Bright and sunny, soft and fluffy lemon muffins! Topped with a sweet crumbly streusel topping and flavored with real lemons and no artificial flavoring, these muffins are cheery bundles of lemon glazed sunshine.
I told myself that once I quit my job I would try to cut back on the baking on the weekends.
That hasn’t exactly happened. Saturday I didn’t do any baking and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I pulled weeds, I played with the dogs, but there was a nagging voice in the back of my head that insisted I needed to spend some more quality time with my KitchenAid.
That voice finally got the best of me yesterday, and I spent all Sunday baking and photographing and trying to convince Zach that he didn’t really need to follow around behind me cleaning up the kitchen because I’d totally get to it eventually.
I had some baking fails and managed to drop a giant spoonful of marshmallow fluff on the only piece of carpet in our whole house, but there were some more cheerful successes as well, mostly in the form of these lemon muffins.
I made these lemon muffins for the third time in less than a week, just to confirm that they really were as soft, fluffy, and citrusy as they appeared to be the first two times, and my suspicions were confirmed — they are totally “blog-worthy” and I’m excited to share them with you today!
I didn’t use any lemon extract in these muffins because I rarely keep any on hand and wanted to flavor them naturally using only real lemons. If you want a more intense flavor and do keep lemon extract on hand, you can add about a quarter teaspoon of extract to the mix, but I think it’s totally unnecessary.
The lemon zest and lemon juice (a full 1/4 cup!) go a long way flavor-wise and make for slightly sweet, slightly tart lemon muffins, but as perfect as the flavor is, my favorite part might actually be the crumbly streusel topping.
It’s just three ingredients — sugar, flour, and butter — cut into coarse crumbs with a pastry cutter and then sprinkled liberally over the tops of your muffins.
And I do mean liberally, I love my streusel topping <3
Just as with my bakery style chocolate chip muffins, when we bake these lemon muffins we’re going to start with the oven at a higher temperature and then reduce it part-way through the baking time (without opening the oven!). I talked more about why we do this back in my chocolate chip muffin recipe, but basically this helps our muffins get those fluffy sky high tops that we want, even if we’re loading them down with heavy crumbly streusel 😉
I like to top off these muffins with a simple 3-ingredient lemon glaze. While the muffins have a great lemon flavor in and of themselves thanks to the zest and a healthy pour of lemon juice, the lemon glaze it what really sets off the citrus flavor.
- 1/3 cup flour (65g)
- 1/3 cup sugar (100g)
- 3 Tablespoon salted butter cold (45g)
Lemon Glaze (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (160g)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice (20ml)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon water
- Whisk together oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C) and line muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
- In a separate, large bowl, whisk together canola oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Add eggs and whisk until well incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and use a spoon or spatula to gently stir ingredients together until mostly combined (a few dry lumps are OK, it is critical to the fluffiness of our muffins that you don't overmix).
- Portion batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner over 3/4 - way to the top with batter (do not overflow. I like to use a standard ice cream scoop with a lever to easily portion my batter).Set aside while you prepare your crumble topping.
- Whisk together flour and sugar.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter until mixture is combined and like coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle tops generously and evenly with crumble topping and place muffin tin in preheated oven.
- Bake on 425F (220C) for 8 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 (175C) (do not open the oven door or remove the muffins, just leave them in and reduce the temperature) and bake another 12 minutes.
- Remove muffins and allow to cool while you prepare lemon glaze.
Lemon Glaze (optional)
- While the muffins cool, prepare your glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water
- Drizzle glaze over the top of each cooled muffin. Allow to sit and harden about 10 minutes before serving.
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