Lemon Tea Muffins (made with Meyer lemons)


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I admit I screwed these up. Not the flavor, not the texture, and I didn’t knock anything upside down on its way out of the oven, but somehow I missed that these were supposed to be MINI muffins so I was bewildered when I was pouring the batter into muffin cups and only got eight muffins full before I ran out.

I could have just looked at the picture on the recipe that was displaying on my iPad the whole time I was baking, but that would have been too sensible.

Doesn’t matter, though, as the flavor and texture were perfect and now I know for next time.

I started by zesting a lemon. I decided to use the wonderful, seasonal Meyer lemons for this one.

grated zest

The recipe called for a teaspoon of zest, but I got more than that out of one lemon and decided to use it all. I juiced that lemon plus one more, and set the juice aside.

Then I dug into the recipe. First, I whisked two egg yolks together until they were light and lemon colored. I hoped. I wasn’t sure at the time.

beaten yolks

I pulled out the stand mixer, and creamed the butter and sugar together. I swapped out half the butter for some yogurt, which sometimes makes this part of the process a little dodgy, but it all looked just fine once I got the beaters whirring.

butter, sugar, yogurt

I took the bowl away from the stand mixer, and folded in the whisked yolks.

pouring yolks


In a separate bowl, I whisked together the dry ingredients: flour (using all purpose, to keep them light), baking soda, and salt.I added that to the creamed mixture in batches, alternating with the lemon juice & zest, mixing after each addition.

adding flour and lemon to mixture

all mixed together

And then I realized I needed my stand mixer for the next step, so I scraped every last drop I could out of that bowl and transferred the batter to another one. I think I did a pretty good job.

cleaned-out bowl

new bowl

The next challenge was cleaning out the first bowl to absolute perfection, since I had to beat some egg whites to stiff peaks. It’s a long process, it has to be watched carefully, and there can’t be anything else in the bowl to muck things up.

Did I mention it takes a long time? It does.

starting egg whites

starting egg whites

beating egg whites

starting egg whites

beating egg whites

starting egg whites


Yeah, that last shot’s kind of blurry. (Got a new camera yesterday and you won’t be seeing shots like that much in the future.) But it shows a STIFF PEAK.

I folded that in to the batter.

added egg whites


I mixed some cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar together and put that on standby as i started spooning the batter into the muffin cups. And yes, that’s when I realized — quickly — that getting 12 full-sized muffins was not in my immediate future. I had no idea why. I was worried I’d done something wrong. I re-checked my ingredients: everything was in there. I forged onwards.

only eight muffins

With the cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar sprinkled on top, they looked pretty good. The batter was delicious.

I baked for about 15 minutes, maybe a few more, then let them sit in the pan a while, somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Then I got impatient and took them out. They looked and smelled fantastic.

muffin in pan

muffins on rack

And THEN I realized I was supposed to make mini muffins. D’oh. It’s right there in the photo, it says it makes 24 muffins, I’m crazy. I don’t know how I missed that. Turns out it didn’t matter as the muffins, rare as they were, turned out perfectly. Soft and fluffy texture, tons of lemony intensity, definitely too much tang for the kids but great for Dave, for me, and for some other lucky muffin recipients I work with. Will definitely make these again and do the minis so we all can justify eating more of them. (The big ones are 5 WW P+ each.) Excellent.


My version of Meyer Lemon Tea Muffins (adapted from Taste of Home)


2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/8 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (unbleached)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon zest

for the topping:

1 tablespoon cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of grated nutmeg


Heat the oven to 375 degrees — you will reduce the temperature before baking — and grease or line your MINI muffin tins.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a whisk until light and lemon colored.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and yogurt together. (I used the stand mixer.) Fold in the beaten yolks.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the creamed mixture incrementally, alternating with the lemon juice and zest, beating just until combined as you go.

Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form, then fold into the batter.

Spoon the batter into your mini muffin pan — yes, a MINI muffin pan — and sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture on top.(It’s okay if you don’t use all of it, it’s really about your own preference and taste.)  Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

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