Recipe: Lemon Muffins on a Whim

My obsession for lemon is clearly not over. It never quite fails to whet the palette and fill a space with such uplifting aromas. The night before, I decided to make lemon muffins on a whim. Well… actually I wanted to test out a recipe for a pot-luck farewell we’re throwing for A’s colleague. But hey it’s still considered ‘on a whim’ since I didn’t quite plan for it!

This recipe came from The Pleasure Monger (who in turn adapted it from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook). I am calling mine muffins because I omitted the frosting since it was already close to 11pm when I popped them into the oven. My version’s pretty similar except I reduced the sugar and upped the lemon juice. I think it could still do with a little more lemon kick and Mum felt it was still a tad sweet. I’ll definitely be  cutting down the sugar some more for Saturday’s batch which will have frosting.


By the way, I might be wrong to call it a muffin just because I omitted the frosting? I’ve always felt that the presence of frosting is the key difference between muffins and cupcakes. Did a quick google search and curiousfoodie claims there are more differences than meet the eye. But anyway, if my lemon “muffin” by any other name would taste as good, then no one really cares right?

Oh! Also my batch only yielded nine small muffins instead of 12 which the original recipe indicated. They were pretty damn small by the way. So do consider doubling the ingredients if you prefer a filling muffin/cupcake.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lime & Ginger Whipped Cream
(this is my version with reduced sugar and more lemon juice)

For the lemon cupcakes:

Makes 9

120g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
100ml skimmed or full milk
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with muffin cases.
2. Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, zest and butter in a mixer at slow speed until combined.
3. Gradually add the milk and lemon juice and beat at the same time until just incorporated.
4. Add the egg to the batter and beat till mixture is smooth.
5. Spoon the batter into muffin cases until each is 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean after being inserted. Do not overbake as it can dry out.
6. Leave the cupcakes to cool sightly in the muffin pan before turning them out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Here’s the frosting recipe if you can afford the extra calories!

For the lime & ginger whipped cream:

1 and 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus extra for decorating
1/4 teaspoon juice squeezed from freshly grated ginger (you can increase this to 1/2 or even 1 teaspoon, adjust to taste)
200ml whipping cream
2 and 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar (adjust to taste)
A very, very tiny drop of liquid green food colouring (you want a very pale jade cream)

1. Whisk cream, ginger juice, zest, colouring and sugar till stiff peaks are formed.
2. Frost cupcakes and decorate with sprinkling of grated lime zest.


For the party’s batch, I did bring down down the sugar some more by about 25grammes. It still tasted fine and it was without the icing. Just a point to note that I decided to go with normal buttercream icing and not with the lime and ginger whipped cream recipe on top. I figured, ginger would be a bit too adventurous. Oh, but I did put lime zest on the buttercream!

– S


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