When you’re in the mood for Spring, and it’s only 30 degrees out, what do you do? You bake something Spring-inspired! I love the flavor of lemon and the light citrus taste, especially when I’m tired of heavier flavors like chocolate. Sometimes, you want something with more flavor than vanilla, too. Lemon is a nice spring/summertime flavor, and even though it’s still cold out, I like to believe Spring is around the corner. I am also tired of eating heavier wintertime foods, so baking something on the lighter, healthier side was really appealing. So, I settled on making Light Lemony Gluten-Free Muffins.
For my Spring-inspired baking project, I gathered all of my dry ingredients – gluten-free flour, white sugar, baking soda, and salt – and stirred them together in a large bowl. I used my favorite large bowl, because the wet ingredients will eventually be poured into it, as well.
For my wet ingredients, I combined in a second bowl, sour cream, milk, an egg, applesauce, and a generous splash of vanilla. If you don’t have sour cream, you can easily substitute plain greek yogurt. You’ll note that there is NO OIL in this recipe. That is what the applesauce is for (as an oil substitute), but seriously, this is a pretty healthy recipe.
Over a third, small bowl, I zested two lemons. I am usually super careful when I zest, because I tend to accidentally zest my hand at some point, which really hurts. It especially hurts if you zest your hand and get lemon juice on it, as well! After carefully zesting my lemons, I squeezed the juice of one lemon into the zest, as well. Make sure you remove any seeds that fall in!
I poured the zest and juice into my wet ingredients and mixed them together. Then, I added the wet ingredients into my dry ingredients and stirred well. The batter was moist but not overly wet, and a little fluffy.
Next, I lined my muffin tins with muffin liners, and scooped batter into each muffin cup, until they were 2/3 full. As you can see, all the batter nicely filled my very well-used muffin tin until I had 12 muffins.
My last step was to add more lemon juice, because I wanted these muffins extra lemony! I squeezed the juice from half of the remaining lemon back into my same bowl that used to have the juice and zest, and used a silicone brush to brush juice on top of each muffin. I had a tiny amount of lemon left that I could still zest, so I sprinkled a few pieces of zest on top of the muffins, too. A sprinkle of sugar on top would also be a delicious addition.
I baked the muffins at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. I have a pretty hot oven, so always check the middles of the muffins with a toothpick to make sure there is no wet batter sticking to the toothpick still. The muffins came out delicious, with a strong lemon flavor, which was just what I was hoping for. Gluten-free and healthy!
Light Lemony Gluten-Free Muffins
• 2 cups of gluten-free flour
• ½ cup of white sugar
• ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• ¾ cup of light sour cream
• ¼ cup of milk
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup of applesauce
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla
• Zest of 2 lemons
• Juice of 1 ½ lemons
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. In a second bowl, combine sour cream, milk, egg, applesauce, and vanilla. In a third small bowl, zest two lemons over the bowl using a zester. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into the zest (remove any seeds that fall in). Combine the wet ingredients and juice/zest together, and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with 12 muffin liners, and add the batter to each cup until 2/3 full per cup. This should make exactly 12 muffins. Into a small bowl, squeeze the juice of half of a lemon, and using a brush, brush the juice on top of each muffin. Add a sprinkle of sugar or more zest on top, if desired. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins on baking rack.