Lemon Muffins…meh, not great…

One of my priorities for doing this blog is to show people that not everything turns out the way you want it to turn out.  Sometimes it’s because the recipe was written wrong (typos happen), sometimes it’s because the cook doesn’t completely understand what they are doing. Whatever the case, I want to encourage everyone to just keep trying.  You should always give a recipe a second try if it doesn’t quite turn out right the first time.  This post is an example of a recipe that I have tried that just didn’t turn out quite like what I wanted.

It all starts with the fact that I, personally think, that bread is an important part of every meal.  One of my favorite breads is the muffin.  It is so versatile, it can be either savory or sweet, and it can be appropriate for any meal. So, I have been on a quest to find the perfect muffin recipe.

I just happened to be at a local bookstore the other day and was looking through all of their discount books.  They had quite a few cookbooks, so I knew that I would find something that I wanted to buy.  Then, it was like a beam of light shot out of the sky and illuminated it……


It was as if the heavens were telling me, “It is time to make muffins. Lots of muffins.”  So, make muffins is what I shall do.

With Spring around the corner, and all of the adorable holidays associated with the season, there is a huge selection of cute muffin liners and I found some that were super cute.

muffin liner

Now, to pick the perfect variation of this particular muffin recipe.  Going back to the whole “it’s about to be Spring” thing,  I wanted to do something sweet and I wanted to use something fresh and light.

I found a recipe that was called “Baby Shower Muffins”.  They are lemon flavored and that sounded fabulous to me.

The basic muffin mix, you know, the one that makes 100 different muffins book is:

oil or melted butter, for greasing (I use liners, so this isn’t necessary for me)

2 cups of all purpose flour (you may substitute whole wheat flour, bran, rolled oats, oatmeal, wheat germ, or cornmeal for up to half of this quantity)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda (when using yogurt)

1/8 tsp salt

heaping 1/2 cup granulated sugar or firmly packed brown sugar (omit sugar on savory muffins)

2 large eggs (I always use extra large eggs)

1 cup milk (may substitute buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, cream, coconut milk, fruit juice, or fruit puree)

6 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter, cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

To make these particular muffins, the only added flavor is the zest of one medium lemon.

Believe it or not, there really is a muffin method for mixing muffins.  First, in a medium sized bowl, mix your dry ingredients….

2 cups of all purpose flour

2 cups flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

eighth tsp salt

heaping 1/2 cup sugar

heaping half cup sugar

Give your dry ingredients a quick stir with a whisk and grab a small bowl to mix your wet ingredients….

2 extra large eggs

2 eggs

You need a cup of buttermilk, but if you are like me, you don’t always have buttermilk on hand.  I used my little trick for making my own buttermilk (milk and vinegar), and this could have been where I went wrong with this recipe.

1 cup buttermilk

The recipe calls for 6 Tbsp of sunflower oil or melted butter. I had butter and vegetable oil, and I decided to go with vegetable oil.  This is also where I could have gone wrong

6 Tbsp veg oil

And the zest of one lemon

zest  of 1 lemon

Whisk the wet ingredients until blended. Then you should have this…

wet and dry

The proper way to combine the ingredients when making muffins is to add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients…..

all together

Now, you only want to stir these ingredients until just combined. Lumps are totally ok

batter mixed

The next thing to do is divide the the batter 12 muffin cups

batter in pans

Now, pop them into a 400* oven and bake for 20 minutes. Mine came out like this. To me they looked more like biscuits than muffins.

out of oven

They were very dense and not cakey enough for me.  But, as disappointed as I was, I decided to juice the lemon that I had zested and mix it with some powdered sugar to make a glaze.


The glaze seemed to help a little. They still weren’t right. I will try this recipe again, but first I plan on trying a different flavor….maybe something chocolate or with coffee….stay tuned for more results….

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