A recipe for Lemon Ricotta Muffins! These sweet muffins are packed with ricotta cheese and lemon zest/juice for a light and easy breakfast treat.
I was searching for a recipe to use up some extra ricotta cheese and came across the idea for these Lemon Ricotta Muffins! The lemon juice and zest add a bright, citrus flavor without becoming overpowering and pair so beautifully with the ricotta. During the summer, you can add some fresh blueberries (or even strawberries or other favorite berries).
Fresh lemon zest is blended into sugar, then combined with flour, baking powder, salt, ricotta, olive oil, lemon juice, milk, eggs, and a splash of vanilla extract just until combined. The mixture is transferred to prepared muffin tins and baked until light and golden. For a bit of contrast in texture, either top the muffins with coarse sugar and sliced almonds or a sweet lemony glaze.
A Few Tips
The ricotta in the muffins tends to stick to paper liners. Use non-stick liners or lightly greased pans if desired. The liners will be easier to peel once the muffins have cooled to room temperature.
Before mixing in the remaining ingredients, I rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar until well blended to help infuse that vibrant citrus flavor throughout the muffins.
If the batter is too loose, add a little more flour (be careful not to add too much). If it is too dry to scoop, mix in a little more milk. It should be a thicker batter, not pourable. The amount of milk required will depend on the type of ricotta and moisture level.
Blend together the ingredients just enough to combine everything and get rid of any lumps from the ricotta. Overmixing will take away from that light and fluffy texture.
Fill each prepared muffin tin about 3/4 full. I usually do this by slightly overfilling a standard ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to each of the prepared muffin tins. This is the easiest way I have come across to get a consistent size.
Bake the muffins just until cooked through with a barely golden color. Test by inserting a toothpick in the center. It is done once the toothpick comes out clean.
The coarse sugar and sliced almond topping is optional, but I love the extra bit of texture and sweetness it brings to the muffins. I usually make a few with this topping and top the others with a sweet lemony glaze. Do not top with the glaze until the Lemon Ricotta Muffins have cooled to room temperature. Not wanting that much lemon? You can substitute the lemon juice with milk.
These Lemon Ricotta Muffins are best the day they are made, especially after adding the glaze. Leftover unglazed muffins will keep a couple of days at room temperature in an airtight container. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before storing.
Looking for more Muffin recipes?
Lemon Ricotta Muffins Recipe
Adapted from Alida’s Kitchen
Lemon Ricotta Muffins
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Sliced almonds
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line 12 muffin tins with non-stick liners or grease with oil.
- In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar.
- Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the ricotta, olive oil, lemon juice, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until light. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined with no streaks remaining. Be careful not to overmix.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full. If using almonds, top the muffins generously with coarse sugar, followed by a few sliced almonds. Place in the preheated oven.
- Cook until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, about 14-16 minutes.
- Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.
To Make the Lemon Glaze:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until combined and no lumps remain. If too thick to drizzle, add a little more lemon juice. If too thin, whisk in a little more powdered sugar.
- Drizzle over room temperature muffins if not using the sliced almonds. Allow to set for a few minutes, and serve the day they are prepared.