Lemon Muffins with a crunchy brown sugar streusel and a lemon glaze drizzled on top is a 6 muffin recipe that’ll add some sunshine to your day. No lemon extract needed!

Lemon muffins with streusel and glaze

Now that the warm weather is here to stay, I’ve been outside almost every evening enjoying a walk and taking photos for my citylifeadventures account.

Not only does it help me reset mentally, I need the exercise since I love to bake.

It also allows my mind to wander, which usually means me coming up with new recipe ideas.

And because it’s spring outside, I always think about lemon recipes. Especially since I bought a big bag of them from the store to make my small batch lemon bars.

Since the lemons were basically taunting me, I made small batch Lemon Muffins with a crunchy brown sugar streusel and a lemon glaze drizzle. No lemon extract required.

They’re a 6 muffin recipe, much like my small batch blueberry muffins and small batch banana muffins.

The best part is no mixer required! Because you’re using melted butter, all you need is a big bowl and a whisk.

I’m not a morning person, but I could definitely start every day with one of these lemon crumb muffins.

Lemon Crumb Muffins with lemons and vanilla bean in a muffin pan

What is a muffin?

Let’s talk about what IS a muffin? Muffins are simply quick breads in smaller form.

In addition to muffins, that means you can bake the batter as a mini lemon bread, much like you would with my mini banana bread.

Their texture is different than my lemon cupcakes.

Despite that popular joke, muffins are not cupcakes without frosting.

Unwrapped lemon muffins

Ingredients For Lemon Muffins

Here’s what you need to make your lemon muffin recipe:

  • All-purpose flour: Adds structure so your muffins don’t fall apart. Don’t overmix the batter or they’ll become tough.
  • Sugar: In addition to sweetness, sugar also helps keeps muffins moist as well as contributes to their golden brown color.
  • Lemon zest and juice: Gives the muffins their lemon flavor without using extract
  • Baking powder and soda: Helps the muffins rise
  • Salt: Seasons the batter
  • Butter: Creaming softened butter instead of melting it leads to a fluffier muffin texture rather than a dense one.
  • Milk: Make sure you’re using whole milk as the fat ensures a moist muffin.
  • Egg: Use 1 standard large egg at room temperature.
  • Vanilla: Flavors the batter

Lemon Muffin Recipe Variations

To make lemon poppyseed muffins, stir 1 tablespoon poppyseeds into the batter with the lemon zest.

To make lemon blueberry muffins, toss 1/2 cup blueberries with 1 teaspoon flour then gently fold into the batter at the end.

Unwrapped lemon crumble muffin with muffin pan

How To Make Lemon Muffins

Here’s how to make lemon crumble muffins:

  1. Make streusel then refrigerate while making the muffin batter.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Mix together milk, butter, lemon juice, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, gently stirring together until moistened. Divide batter among 6 paper liners.
  5. Crumble streusel on top.
  6. Bake at 400F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Drizzle with glaze once cooled.

Homemade lemon muffins are best eaten the day they’re made. However, you can store leftovers in airtight container for up to 4 days.

Unwrapped homemade lemon muffin

How To Freeze Lemon Muffins

Cool unglazed muffins completely then place on a cookie sheet or plate in a single layer. Freeze uncovered until firm, about 30-60 minutes. This will keep the muffins from sticking to each other.

Cover individually in plastic wrap then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Moist lemon muffins with vanilla bean, streusel, and lemon glaze

Lemon Muffins FAQ

Can I substitute vegetable oil for melted butter?

Yes, you can use an equal amount of oil for butter. However, the flavor will be a little more muted.

Can I leave off the streusel?

Yes. If you want plain lemon muffins, bake without the streusel.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes. Double the ingredients to make 12 lemon muffins.

More Small Batch Muffin Recipes

Unwrapped homemade lemon muffin

Lemon Muffins

Yield: 6 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Start your morning with a little sunshine: Lemon Muffins with a crunchy brown sugar streusel and a lemon glaze drizzled on top.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • 5-6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. First, make the streusel: In a medium bowl mix together both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in melted butter and vanilla. Add flour and stir until moist. Spread mixture on a small plate to dry and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, lemon juice, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until moistened and combined (do not overmix).
  6. Transfer batter to the pan. Crumble streusel mixture and add to the top of each muffin. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  7. For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. If it's too thin, add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar or more. If it's too thick, add a touch more milk. Drizzle over cooled muffins.

    Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  • To make lemon poppyseed muffins, add 1 tablespoon poppyseeds with the dry ingredients.
  • To make lemon blueberry muffins, toss 1/2 cup blueberries with 1 teaspoon flour then gently fold into the batter at the end.
  • Enjoyed this recipe? Check out my Small Batch Blueberry Muffins and Small Batch Banana Muffins.

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First published April 17, 2017