These are the lightest and fluffiest lemon muffins I have ever had. Not too sweet. Tender, with just the right amount of crust around the whole muffin! A lemon lover's dream! A muffin lover's dream too. These lemon muffins are just perfect for a weekend breakfast treat, but if you have any left after brunch they are yummy in a packed lunch too.
It's that time of year again when everyone seems to be heading back -- back to school back to fall, back to the office. And all of this "back-to" sends me back to the kitchen to bake up a batch of muffins.
I went full lemon this time with these perfect lemon muffins.
How to make the perfect lemon muffins
Lots of lemon! You will need 2 large juicy lemons for this recipe.
Lemon, of course. For these perfect lemon muffins, we use both lemon zest and lemon juice. I find lemon zest is essential when you really want a good punch of lemony flavor.
Yogurt. Yogurt gives the muffins a bit of tang. I used plain, unsweetened yogurt in this batch. You can also use a sweetened lemon-flavored yogurt to punch up the lemon flavor here. These muffins will be sweeter if you used a sweetened yogurt. I used plain 2% unsweetened yogurt.
Lemon glaze. Totally optional, but when the muffins are still warm, drizzle each muffin with a tiny bit of lemon glaze. A glaze made of warmed lemon juice and sugar. The glaze will completely dissolve and absorb into each and every muffin - adding sweetness and more lemony-ness. So much lemon!
Wait! before you do anything, deal with the lemons.
This recipe uses as much lemon as possible. You will need 2 juicy lemons.
First - Zest the lemons. I do this over waxed paper or a small plate to catch all the zest. You will need 1 tablespoon for the batter and about 1 teaspoon for the glaze.
Then, slice the lemons in half and juice. You will need just over ⅓ cup lemon juice for this recipe -- which will mean you will likely need all the juice from both lemons.
Best way to juice a lemon? My favorite tool for juicing lemons is the old-school lemon reamer. It's simple and I in my experience the most effective. You do have to deal with the seeds afterward. If you can also use a squeeze-style lemon juicer to catch the seeds at the same time.
Step by step directions
This recipe uses a basic "quick bread" technique. I love this method for its simplicity.
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients.
Including the lemon zest with the dry ingredients so that each little bit of zest can be covered by the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to separate the zest and evenly distribute it into the dry ingredients. This will help prevent the zest from clumping together when you add the wet ingredients and keep it evenly distributed in the batter.
Step 2: Whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Step 3: Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold and stir until just combined. Stop folding as soon as the dry ingredients are no longer showing, and are fully moistened by the wet ingredients. Don't beat and cream the ingredients together. Be gentle. Don't over blend.
Step 4: Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Test the muffins by using the toothpick method. Insert the toothpick into the center of a muffin and if it comes out dry or with a couple of dry crumbs clinging to it, the muffins are done and can be removed from the office. Let them cool for 10 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
Notes about this recipe
You will need the zest and juice from 2 lemons for this recipe! Unless you skip the glaze, in which case, without the glaze you will only need one lemon.
You can use plain yogurt or lemon-flavored yogurt for this recipe. The texture will be the same. If you use sweetened and flavored yogurt, the muffins will be sweeter.
I like a moderately fat yogurt - I used 2%.
The glaze is totally optional (without the glaze, you will only need 1 lemon for this recipe). The glaze does make the muffins a bit sticky - not a bad thing, but sticky if packing in lunches etc.
These lemon muffins are best when freshly made. Leftovers are good the next day and make a nice lunch treat. Plan to eat within a day or two.
Perfect Lemon Muffins with Yogurt
- 12 cup muffin tin
- 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest zest 2 lemons and reserve any remaining zest for the glaze. You will also need to juice both lemons if you are making the glaze.
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup yogurt I used plain, unsweetened 2% MF yogurt. You can also use lemon flavored yogurt for a sweeter muffin and more lemon flavour.
- 6 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 400 and spray muffin tin with cooking spray or prep with paper liners
- Combine the dry ingredients in large bowl - flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the lemon zest to ensure the zest is well coated in flour and evenly distributed.
- In another bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, butter, and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Pour egg and yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and stir together to just combine - until batter is just blended and no dry spots remain.
- Evenly divide batter between the 12 cups of a muffin tin. Each muffin cup should be just ⅔ full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Muffins should be springy when lightly pushed in the center.
- Once the muffins have cooled slightly, make glaze. Combine remaining lemon juice and zest and ¼ cup of sugar and heat in a small saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved.Poke each muffin with a toothpick a few times so the glaze has holes to run into. Gently spoon over each muffin.