These sweet tart Meyer lemon cranberry poppy seed muffins with streusel topping would be the perfect holiday breakfast treat!
meyer lemon cranberry poppy seed muffins from Eats Well With Others

Disclaimer – No worms, slugs, or caterpillars were harmed in the making of these muffins.

I wish I could say the same for a broccoli, white bean, and cheddar gratin that I made on Thursday…

…but I like to keep it real between us.

And that means telling you the absolute, whole, and unaltered truth about ALL THE THINGS, so help me you, god.


I also wish I could say that after chopping up two heads of broccoli that I had ordered from Fresh Direct, steaming them, and opening the lid of my pot to discover two very purple, very dead worms/caterpillars/slugs (I have no idea what they were, even after much gag-inducing google searching), I didn’t scream, almost-vomit, scream again, pluck them out…


…and then forge ahead with the recipe nonetheless.

But I did.

And then I tried to feed it to us for dinner. To say it did not go over so well…is an understatement.

It’s hard to say whether the dish just wasn’t good or whether we were subconsciously (or, you know…very consciously) imagining all the worm juices/excrement we may or may not be ingesting with every bite.

I venture to guess, both.


The.Boy actually wasn’t too thrilled with these muffins either (I suspect they weren’t cupcake-like enough for him), but my coworkers and I loved them. Like, SERIOUS love.

They are sweet (but not too sweet) and almondy and bursting with juicy tartness from the fresh cranberries. Oh, and did I mentioned they also have brown butter and a streusel topping.

All of the above. Yes.

I see these in your/my/everyone-but-the.boy’s holiday breakfast future. Or weekend breakfast future. Or whenever-you-feel-like-it breakfast future.

Basically, I support any and all futures that involve these muffins. And absolutely no futures that involve wormy broccoli.



One year ago…Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Butternut Squash

Two years ago…Pumpkin Biscuits with Cranberry Curd, Turkish Eggplant Pie

Three years ago…Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes Topped with Cinnamon Maple Greek Yogurt

Four years ago…Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pie Brioche

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins
These sweet tart Meyer lemon poppy seed cranberry muffins would be the perfect holiday breakfast treat!
Yield: 12 muffins
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup lowfat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
For the streusel topping
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until it starts to brown, keeping a close eye on it. As soon as it starts to brown, immediately pour it into a separate bowl because it will burn quickly. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, egg yolk and almond extract. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir the butter into the milk/egg mixture. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in the meyer lemon zest, poppy seeds, and cranberries until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter among the muffin tins, filling about ¾ full.
  6. To make the streusel, combine the butter, flour and sugar in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub them together until crumbly. Sprinkle over the muffin batter.
  7. Bake muffins for 18-25 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.
Adapted from Joy The Baker
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin


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75 Responses to Meyer Lemon Cranberry Poppy Seed Muffins

  1. Lemon and cranberry is always a good idea, in my opinion! I’d happily eat these for breakfast – or dessert!

  2. I can’t imagine why the boy wouldn’t like these! I need to add them to my list of things for using my zillion cranberries!

  3. Teffy says:

    Lemon and cranberry is a match made in heaven isn’t it?! and with the poppy seeds.. doesn’t get much better!

  4. Beth says:

    Gorgeous muffins. And I’m sorry the gratin didn’t work out. It sounds good, but any recipe that starts with plucking bugs out of one of the ingredients is not promising.

  5. Honestly, I was just thinking to myself “I feel bad throwing away these cranberries” (that I used for one of my recipes) and this is the perfect thing to make!! We always skimp on breakfast on Thanksgiving, but I’m gonna make these – my mom’s a big muffin lady. That sounds weird. She likes muffins. A lot.

  6. Lynn says:

    Oh my – these look wonderful. I think they would be a hit with me, too.

  7. gloria says:

    I love lemon and cranberries so Im in love of this récipe Joanne, look amazing!!!!xo

  8. Next time you make muffins that isn’t into, I’m coming over to snatch them up. These are totally my kinda muffins!!

  9. Jeanette says:

    I’m not sure if I could eaten that either – I’m deathly afraid of bugs for some reason. These muffins on the other hand look fantastic – lucky co-workers ;).

