Seriously. They are *SO* quick.
I love a muffin. I’ve never been a coffee drinker so back in the day when my mates and I thought we were very cool, but only we got to sit on the sofas in the newly opened Starbucks (very important, sitting on the chairs was definitively not cool), my order was a Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino with a Lemon & Poppy seed Muffin. And I wonder why I’ve had to have a root canal, eh? They have sadly changed the recipe and it now features a giant blob of lemon sauce in the middle and it’s ruined the whole thing, but it’s all good because I have a recipe here that has filled the Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffin shaped hole in my heart and it’s one that you can whip up in just 30 minutes.
There is minimal equipment you need and a high chance that you have the majority of the ingredients already (the poppy seeds aren’t 100% necessary here but I think they add a nice texture and the subtlest of tastes – plus once you have a bag they’ll last you a few rounds of this recipe and are nice to add into any citrus loaves you’re baking). I do have to warn you though that these muffins are part of my best magic trick. Watch as I make an entire batch disappear in 24 hours…
LIGHT & FLUFFY LEMON & POPPYSEED MUFFINS (Makes 12 muffins): These muffins are exactly what I want and I’m extremely grateful for the A Kitchen Addiction recipe that I’ve tweaked slightly below (Jessica’s recipe has a clear sugar glaze, but I love one like you’d see on the top of a lemon drizzle cake). They have some serious height to them and are light and fluffy but slightly dense like that classic muffin texture. Plus they are easy. So darn easy and quick to make. I’ve added the metric measurements along with the cup measurements in brackets below to save you doing the conversions (and just an FYI that bicarbonate of soda = baking soda, and icing sugar = powdered sugar).
You will need: 385g (3 Cups) plain flour, 200g (1 Cup) caster sugar, 2 tbsp poppy seeds, 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ½ tsp salt, 365g (1 ½ Cups) greek yoghurt (or any type of thick set plain yoghurt you have), the grated zest of 1 lemon, 2 eggs, 110g (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted and cooled), 250g (2½ Cup) icing sugar & 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approximately the juice from one lemon)
Preheat your oven to 190℃/375℉/Gas Mark 5 and grease a 12 cup muffin tin (you can use muffin cases here if you want to but if you grease it well enough it’s not necessary). In a bowl mix together your dry muffin ingredients; the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the yoghurt, lemon zest and eggs (you can do it in a stand mixer if you have one, but it whisks up easily enough by hand). Gently fold in the flour mixture to your yoghurt mixture until just combined (never over-mix when you add flour to a mixture as it begins to develop gluten and can start to make the texture tough). Finally fold in the melted butter (again until it’s just combined).
Divide the batter between the muffin cups. The texture should be somewhere between a traditional sponge mixture that’s pretty runny and a firmer cookie-type texture. You should be able to comfortably scoop it – I find my *cookie scoop to be the easiest way to divide the mixture evenly into the muffin tin. I find that two heaped scoops divides well between the 12 spots. Put the filled tray in the oven and bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of each muffin comes out clean and without mixture sticking to it (this was about 23 minutes for me, but it can be up to 27).
Once evenly baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile make your topping by mixing the lemon juice and icing sugar together – you might wish to add more juice or icing depending on how thick you’d like your mixture (I like it quite thick so I can spread it on top of the muffins without it dripping over the sides, but you do you boo). Start to spread the topping over the muffins once they are cooled and you’re done. These store-well in an airtight container for 3-4 days, but let’s face it they’ll all be gone in at least two. ENJOY!
Photos by Mark Newton