Oh man, are these good! The light zing of lemon always reminds me of spring, and considering the fact that it IS March (even though we still are getting snow here in Chicago), I figured I would bake up a batch of these for breakfast today.
I use the term breakfast loosely, because in my humble opinion, muffins are pretty much cake in disguise. In fact, these muffins are cupcakes weakly disguised as a breakfast food while wearing those black plastic glasses, nose, and mustache. But, who doesn’t love cake in the morning?
These are very easy to make, too. Slightly dangerous, I know, but I only make them every once in a while. The buttermilk makes them light and fluffy and the sticky sweet glaze on top just makes them kind of special.
They would make a wonderful brunch item or you could make them in mini-muffin tins to reduce the temptation to eat too many of them (although I always seem to eat more of them when they are smaller).
Ingredients for about 18 full-sized muffins:
2 sticks of softened butter (1/2 Cup)
1 Cup of white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp of lemon extract
1 Tbs poppy seeds
1 Cup of buttermilk (or you can substitute 1 Cup of whole milk with 1 tsp of white vinegar — mix these and let it sit to curdle for a few minutes)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Cups all-purpose flour
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 Cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 375 and line your muffin tins with paper liners (this recipe makes about 18 full sized muffins). I like to spray my paper liners with coconut oil baking spray just to make sure they don’t stick.
In a mixer, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add your two eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 tsp lemon extract and mix until incorporated. Add your flour and mix until just incorporated, then mix in your buttermilk, salt, and baking soda.
After your batter is nice and smooth, add your lemon zest and poppy seeds and just stir until incorporated.
Fill muffin cups about two-thirds of the way full and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
While your muffins are baking, mix together with a fork the juice of your zested lemon, a pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 1 Cup of powdered sugar until smooth. This should be a fairly thin glaze.
After your muffins are done baking, spoon about 1 tsp of the glaze directly on top of each muffin and allow them to cool for at least ten minutes.
These are bright, sweet and sticky! They would be absolutely delicious if you wanted to add some dried blueberries to the batter or a little almond extract and some slivered almonds, too.
Anyway you make them, cake for breakfast is pretty darn good — here’s to spring!