Easter has arrived! Which means lots of chocolate, sweet baking, fresh spring flavours and all-day brunch. The girls have been brainstorming all week about what to bake on their Easter days off school. As for me, I’m already on it. Lemon and poppy seed muffins it is. Because nothing breathes spring and cheer like sweet and zesty cakes with crisp poppy seeds. Because they fill the house with the best fragrance ever. Because they’re so incredibly easy to whip up and will be ready within half an hour. And because they’re wholegrain, which means you can call them healthy while having your second one… right?
The past few days I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients to get vegan lemon and poppy seed muffins with the best structure and zestiest flavour. After some serious test tasting by the whole family, the muffins in the picture were proclaimed winner. They’re made with a yogurt-based batter, with wholewheat flour, almond flour and lemon juice. The yogurt makes the cakes light, creamy and moist. The almond flour gives them a nice crumb. And the lemon juice makes them rise beautifully and, of course, taste fresh and citrussy. They’re wonderful for Easter, but also for Mother’s day, Father’s day, summer fetes, casual brunch just for fun, or simply a treat all to yourself.
Because I like my muffins plain, I left them unglazed. If you like to have an extra layer of lemony sweetness on top, you can drizzle them with the lemon glaze listed below once they’ve cooled down. Instead, you can also up the lemon flavour of the cakes themselves, by adding extra lemon zest to the batter.
Vegan lemon and poppy seed muffins – makes 6 large or 10 medium-sized muffins
- 120 g yogurt (I used soy yogurt, but any plantbased yogurt will work, or Greek yogurt for non-vegan muffins)
- 75 ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
- grated zest of 1 lemon, or more, for a stronger lemon flavour
- 80 ml lemon juice
- 100 g natural cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 200 g wholewheat flour
- 100 g almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 75 g ground cane sugar or powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the oil, lemon juice, zest, sugar and vanilla extract.
In a second bowl, mix the wholewheat flour, the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. Fold the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture until just combined.
Divide the batter over 10 medium-sized or 6 large lined muffin tins. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch when you lightly press the center.
Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely.
If you want to glaze them, mix the sugar with the lemon juice until you reach a pourable consistency. Once the muffins have cooled down, drizzle over the glaze.
Will keep in an airtight container for several days. Freeze for long-term storage.