  10. SallyBR says:

    Cute muffins, but I am totally smitten by the napkins underneath the plate…

    as to wormy broccoli……. I admire you for being strong and going ahead with the recipe… I am not sure I could, I know hubby would go for it… 😉

  11. i am not a big fan of broccoli and now the worm story totally freaked me out..however, i will take these muffins for my veggies 😛

  12. Monica says:

    haha – I’m all for keepin’ it real, Joanne. : ) I’m definitely not down with worms in broccoli. I applaud your efforts to plow on but I can’t say I’m surprise it didn’t go down well. These muffins are another story – they sound great. I love things with a little almond extract and some streusel topping never hurts.

  13. I love baking with fresh cranberries this time of year! These look perfect!

  14. patsy says:

    ugghhhh! Bugs in the produce always makes me squeamish! At least the muffins were bug-free and look truly delish to me… I’ll take the one that the.boy didn’t want!

  15. I can totally relate to your slug/worm/caterpillar story. Right before I was about to put our Thanksgiving turkey in the oven my mom noticed a caterpillar crawling across the top of it. Everyone was pretty freaked out. I think it came from the veggies or herbs in the stuffing but I have no idea!

  16. sandra says:

    they are so festive (especially with that sparkly napkin and fun plate)! And they look very sweet – maybe it is the streusel – always makes me think there’s way too much sugar going on top – so nice to know these are not that sweet. They are very pretty non-the-less

  17. Tahnycooks says:

    My in-laws have an organic CSA farm. Every time I receive fresh picked broccoli from her I steam it first and up floats at least 3 green little worms. GROSS!

    I totally would eat these scrumptious looking muffins over broccoli anyway!

  18. welllllll i totally would’ve done the same thing and forged on with eating so no judgment here! there was one time i was eating a salad i’d made and a huge live bug was crawling around on the greens…i drew the line there!

    also, the.boy. is crazy…i would love these for breakfast!

  19. Pam says:

    I’ll be honest, I gagged a bit while reading this. I can’t believe you forged ahead with the recipe – I would have totally thrown in the towel and headed to a restaurant for dinner. I am a wuss when it comes to bugs! 🙂

    The muffins, on the other hand, have me absolutely drooling. I literally ooohhhed and aaahhhed when I first read the title and saw their picture. Beautiful and delicious!

  20. My husband would be crazy for these! They look terrific.

  21. Susan says:

    I’ve been a part of a CSA long enough to deal with bugs in my food but the one and only time that freaked me out enough to toss it was during our flour share and caterpillars were floating all over the bouquet I picked that day. Just.couldn’t.takeit. I could have used a muffin that day. 🙂 I like the tart thing, so send some my way!

  22. YUMMM to the muffins — lemon poppy seed is one of my favs, and I super love cranberries. so. perfection.

    Super double NOT yum to slug-filled-broccoli. I always soak mine before I cook it, so any wormy things will come out first. I’m a little less weirded out if they weren’t cooked into my broccoli and were just temporarily making a home there.

  23. Bugs in produce is so gross but so natural. I feel like I always see some type of small bugs on kale and collards!

  24. Kate says:

    I think perhaps you’re missing the obvious here. Maybe you SHOULD add worms/slugs/bugs to your baked goods. Perhaps The Boy would like them better, and you have the added bonus of extra protein!

  25. Baaahahaha I love this story!! I once had two (drowned) caterpillars floating in my salad dressing that came from the kale I was eating. I finished the salad w/o the caterpillars. Gross.

    LOVE these muffins! Such a fab flavour!!

  26. debbie says:

    I have found worms inside of packages of food before and it is extremely gross!!! The muffins look good…love the wonderful cranberries. So used to seeing strawberries all the time so this is a nice change..

  27. I love streusel topping on cakes. These look delicious 🙂 I am definitely trying !!

  28. So festive and pretty my friend, absolutely love cranberries in anything 😀


  29. Barbara says:

    Yuck. I was never able to eat something once I saw a worm. Happened with corn on the cob all the time. (And what about that story about spiders on bananas?)
    Anyway…the muffins look divine. Love the streusel!

