Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
photo by A Marsteller
- Ready In:
- 1⁄2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 lemons, zest of, grated
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
- Beat well after each.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.
- Beat just until smooth.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.
- Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
- I sometimes sprinkle the muffin mixture with sugar prior to putting in the oven just to add a little extra sweetness.
Questions & Replies
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I love this recipe, made it three times so far. They do rise nicely actually (I've posted a pic), and I do feel for every poster who got flat or sunken tops. Whoever braves baking deserves stellar results, for baking is not for the faint of heart.<br/><br/>Here's what I think:<br/>I don't know how essential the eggs' temperature is (frankly, I never take the time to pre-warm the eggs; by the time they're mixed with the fat and sugar or beaten fluffy they're not going to be that cold anyway). But: <br/><br/>A. When the recipe says in steps 6, 7 and 9 "With the mixer on low speed", "Beat just until smooth" etc, etc., keep in mind that muffin batter needs to be mixed very, very little, so the dry ingredients are just moist. To me that means no mixer for mixing, but a wooden spoon, and "mixing" means lifting up and down with the spoon through the batter about 5 times, not more (5 turns for the dry ingredients, 5 for the yoghurt, etc) until the batter is barely mixed. Beat it more than that, and the wheat gluten will do something funny (resulting in dense muffins), the air from the beaten egg whites (that's supposed to make the muffins fluffy) will go wasted, etc.<br/><br/>B. Try mixing the baking powder with lemon juice before adding it to the batter. It will foam a lot, and that's exactly what it's supposed to do. <br/><br/>As one of my friends says, baking is a completely different beast compared to regular cooking. It's a bunch of chemical reactions, so you need to be careful with the amounts, the mixing, and temperatures. Nothing like that in soup or steak. :-) Here's to great, fluffy muffins!
I didn't have any trouble with this recipe not rising but I made some alterations to the recipe based on other muffin recipes I've cooked. Firstly, I did not separate the eggs and go to the trouble of mixing the whites and what not because I've never had to bother with such nonsense before to get fluffy muffins. I just mixed the eggs, whole, when the recipe says to add just yolks. 2)I increased the amount of lemon juice to 3 tablespoons instead of the 2 that the recipe calls for. This is just because I like extra lemon flavor but find adding too much zest just makes things bitter. In the end the muffins were light, fluffy and delicious. Love that these aren't overly sweet. I've written this recipe down for future use.... With my little changes
Regarding bitterness of the lemon zest, do not add the white part of the lemon skin and use it right away to avoid bitterness. To simplify everything, I leave the egg and butter at room temperature. Beat them up together with sugar (no need to separate the white from the yolk). Then add everything together. Turn on high speed for 1-2 minute. the muffins are fluffy. No need to make things too complicate. I love lemon poppy seed muffin. UPDATE: Today, I made another batch but incorporated healthy ingredients for breakfast that are full of protein and fiber. Here are my substitution: 1) Replace the butter with coconut oil 2) Replace the white flour with 50% oat flour and 50% whole wheat flour 3) Add 1/2 cup cashew meal (or almond) and 1/2 cup flaxseed 4) Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 5) Use 3 tablespoons lemon instead of 2 6) I use yogurt 7) I added 1 teapoon of lemon extract to have a strong lemon flavor (optional) The muffins are no longer junk food but good for me. They are delicious and nutritious.
The reason they were flat is probably due to the eggs being cold (straight from the fridge). When baking, eggs should be used at room temperature. You can either take them out 20-30 minutes before use, or put them in a bowl of warm water while you are doing your prep work. <br/>I made them and they turned out very well, tasty too!
I made these, and took the advice to just barely combine the liquids with the dries before turning off the mixer and hand folding in the meringue with a spatula. I also couldn't find poppy seeds, so if you can't either and just make regular lemon muffins, I would recommend doubling the lemon juice to get more lemony flavor (according to your preference.) Mine did rise, this recipe is a great base for a muffin with liquids (like 4 TBSP lemon juice!) in it.
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