Start your morning with a little sunshine: Lemon Vanilla Crumb Muffins with a crunchy brown sugar streusel and a lemon glaze drizzled on top.
Now that the warm weather is here to stay, I’ve been outside almost every evening enjoying a walk. My latest obsession is taking photos for my citylifeadventures account. Normally I’m not this bad because I walk the same trails, but recently I discovered a new-to-me part where I can walk across the bridge and into downtown Pittsburgh without having to drive or pay for parking. In fact the first time I walked around, I got a milkshake. Of course I can’t be doing that every single time, but it was well deserved that day.
When I think of spring, I think of lemons. Especially since I bought a big bag of them from the store. It’s not every day I make muffins, but I really wanted to use this cool muffin pan I bought. Since the lemons were basically taunting me, I made Lemon Vanilla Crumb Muffins – moist lemon muffins with vanilla bean, a crunchy brown sugar streusel, and a lemon glaze drizzled on top. I’m not a morning person, but I could definitely start every day with one of these.
Let’s talk about what IS a muffin? Muffins are simply quick breads in smaller form. Going through culinary school inspired me to buy the book Ratio where the author provides ratios for every recipe imaginable. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten it sooner considering what I do for a living. It’s a pretty boring book to simply sit on the couch and read through (I tried), so I’m tackling it based on what I’m making for the week. For today’s recipe, I flipped to the Quick Cakes chapter that also includes the ratio for muffin batter.
What I noticed is a proper muffin recipe should read like a quick bread where you add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir by hand. No mixer required. However, most muffin recipes on the internet read like a cake batter where you cream the butter and sugar then add the egg and dry ingredients. No wonder there’s the huge cupcake vs. muffin debate. Sometimes the muffins really are cupcakes without frosting.
Items You May Need (affiliate links):
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Seeds from half a vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Seeds from half a vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon whole milk
- First, make the streusel: In a medium bowl mix together both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk in melted butter. Add flour and stir until moist. Spread mixture on a tray to dry until ready to use.
- For the muffins: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with 5 paper liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean seeds.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, egg, and melted butter.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until moistened and combined (do not overmix).
- Transfer batter to the pan. Crumble streusel mixture and add to the top of each muffin. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. If it's too thick, add a touch more milk. If it's too thin, add a little more sugar. Drizzle over cooled muffins.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.