  30. What a unique blend of flavors…I love all of these so I bet they’re phenomenal in this muffin!!!

  31. Ewwwww!! So glad these muffins involve none of that wormy broccoli. These will be in my holiday morning line-up.

  32. Serena says:

    Heehee! The caterpillar is something my little boy would be thrilled about! And I’m thrilled about the muffins. Almond is my all-time fave flavor and I love not-too-sweet treats!

  33. The caterpillar thing oh well, I would have cried EW EW EW.
    Though these muffins look lovely, and they’re so pretty. I’ll take ten, please!

  34. These look AMAZING YUMMMMMM! I am pinning this one for later! Yay for light recipes that are redicu-licous!

  35. Ewwwwww wormy broccoli, gross. But these muffins — YUM. Times ten billion trillion.

  36. Donna says:

    LOve the combo of the flavors – and the textures, too!

  37. ramblingtart says:

    Oh gosh, I had a similar reaction to washing spinach from my garden for dinner only to see a GIGANTIC spider crawling out. I scared Bear half to death with my scream. 🙂 The muffins sound fantastic though. 🙂

  38. Shannon says:

    how delicious! …and now i can’t stop thinking about worms, ick!

  39. Megan says:

    Oh wow. I would have run from the kitchen screaming. I almost vomited when I dumped out a pint of cherry tomatoes that I’d been eating from the day before only to find a sizable green caterpillar or something munching away on the tomatoes at the bottom. Those all went directly in the garbage. I give you a lot of credit for trying to salvage that broccoli. I will stick with these muffins!

  40. Eileen says:

    Lemon and cranberry are such a good combination! I could definitely eat my way through a few of these for a long weekend breakfast…

  41. Hannah says:

    Lemon and poppy seed anything gets my everlasting love.

  42. Monet says:

    Oh girl I would have seriously freaked. I would have abandoned all fruits and veggies and gone to McDonald’s (and that is saying a lot…I haven’t been there in over six years!) You are brave. And these muffins are glorious. Way to combat the ickiness.

  43. I thought to myself today that I need to use cranberries more so it’s perfect you posted this recipe. I love muffins for breakfast, these would be great.

  44. I want these for Christmas breakfast 🙂 Or, in fact, any time. As for vegetables cooked with slugs? Not so much!!

  45. Johanna GGG says:

    yes to these yummy muffins – shriek to the broccoli worms

  46. Many many years ago while eating at Sizzler, there was a slug in my salad. As an apology, they offered me a free gift certificate to come back a different time. Ya…’cause that’s what I want to do. Needless to say, I never ate there again. I think I need one of these muffins to wash away that gross memory.

  47. Oh that’s horrifying! It’s just never the same once you know there was a worm in it. I once had a blackberry cobbler with a Japanese beetle in it…took me awhile to like blackberries again. But cranberry muffins? With that wonderfully crumbly top? That I can do.

  48. Oh my gosh. I am so freaking afraid of caterpillars, I cannot even tell you. And PURPLE? oh my word that is so hideous. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t there, because you would likely be deaf from my screaming so hard/loud.
    Anyway, these muffins are just gorgeous! I love the combination of lemon + cranberry; sounds awesome!

  49. I haven’t made muffins in way too long. So great that you jazzed up lemon poppy seed with cranberries! As to the worm thing, I wouldn’t have eaten it either, but worms and other disgusting bugs are unfortunately a part of produce since it grows outside. If I threw away everything with a bug on it, I would rarely eat. Blackberries are the worst. They have tons of little white worms, but I have been told they are harmless and extra protein. I still throw berries with them away though!

  50. Oh my! I cannot imagine finding em bugs after cooking the broccoli …gaaah!
    I once went to see a bug chef, and somehow found myself being talked into tasting some cricket fried rice! Now – these were farm raised crickets -at least thats what I told myself…if they had been in the middle of my store bout broccoli I might have had to chuck it alll
    Moving onto these muffins – these sound fantastic! I think Icould have eaten these for dinner instead of the doomed broccoli 🙂

  51. Ugh, every now and then I get a definite craving for lemon poppyseed muffins, and I can imagine cranberries would only make these exponentially better. It was wonderful to meet you last night over a delicious dinner and I hope your baking extravaganza has gone well today! Looking forward to the resulting posts!

