice and supportive. But people hiding behind some usernames can become ugly, I don’t know why, if they don’t like something they should just go on to the next thing, which they might like better… I also think that there are some who really relish in this kind of negativity. Your muffins look delicious, I am sure I would love them, I like using zucchini when baking.

    • Thanks for your comment, Adina. I have to be honest, sometimes other bloggers ignoring me does feel mean, but I agree it is mostly those hiding. I know that I should just ignore them, but sometimes it is difficult.

  4. There is always going to be someone out there that is negative but as a whole I have met wonderful people blogging. I enjoy the way you write and hope that you don’t get discourged. And I love this photo of your muffins, way to go. Hang in there. And have a great week-end, take care!, C.

  5. I have always felt (with my own blog) that constructive criticism is fine, or dissenting discussion is fine–As long as it’s respectful. If you’re just being a jerk to be a jerk? That’s uncalled for. I personally wouldn’t criticize another blogger’s photos, only because I have my own crappy pictures buried way down deep in my archives. Not all of us have the time to devote to taking classes or the money to purchase big expensive cameras that can take amazing pictures right out of the box. That aside, I too have met some great friends through blogging, and I wish that for you as well. I go through phases where I get down on myself because I’m not as popular, or I don’t feel like I have the connections that other people do. Blogging can be a great way to build up a community or network, but it can also be very isolating. I’ll close by saying I’m in the mood to bake, and zucchini muffins sound wonderful right now! 🙂

  6. Also (then I’m done, I promise), there are some foods that look nasty no matter how hard you try and make them look attractive. I made this old family dish, which is nothing more than crushed-up saltines, mixed with gravy. It’s a carb-lover’s dream come true. When I wrote about it, I even said, “Yeah, honestly, it looks like puke on a plate. If you can get past that, it’s amazing.” So don’t beat yourself up too much!

    • I really appreciate your comments, Rachel. I do think blogging has this weird dichotomy where you are both part of this huge and sometimes welcoming community, but at the same time isolated in the midst of cliques. I used to find the blogging community to be more welcoming and interactive and more comments and such, but lately, I have found this not to be the case so much, which is a bummer. I do understand it because life is busy and I don’t always have the time to leave 20 comments a day, but I have felt a shift and I’m not sure why. Also, you should definitely bake these muffins. They are sooooooo good!

  7. My heart and sentiments exactly Laura…As for your zucchini muffin recipe, it looks fantabulous! Do believe #easypeeloff muffin case is a great selling point too =)

    • Oh, yes, I used to skip muffin liners, but then the muffins are so hard to get out and the pan is so hard to clean. Sometimes it’s okay to go the easier route!

  8. Debbie Eccard says:

    There are all levels of bullies, which is how I classify these nasty people. They are probably either jealous or just not nice people! I always think your food looks great and love the little nuances you put into your photos. For example, these muffins, I could eat right off the computer! Delicious!!

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