This easy Lemon Muffins Recipe has summer written all over it. Light, tangy, and perfectly moist, lemon muffins will brighten up any breakfast table or picnic.

Make the most of your lemons with these lemon zucchini muffins and lemon poppy seed muffins.

Lemon muffins served in a basket with a few slices of fresh lemon.

When life gives you lemons, make lemon muffins! I have a ton of easy muffin recipes and I am thrilled to share this lemon muffins recipe with you today.

Super light and full of zesty flavor, I love this bakery-style muffin with my morning coffee.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quick: From start to finish, they’re ready in less than 40 minutes.
  • Easy: You only need one bowl to make this lemon muffin recipe. They also make a quick grab-and-go breakfast, snack, or treat!
  • Lots of lemon flavor: Both lemon juice and lemon zest are added to create a bold taste.
  • Texture: These rich, cake-like muffins are super fluffy and moist.
  • Versatile: Make with regular flour or whole wheat flour.
  • Kids love them! They definitely fall in the best muffin recipes category.

Ingredients for Lemon Muffins Recipe

This lemon muffins recipe is made with very simple ingredients. I’m sure you have most, if not all, on hand.

Maple syrup, oil, egg, lemon, flour, milk, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
  • Milk: Use your milk of choice. I like to use whole milk because I believe it yields more moist muffins.
  • Lemon: For the lemon zest and juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best!
  • Egg: You’ll need 1 large egg for lift and binding.
  • Oil: Any mild tasting oil will work. I like using avocado oil.
  • Maple syrup: I love lemon and maple flavors together. Any liquid sweetener like honey or agave will also work to make these lemon muffins.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Please stick to these two flours for the best results. Baking is a science, all flours are different and do not act the same.
  • Baking essentials: Baking powder and baking soda give these muffins a beautiful rise, and salt enhances the flavor.

How to Make Lemon Muffins

Here is how to make this lemon muffin recipe with 15 minutes of prep time and one bowl!

Step by step process how to zest a lemon and mix liquid ingredients for lemon muffins recipe.
  • Zest and juice the lemon: Wash and dry lemon. In a large bowl, zest the yellow part only with a zester. Then squeeze the fresh lemon juice.
  • Combine lemon and milk: Add milk and whisk to combine, then let stand for 10 minutes so the mixture curdles.
  • Add sweetener and baking essentials: Add egg, oil, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk liquid ingredients until smooth with no lumps.
Step by step process how to make lemon muffins batter and bake the muffins.
  • Finish muffin batter: Use a spatula to gently stir in the flour, just enough to combine. Do not overmix the lemon muffin batter, it’s OK to have a few white flour patches.
  • Fill muffin pan: Using a regular ice cream scoop, fill 12 openings of a muffin tin with batter.
  • Bake: Place in the oven and bake lemon muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine were done after 18 minutes in one oven and the other one in 22 minutes.
  • Cool: Remove muffins from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack. Enjoy!
Lemon muffins served in a dish lined with linen towel and a few lemon slices.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best lemon muffins!

  • Zest your lemon properly: A Microplane grater is the best for zesting lemon, it’s also the easiest. But a box grater will work in a pinch. The most important tip is to make sure you zest only the yellow part of the lemon, the white part underneath will add a bitter taste.
  • Substitute buttermilk for milk: If you do so, there is no need to let buttermilk sit with lemon juice and curdle. You can skip the 10 minute wait time in the beginning of the recipe and make lemon muffins right away
  • Don’t overmix the batter: This applies to all muffin recipes. For light, fluffy lemon muffins mix the batter until just combined.
  • Do not overbake the muffins: All ovens vary. The oven in my house bakes much slower than my studio kitchen oven. Time varies from 18-22 minutes. Watch them closely and do a toothpick test. Overbaked muffins are dry muffins.
  • Fun add-ins: Add up to 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries, or chocolate chips. Make a healthy treat and drizzle with this lemon glaze from healthy lemon poppy seed bread!

How to Store and Reheat

Store: Moist lemon muffins are best stored at room temperature. I keep mine on the kitchen counter, covered with a towel for the first 2 days. Any leftovers can then be placed in the fridge for up to 3 days in a container with a lid on.

Freeze: Once baked and completely cool, place muffins in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw by placing one lemon muffin on a counter for a few hours or warm in the microwave.

FAQs

How do I zest lemon for baking?

Wash and dry the lemon. I use a microplane grater, the fine zest is best for baking. Go back and forth 2 or 3 times in each section and make sure you zest the yellow part without getting any of the white underneath, the white will add a bitter taste to your muffin.

Can I use lemon extract for this lemon muffins recipe?

You can add up to 1 teaspoon of natural lemon extract in addition to lemon juice and zest. If you would like to use only lemon extract I recommend to use 2-3 teaspoons and buttermilk with this lemon muffins recipe.

Why are my muffins dry and dense?

Dry, dense muffins are a result of overmixed batter, and overbaked. To bring back moisture to baked muffins place them in resealable Ziploc bag.

Can I use sour cream or yogurt to make lemon muffins?

Possibly but I haven’t tried. I would use 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream along with 2 tablespoons of milk. Then mix with lemon juice and let it sour for 10 minutes.

Can I make this lemon muffin recipe into mini muffins?

Yes! Bake mini lemon muffins for 12-15 minutes and do a toothpick test.

Can I make these lemon muffins gluten-free?

This lemon muffin recipe relies on gluten in the flour. You can try to use all-purpose gluten-free flour but it tends to be more dry, so I can’t guarantee the results. If you have almond flour, try my almond flour lemon poppy seed muffins and omit poppy seeds or just make these almond flour muffins.

More Muffin Recipes to Try

Close up photo showing texture of inside of a lemon muffin in a basket with other lemon muffins.
Lemon muffins served in a basket with a few slices of fresh lemon.

Lemon Muffins Recipe

This easy Lemon Muffins Recipe has summer written all over it. Light, tangy, and perfectly moist, lemon muffins will brighten up any breakfast table or picnic.
5 from 3 votes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 167
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray non-stick 12 muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add milk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk and let mixture stand for 10 minutes. It should curdle somewhat and become sour milk.
  • Add egg, oil, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well until combined and no small lumps are visible.
  • Add flour and mix gently with spatula just enough to combine. Do not overmix and a few white flour patches are fine.
  • Distribute batter evenly between 12 openings of a muffin tin (I used regular ice cream scoop) and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove lemon muffins from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store: On a plate on a kitchen counter covered with a towel for first 2 days. Then transfer them to a container with a lid and into the fridge for another 3 days.
  • Freeze: Bake, cool and place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, just place one muffin on a counter for a few hours or microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g
Course: Muffins and Quick Bread
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These muffins are fantastic ! They have such a bright lemon flavor and are so moist! Next time, I will add some blueberries.
    Thank you for another wonderful recipe.
    I am so glad glad that you enjoyed your trip to New Orleans! New Orleans is my hometown and where I spent the first 39 years of my life. Since I still have family there, I visit frequently. The food, the music, the history and the amazing gumbo of cultures make New Orleans one of the truly unique cities in the United States.

    1. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback! NOLA was definitely a very unique experience and super fun to explore!

  2. 5 stars
    Lemon muffins are delicious easy
    Thank you so very much for sharing
    All recipes on this blog are awesomely
    Great

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