  52. Hotly Spiced says:

    Oh dear. What a night. I’m quite sure I couldn’t have eaten that meal either – I just wouldn’t have been able to get the image of those slimy critters all boiled up out of my mind. But the muffins look stunning. I will pin them! xx

  53. these are such pretty muffins and sound so perfect for christmas morning! ugh, sorry about the dead bugs – such a fun surprise to find in your pot!

  54. these muffins look wonderful! i love cranberries & lemon together…delicious!

  55. These muffins as my future weekend breakfast? Definitely! I love these bright tart flavors. The streusel looks perfect. YUMMY. Just don’t mention that broccoli story again. It may give me nightmares. 😛

  56. In my experiences with serving sweet to boys, they seem to be much less excited about fruit desserts, especially of the citrus variety. Though my boyfriend does have a certain affinity for lemon poppyseed anything. I think he’s the outlier. But that just means more for us! These muffins sound lovely, Joanne! And the colors are just beautiful.

  57. Oh my goodness, that would be absolutely horrifying!!
    Also, I can’t imagine anyone not liking these. They look SO good!

  58. Bummer about the gratin. I would gag/scream if that happened to me. To discover something purple-ish and dead that doesn’t look like food in my pot wouldn’t sit well with me. You did a fantastic job on these muffins! I’d like a dozen of these please! 😀

  59. cquek says:

    Your photo’s have a been a real treat for my eyes today.

  60. bellini says:

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack…I am in Joanne.

  61. Daniela says:

    Such fun to read your post !
    I just imagine your impression when you were preparing a vegetarian dish and then you found some…meat in it:)
    The muffins look amazing,so is the combination of flavors.

  62. Oh, I can totally relate. I have done exactly that after finding caterpillars in the broccoli – gone ahead and dished it up anyway, and then found myself gagging on every mouthful thinking about the possibility of caterpillars I may have missed!!

    I would have no such trouble scarfing down a few of these muffins though – fantastic flavour combination, and definitely great breakfast food. You can send the ones the Boy doesn’t eat to me!!

  63. Tracey says:

    Ewwww, I would have run screaming from my kitchen had the same happened to me. I’m *such* a giant baby when it comes to bugs. Kudos for forging on 🙂 These muffins include some of my favorite ingredients of all time, and especially this time of year. Can’t wait to try them!

  64. grace says:

    streusel, my favorite. i love those colorful bursts of red cranberry–excellent batch of breakfast bread!

  65. Reeni says:

    I don’t know if I can ever look at broccoli the same way again! I applaud you for carrying on. . . I think. 😉 Totally loving the sound of these muffins! I’d console myself with like 5 of them.

  66. I am loveing this muffins, they look so yummy. But as for the worms, not so good, I wouldn’t be able to eat the broccoli.

  67. What an amazing combo of ingredients. I am sure these muffins would also freeze well!!

  68. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    These looks so wonderful!! My husband will be so happy if he wakes up one morning this week to these beauties 🙂

  69. Joanne,
    It’s a good idea to start practice eating bugs. We may all be eating them in the not so far off future, but in the meantime I sure could go for one of those muffins.

  70. Aaah the horror! I remember once I worked in a bakery and made the filled rolls first thing in the morning and very seriously considered shutting down the shop when I found a slug in my lettuce. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

    These muffins on the other hand, sound so wonderful! I have a bag of dried cranberries, I bet they’d be perfect in there too.

  71. sandra says:

    kind of afraid of streusel. I’ve had no luck with crumbles and this is sort of the same idea… should give it a try any way. Yours are lovely with the bright red poking out.

  72. Ashley says:

    OMG the mystery bug debacle sounds so gnarly. Eew!! But these muffins, on the other hand, look like sweet/tart/delicious HEAVEN!

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