Cherry Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Those of you familiar with Costco probably know about their muffins. They're roughly three times the size of a regular muffin and contain about a week's worth of fat and calories. They're pretty much round pound cakes. My husband had told me multiple times before we got married how much he loved this one particular flavor of muffin from Costco, and when the family dog got into the batch a few days before the wedding he was pretty disappointed.

Soon after my husband and I were settled into our new place I had the itch to bake something one Saturday and decided to make some muffins for my husband. I asked him what flavor it was that was his favorite and he said, "Poppyseed"

"Lemon poppyseed?" I asked.

"Yes, that sounds right. Lemon poppyseed." He answered.

So I set off to find a recipe for lemon poppyseed muffins. I baked up a batch and they had a lukewarm reception. Something wasn't quite right with the taste, he said. Not to be deterred, I tried another batch, but they weren't much better. Throughout the week I tried a couple more recipes and none of them quite measured up to what my husband was looking for in a muffin. I finally gave up.

Fast forward a few months and my husband is at Costco with me. We end up in the bakery section and I ask him if he wants to buy some muffins. He walks over and picks out a dozen almond poppyseed muffins and brings them back to the cart. Apparently Costco doesn't even make lemon poppyseed muffins. The reason all those lemon poppyseed muffin recipes never passed the taste test with my husband is that lemon just doesn't taste like almond.

Since that discovery I've avoided making muffins altogether, but when I found an almond cherry muffin recipe I decided it sounded too good to pass up. I added poppyseeds for my husband and made half the batch without cherries in case he didn't like them. It turned out that he liked them both ways and the recipe was a definite keeper. I love the combination of cherries with the almond flavoring and the poppyseeds give it just a bit of crunch. It's not a healthy recipe by far, but they are very moist and worth the splurge every once in a while. I have to say, finally having a muffin recipe be approved by my husband did give me a feeling of satisfaction. It didn't hurt to finally know the right flavor to make them.

Cherry Almond Poppyseed Muffins


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T poppyseeds
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 2 muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and poppyseeds. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and extracts. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Do not overbeat. Fold in the cherries.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 20-25 min Yield: 24 muffins

Recipe Source: adapted from Penzey's Spice Catalog, Winter 2012

15 Click For Comments:

And I've always wondered why lemon and poppyseed seemingly always have to go together in a muffin! These are brilliant and creative, Nicole! Lovely recipe. Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

Oooh, thanks for letting me know. Heading over there now. :)

Haha! That's a silly little muffin story :) I am not a fan of poppyseed at all, but I do love almond and cherry so maybe I could handle it for a tiny muffin like this :)

Ha ha! Your husband reminds me of mine! Impossible to please because they don't really even know what they want! :) I can't believe you made *so many* batches of muffins. That's pretty funny. :) That said, my husband *hates* cherries (as well as most other dried fruit). Got any suggestions for something else to sub in for those? 

Haha! I always love reading your blog. These muffins sound super yummy Nicole!

I would just leave them out if no other dried fruit would work either. They'll just have to be almond poppyseed muffins for your husband. Either that or try raspberries or blackberries since those pair well with almond flavor. 

I'm the opposite of your husband, I love everything about these except the almond flavor! Lemon poppyseed, on the otherhand, is one of my favorites. I'm definitely going to try these with lemon juice/zest instead, I bet they'll be delicious.

Yeah, Costco does have some great muffins.  There's a local bakery that has even BETTER ones, believe it or not...SO good and so many varieties.  And SO dangerous!  I love the batch you made here.

These look delicious, Nicole!  Pinning so I'll be sure to remember them.  :-)

These look amazing! :) Can't wait to get the ingredients so I can make them!

These look amazing! :) Can't wait to get the ingredients so I can make them!

These sound fantastic...beautiful photos!

Hahaha, that's too funny!  Sounds like something my husband would do too.  I love the combination of almond and cherry, so I know these would be a winner here!

Oh my gosh, I love almond flavored ANYTHING. And almond and cherry happen to go great together. I'm SO making these :)

Your muffins sound wonderful and look perfect!  I love almond flavor and cherries together!  

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