This simple lemon muffin recipe is the easiest way to bake tender, flavorful lemon muffins at home. Sweet, tangy and perfectly delicious, these light and moist muffins with a streusel topping are perfect for a breakfast treat, midday snack or dessert.
Why You Will Love These Lemon Muffins
- EASY – This is such an easy recipe! With simple, common ingredients, you can whip up a batch in just minutes! In fact, I bet you have most of these ingredients in your kitchen right now! It’s great for beginning bakers! Or this would be a perfect recipe to let the kids help out on!
- WHOLESOME – Making your own, homemade muffins is so much better than store bought. Now you know exactly what is in each muffin and can feel confident putting it into you and your families bodies!
- DELICIOUS – These muffins don’t have a super strong, potent Lemon flavor. They are perfect sweet and zesty with a light, fresh citrus taste. Perfect for Spring. Or…. the middle of winter when you wish it was Spring! For more lemon desserts, check out our Cranberry Lemon Bars, Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes or our Lemon Brownies.
Lemon Muffins Recipe?
Here is what you’ll need to get started. For step-by-step instructions, check out the printable recipe card below.
For The Muffins
- FLOUR – All Purpose Flour. We haven’t tried it, but you can try to make these Gluten-Free by using Gluten Free Flour.
- GRANULATED SUGAR
- BAKING POWDER – A leavening agent that gives these muffins their soft texture.
- SALT – This will balance out the sweetness of the Lemons and the Sugar.
- FRESH LEMON – You’ll be using both the lemon juice and lemon zest. You can use regular lemons or Meyer Lemons.
- WHOLE MILK – See below for substitutions.
- VEGETABLE OIL – We like to use Vegetable Oil as shortening in this recipe. It helps to keep the muffins super moist!
- LARGE EGGS – Make sure it is room temperature before adding it to this recipe.
- YELLOW GEL FOOD COLORING – This is totally optional to give these muffins an extra boost of color.
For The Topping
- FLOUR – Once again, try Gluten Free Flour if you want to.
- BROWN SUGAR
- GRANULATED SUGAR
- BUTTER – Room temperature
Can You Sub Anything For The Whole Milk?
A lot of times, we don’t have whole milk laying around in our fridge. Is there anything that you can substitute in place of it? You can certainly put in either sour cream or plain yogurt in place of whole milk. It may actually give your lemon muffins a more creamy texture. I’d recommend using regular or at least reduced fat products and to stay away from non-fat.
How To Zest A Lemon?
The most important part of correctly getting Lemon Zest (or any zest) is using the right tool. You really have to use a Microplane Grater. This will make your job so much easier. Also, you want to be very light in your grating. The very top layer is where all the oil and flavor is. The white stuff underneath gets pretty bitter pretty fast!
You’ll also want to obtain your Zest right before you use it, as it does dry out pretty quickly.
How To Serve Lemon Muffins?
This recipe works great to just grab and go for a quick breakfast in the morning. But I LOVE to put my muffins in the microwave for about 20 seconds. And I REALLY LOVE to cut them in half vertically and put a pat of butter in between them.
Storage and Freezing
Keep these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay good for about 5 days. You can probably extend this a couple days if you keep them in your fridge.
Can you freeze Lemon Muffins? Yep! Just make sure that you cool them completely before preparing them to freeze. Wrap them tightly in freezer wrap, aluminum foil or freezer bags. They should be good for up to 4 months if wrapped tightly. Generally, I like to freeze my muffins individually instead of in a batch. That way I just take what I want out of the freezer to defrost them.
To thaw out your muffins, you can just let them sit at room temperature or use a microwave or conventional oven. Just pop them in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds or wrap them in foil and heat them at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. The time needed to thaw will depend on the size of your muffins!
Notes, Tips and Variations
- HOW TO MAKE YOUR MUFFINS MOIST? – A common mistake when making muffins is to stir the wet ingredients and dry ingredients too much when making your batter. You want to mix them together just until the are fully incorporated.
- DO YOU NEED LEMON EXTRACT FOR THIS RECIPE? – We don’t use any lemon extract for this recipe and feel that they come out with a nice, subtle lemon flavor. If you want to add Lemon Extract for an extra boost, you can. I’d add 1 tsp. Make sure it is REAL lemon extract and not “lemon flavoring”.
- MAKE YOUR CRUMB TOPPING FIRST – Make it first and put it in the fridge for a bit while you are making the muffins. It’s easier to work with and bakes better when it’s a little cold.
- HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR MUFFINS ARE DONE – Another common mistake is baking your Muffins too long. The best way to know when to take your muffins out is to insert a toothpick or a cake tester into the middle of one of them. If it comes out clean, they are ready to come out!
- MUFFIN LINERS – Make sure to grease the muffin tin or use Muffin Liners to help to get your muffins out unscathed!
Tools To Help With This Recipe
- MUFFIN TINS
- STAND MIXER
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS
- SET OF 7 DIFFERENT MIXING BOWLS
- MUFFIN LINERS
- WIRE RACK
LOOKING FOR MORE MUFFIN RECIPES? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!
- CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
- BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
- PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
- PISTACHIO MUFFINS
- STRAWBERRY BANANA MUFFINS
- BANANA ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
- BLUEBERRY BANANA MUFFINS
Breakfast Lemon Muffins Recipe
For The Muffins
- 2 cups a/p flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon approx. 1 tbsp zest and 2 tbsps juice
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 drop yellow gel food coloring optional
For The Crumb Topping
- 1 cup a/p flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp butter melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a small bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, mix together lemon juice, zest, milk, oil and egg.
- Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until muffin batter forms.
- Add a small drop of yellow gel food coloring into batter and mix until tinted (optional).
- Scoop batter into each section of the muffin pan, filling it about 2/3 of the way.
- In a separate bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the muffin topping - cut with a fork to create a “grainy” sugar topping.
- Sprinkle the sugar muffin topping over each filled section of the pan.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Comments & Reviews
The flavor is amazing! But my muffins turned out very dry. I even lowered the temperature and didn’t cook them as long as it called for. Will try these again, but will tweak them a little.
Writing this one down in my go-to recipe book!
First batch came out a little dry, next time i’ll add a little plain yogurt.
I added chia seeds to mine for a little crunch and extra lemon zest for more flavor. Great taste, my toddler and husband loved them
This breakfast muffin recipe was great
Can I use buttermilk instead of whole milk
We have not tried that. So I’m not sure.
Dylan Feil says
Is there a sub for the eggs? My son is allergic!
I’m not sure. I’m assuming you’ve had to sub for eggs before…..? What have you used when baking, that may work here. Maybe applesauce, bananas or yogurt?
Carol Cantelmo says
Made these for the first time – made 6 large muffins instead of the regular size and it worked out great. Only thing was the lemon flavor was not as strong as I would have liked. Wondering what I could do to enhance it just a bit…add more zest? Will definitely make them again.
Yep. That would do the trick. Yes, we made these to have just a slight lemon flavor.
Carol Cantelmo says
Added zest from 2 large lemons (no add’l juice, just more zest) and lemon flavor increased just enough. Perfect!!
That sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing!