Before lockdown, I had plans to spend an Italian summer holiday with Ronnie. My homemade lemon muffins are inspired by the trip that never happened.
Amalfi, Italy is a sun-kissed slice of heaven on earth. Its breathtaking blue sky and crystal clear waters. Adding to the scenic view is the warm sunlight and toasty sand under your feet.
Hopefully, I can visit Italy next year.
Until then, I am enjoying quality time in the kitchen, whipping up tasty treats and incorporating healthy elements to popular recipes.
These mesmerizing muffins are another experiment.
These homemade lemon muffins feature a tasty all-natural blue spirulina frosting that replicates the summer sky. Hiding beneath it are perfectly baked muffins that pack a citrusy punch.
Read on to find out how to bake this simple, yet sophisticated dessert.
What Can You Expect?
- Quick and easy recipe.
- No refined sugar.
- No artificial coloring.
- No dairy
Baking Tips to Make Homemade Lemon Muffins
Muffins are one of the basics for bakers. Yet, there are few hacks that leads to better and healthier servings. I learned them all to share them with beginners and seasoned home cooks.
Here are a few tricks to create the ideal batch:
- Homemade buttermilk is a great substitute for store-bought buttermilk. It is a substantial way to keep this essential item at arm’s reach when you are baking. Since this recipe has lemon in it, I would not recommend replacing vinegar with lemon juice to make the buttermilk.
- Leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda) are essential for muffins. They help your baked goods to rise. Make sure that your ingredients are not expired by testing their freshness.
- Freshly baked muffin can crumble if you don’t handle them carefully. I recommend cooling them off for at least 3-5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack. That said, leaving them in too long can turn them soggy. The trick is to remove them after five minutes to get let them reach an optimal temperature.
- You can freeze a big batch of muffins for 3 months. Plastic wrap unfrosted muffins and store them in an airtight container. You can thaw them out whenever you want. It is a quick and easy way to keep a stock of healthy desserts for last-minute plans.
Bonus Baking Tip: How to Test Your Leavening Agents?
Unlike perishables, it can be challenging to determine whether or not your leavening agents are expired. Sometimes the expiry date at the back of the packet does not coincide with the real expiry date of the product. You can prevent using the wrong ingredient by doing a quick bubble test.
- Baking Soda: Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a 1/4 cup of vinegar (or lemon juice). Fresh baking soda will cause the mixture to bubble. That means it’s good to use. Otherwise, you can toss the packet out.
- Baking Powder: Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 1/4 cup of hot water. Like the baking soda, you shall see small bubbles if the baking powder is fresh. No bubbles mean that the product has reached its expiry date and you should throw it away.
Healthy Substitutes: Homemade Lemon Muffins with Blue Spirulina Frosting
- Cane sugar is an excellent replacement for refined sugar. It is healthier and less likely to make the dessert too sweet. I use ½ the standard amount to strike the right balance between calories and sugar. Add more if you have a sweet tooth!
- If you are lactose intolerant, you can use almond milk like I did. Other substitutes include coconut milk and oat milk. Fair warning, they might change the final taste of your muffins.
- Instead of artificial coloring, you should go for natural spirulina powder to get this gorgeous blue shade. Add more powder for more vibrancy. You can also replace spirulina with matcha, dragonfruit powder or beetroot powder if you are interested in other shades of color.
- Don’t like frosting? No worries! These mouthwatering muffins taste great without the sweet icing.
Ready to try this superfood version of homemade lemon muffins? I would love to see your versions. Do remember use #joyfulhomecooking so that I can keep tabs on your baking adventure. Have great bake-day!Print
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 16 mins
- Total Time: 26 mins
- Yield: 9 to 10 muffins 1x
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2½ tsps. baking powder
- ¼ tsps. baking soda
- ½ tsps. sea salt
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2tbsp. lemon zest
- 3 tbsps. lemon juice
- 1 tsps. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ – 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2–4 tsp spirulina powder
- 1–2 tbsp. almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lightly grease a 12-cup non-stick muffin pan with coconut oil or melted butter. The other option s to line the muffin with cute cupcake liners. *
- Make homemade buttermilk by combining milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside to let it thicken.
- Sift and mix the dry ingredients i.e. all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cane sugar (except zest) in a large bowl.
- Use a medium bowl to whisk the wet ingredients i.e. the almond milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract and zest.
- Combine the wet and dry batter in the larger mixing bowl.
- Whisk the batter until it turns silky smooth. **
- Pour/scoop batter into the muffin tin. Leave ¼ of each mold empty to allow your muffins to rise and get a nice round muffin top. If you don’t have enough batter, add water in the empty molds to stop your muffin pan from buckling over in the oven.
- Carefully pop your muffin pan in the oven.
- Bake for 16-17 minutes (or if the inserted toothpick comes out clean).
- Let the muffin cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack.
- Soften your butter by letting it sit at room temperature for 1 hour. That way, it doesn’t form any clumps when you combine it with sugar.
- Beat vanilla and butter in a large mixing bowl. (30 seconds)
- Sift and add ½ cup of sugar one at a time to prevent lumps. Add spirulina powder and beat until you get a light blue hue.
- You may add more spirulina powder if you want an intense shade of blue.
- Add a spoonful of milk. Adjust the measurement to get the desired consistency.
- Frost your baked muffins with your healthy spirulina frosting when they are completely cool****
*Use paper liners to keep muffins fresh for a long time
** Only mix your batter 10-12 times with a spatula to prevent overmixing.
*** A few moist crumbles on the toothpick are fine too.
****Plastic wrap and freeze leftover muffins to satisfy your sweet tooth weeks later!
Keywords: homemade lemon muffins