Lemon-Strawberry Marble Muffins!
Updated: Jan 2
The secret to the lemon flavor in this one? The zest. Paired with sweet, juicy strawberries, this killer combo is one you can't resist.The first recipe of the Dessert series!
Ah, muffins. In my opinion, the hardest things to make healthy, among other baked goods. The reason for this is because they have a bunch of factors that go into making a good one: butter, sugar, all purpose flour, sugar, and some more sugar. Did I mention sugar?
Most store-bought(or even homemade) muffins or cupcakes always have tons of sugar added, not to mention butter, along with a not-so-streamlined list of gobbledygook that are actually just hard-to-pronounce preservatives. Try to go by a simple rule: if you can't pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn't buy it.
Anyways, back to the muffins. It's often even harder with frosting because those have, again, a ton of added sugar, butter, and often guilt. So after a couple trials and tribulations, at least three dozen muffins, and ZERO butter, I've brought you guys this recipe.
I was wondering how to make sure there was enough lemon flavor that came through in the muffins, and I came across a great recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins by Cookie and Kate. The trick, apparently, is to use some sugar, and rub the lemon zest into it by hand until the sugar is yellow in color. And, use a ton of it, obviously. Lemon zest is great when you want to make something lemon flavored, as it gets you the fresh flavor without too much acidity, like the juice. That being said, I usually use a combination of the two, but mostly zest and a little juice.
The "strawberry marble part" was actually kind of unexpected. (I love cooking fruit. It really brings out the flavor and sweetness.) I wanted to make something more special the second time I made these, so I decided to try burying a strawberry in a couple of the muffins.
As the muffins baked away, so did the strawberries inside them. The juicy red fruit bubbled up and ran down the sides of the muffins, creating this weird marble effect. So I went with it, and came up with a cool name for these muffins!
These muffins have a moist, cakey texture, and you can make them without the strawberries as well. But it's barely any extra work as is, and tastes so good as is! If you want them to be more like cupcakes, use two eggs.
P.S. I used strawberries because we usually have them in our garden, but a couple blueberries/raspberries will be fine.
Marbled Lemon-Strawberry Muffins
Course: Breakfast, Snacks, Dessert
Author: Prachi Marfatia
Quantity: 12 muffins
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp(0.25 cup) maple syrup/agave
1 tbsp softened butter OR 2 tbsp oil
12 whole strawberries, stems removed(OPTIONAL but recommended)
Put the sugar in a bowl. Zest both lemons and rub the zest into the sugar for 1-2 minutes, until well incorporated. Add the egg, butter, and juice of one of the lemons, and mix well. Meanwhile, in a larger bowl, mix the wholewheat and oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine these two mixtures until you get a thick batter. Add in the maple syrup here. The batter should be on the thicker side, but not doughy. Grease or line 12 muffin cups and divide the batter equally between them. Now, take a strawberry and press it into each cup, making sure some batter covers it on top. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit(180° Celsius) until a knife inserted into the middle comes out easily, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve. Enjoy!
(Try not to leave in the fridge for over 2-3 days, as they lose their flavor then.)
Whenever I'm looking for a quick breakfast, I pop two of these in the microwave, slather on some strawberry cream cheese, and gobble them up! (Full disclosure: my "strawberry cream cheese is really just regular cream cheese that I squeezed some strawberries over.)