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Easy Lemon Muffins

These lemon muffins have a bright lemon flavor naturally. Don't have lemons? You can substitute lemon extract into the recipe instead.
Lemon muffins on plates with a bowl of muffins, and jelly.

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Are you looking for a simple and delicious recipe for lemon muffins that will delight the lemon lovers in your family? Look no further than this easy lemon muffin recipe that uses basic ingredients you can find at any grocery store.

Lemon muffins on plates with a bowl of muffins, and jelly.

With just the right amount of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, these fluffy muffins will have a bright citrus flavor that will make them the perfect addition to your afternoon snack or breakfast routine.

The fresh lemon flavor is imbued throughout these moist muffins thanks to the lemon zest AND the lemon juice. These classic muffins can be easily modified to accommodate fruit, berries, or even poppy seeds! 

A pan of lemon muffins, 2 plates, a bowl, and a white towel.

Have fun with these muffins!

For easy lemon muffins that are perfect for snacking or sharing, try making mini muffins using a mini muffin tin. These moist muffins will bake faster because they’re smaller. You’ll get roughly 20-24 mini-muffins from this recipe. 

This recipe makes 10 or 12 regular-size muffins depending on the size of muffins you make. Whatever you make, mini muffins, 10 muffins, or 12 muffins, be sure to divide the batter evenly into muffin cups so they bake equally. 

Lemon muffins slathered with raspberry jam, a bowl of muffins, and a knife.

How to make the best muffins

To make these the best lemon muffins be sure you don’t overmix them. You just want to whisk the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients. Whisk again, very lightly.

Then switch to a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon to finish mixing them up. if you beat or overbeat quick bread recipes, you’ll overwork the batter, and it won’t make tender muffins. And you don’t want the gluten in the flour to develop either, or your muffins will be tough.

Ingredients for lemon muffins.

What you Need to make these Lemon Muffins

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • sugar
  • lemon zest (you will need about 2 lemons to get the amount needed for this recipe)
  • lemon juice
  • milk
  • eggs
  • oil, vegetable or light olive oil 
  • muffin tin
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon or silicone spatula
  • Large bowl
  • medium bowl
  • paper liners, if desired
  • 12-cup muffin tin

How to make lemon zest 

To zest a lemon, you need the small side of a box grater or a small hand-held zester. A handheld zester is literally the same thing as the small side on your box grater. 

Wash the lemons well. Wax-free lemons are nice if you can find them. If you can’t find them, simply boil a kettle of water and pour it slowly over your lemons. Rub to remove as much wax as possible. 

Half a lemon muffin slathered with raspberry jam on top of it.

Then use the grater or zester on the lemon peel to remove just the outer layer of the lemon peel, just like you do for these Lemon Bars. When making Margaritas, you typically won’t be using zest, so don’t worry about that.

For best results don’t get down into the white pith. Just get the very outer layer. The white pith is very bitter and will really make anything you put it in will be bitter as well. 

Roughly speaking, one lemon will produce about a Tablespoon of zest. It does depend on how much you grate into the pith. Don’t pack the zest into the measuring spoon. Just put it in the measuring spoon lightly.

A lemon muffin with jam with a bite taken out of it.

Change up these muffins!

You can add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds and make lemon poppyseed muffins with this recipe. Or add berries like fresh blueberries to make blueberry muffins, or raspberries work well too! If you’re adding berries, you will need about 3/4 cup of berries.  You could ALSO make a lemon glaze to drizzle over the top, sort of like this lemon drizzle cake or this lime bread icing. 

To store leftover muffins 

Leftover muffins can be cooled completely before being stored in an airtight container. You can use a plastic bag or a dish with a resealable lid, like a Pyrex dish or a ziploc box. Mini Muffins can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap.

Lemon muffins on plates with a bowl of muffins, and jelly.

Easy Lemon Muffins

5 from 53 votes
These lemon muffins have a bright lemon flavor naturally. Don’t have lemons? You can substitute lemon extract into the recipe instead.
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Laura
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 350°
  • lightly grease a muffin tin and set the pan aside; you can use cupcake liners if you want to
  • mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk
  • stir in the lemon zest and set aside
    Lemon zest grated into muffin dry ingredients.
  • mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl
    Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk together
  • then switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and scrape down the sides of the bowl
  • stir to combine completely, do not beat or use a mixer, quick bread batters are lumpy
  • divide the batter between 10 muffin tin cups, you can do 12 they will be a little smaller
    Lemon muffin batter in a muffin pan.
  • bake for 18-20 minutes or just until the tops are lightly golden brown and spring back
  • remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool
  • OR you can serve these hot, warm, or cool with butter or jam if desired

Notes

This recipe makes 10 or 12 muffins depending on the size of muffins you make. Whatever you do just be sure to divide the batter into equal portions so they bake equally.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

9 thoughts on “Easy Lemon Muffins”

  1. 5 stars
    Mmmmm so good! I loooove lemon in baked goods and these muffins had the perfect amount. Great tip about avoiding the pith while zesting! Good to know. 🙂

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Huge fan of lemon here, and I have overindulged in these muffins, but TBH I don’t really care. Gimme more. Thanks for a lovely recipe

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    These lemon muffins were so easy to make. I loved them plain but adding a little raspberry jam brought them to a new level.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    These bright lemon muffins are the perfect parts sweet and tart. I love having one with a cup of tea in the afternoon as a little pick-me-up to power through the rest of the day.

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Loved these! Added a couple spoonfuls of poppy seeds because I love the texture. They’re so good with blueberry preserves!

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    Ooh these are GREAT muffins! I love the bright lemony flavor and they’re not too sweet. I had them in my work lunches and everyone was jealous!

    Reply

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