Today I bring you another spring-inspired dessert, as I’ve been in the mood for lemons lately! I made a tray of deliciously fragrant vegan lemon poppy seed muffins topped with a simple lemon icing.
They are simple to make and delicious and I mean that even though in my personal battle of desserts, chocolate desserts will always win over lemon desserts. Actually, why choose? There is room for all types of desserts in your life and sometimes a simple lemon muffin is exactly what you are after.
This recipe could not be simpler to make. All you need is a single bowl, a sieve and a wooden spoon and a few staple ingredients. Down below is an image of all the ingredients at a glance and here is more details about what I used, why and any possible swaps..
MORE ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
OIL – I’ve made these successfully with a variety of vegan fats, both liquid and solid. I tested light olive oil, odourless coconut oil and vegan butter (I tested Naturli). They all worked really well. If you are using coconut oil, which becomes solid again when it gets mixed in with fridge cold liquids, be sure to use room temperature plant milk as cold one will cause it to solidify again during mixing.
SUGAR – I used caster (superfine) sugar, but coconut sugar will work just as well if you prefer to use that.
SOY MILK – I like using soy milk in baking as it has higher protein content than other milks and I find that it generally works best but any plant milk will work the same so use whatever you have in your pantry.
LEMONS – not much to say about them other than I recommend getting unwaxed lemons for the zest. Also, this one is obvious but I certainly got caught out by it a few times when distracted – zest first and juice second 🙂
FLOUR – I used white all purpose flour here, but I’ve also tested with a gluten-free flour mix this one and I found that gluten-free version needed a couple less minutes in the oven and that it benefited from the addition of xanthan gum (¾ tsp).
GROUND ALMONDS – please scroll down to the photo of all the ingredients if you are unsure of what I mean as I think there is some confusion about this ingredient due to the fact that it is known under a few different names. Ground almonds are finely ground blanched almonds used in baking and pastry making such as macarons and cakes. If you are allergic, you can use 62 g / ½ cup of flour instead.
Here are all the key ingredients that you’ll need to make these simple, 1 bowl vegan lemon poppy seed muffins.
Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. If using solid fat, melt it and cool it down first.
Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in flour (I did that off camera) and incorporate it by making small circles in the centre of the bowl gradually incorporating more of it into the wet ingredients – I find that this method prevents lumps from forming. Next, mix it ground almonds and poppy seeds.
By the time you are done, your batter should be lump free, with no dry pockets, glossy and on the runny side. Divide the batter between muffins and bake straight away, otherwise the muffins may not rise as much due to baking agents losing their potency.
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup neutral oil, odourless coconut oil or vegan butter, like Naturli
- 175 g / ¾ cup + 2 tbsp caster sugar or coconut sugar
- 120 ml / ½ cup soy milk (or other plant milk)
- 80 ml / 1/3 cup lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- ½ tsp lemon extract (optional)
- 180 g / 1½ cups all purpose white flour or GF cake flour mix*, sifted
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine salt
- a smidge of turmeric, for colour (optional)
- 100 g / 1 cup almond meal or ground almonds*
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 50 g / scant ½ cup icing sugar
- approx. 3 tsp lemon juice
- candied lemon peel (optional)
- Heat up the oven to 175° C / 350° F (regular, not fan setting). Line standard 12 muffin tin with 10* cupcake liners.
- If using coconut oil or vegan butter, melt it gently over a low heat, allow it to cool down. If using coconut oil, make sure your plant milk is at room temperature otherwise it will cause coconut oil to solidify into shards.
- Combine oil/vegan butter, sugar, plant milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract (if using) and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until well combined.
- Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in flour, raising agents, salt and turmeric (if using).
- Mix gently but thoroughly, making small circles in the centre of the bowl gradually incorporating more dry ingredients into the wet ones – I find that this method prevents lumps from forming.
- Next, mix in ground almonds and poppy seeds, until everything has been well incorporated. Again, be gentle and slow.
- Divide the batter between 10 muffins and bake immediately (otherwise the muffins may not rise as much).
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden. Gluten-free version only needed 18 minutes, regular ones need 19-20.
- Once cool, apply the icing with a dessert spoon and top with candied lemon peel (if using).
- Whisk the icing sugar and lemon juice in a medium size bowl until fully combined. Add the lemon juice gradually to avoid lumps in your icing. This icing is quite thick, if you want it more drippy add A TOUCH more lemon juice.
*GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: Unless your flour mix already contains it, I found that adding ¾ tsp of xanthan gum helps form a nicer crumb.
*GROUND ALMONDS: finely ground blanched almonds used in baking. They contribute moistness and give these muffins a lovely crumb so I recommend using them, but if you are allergic, you can use 62 g / ½ cup of flour instead – it will change the texture of these but they will still be nice.