Today's recipe takes the standard lemon muffin up a notch with this made from scratch Ricotta Lemon Muffins recipe. Adding some Tuscany flavors with ricotta cheese and fruity olive oil makes these muffins rich and delicious.
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Let's get all lemony today and bake some gloriously rich muffins that are made with two unusual ingredients for muffins. What makes these pastries so good is the addition of creamy whole milk ricotta cheese and olive oil that takes an ordinary muffin and adds a deep rich flavor and a fluffy tenderness that is a bit like a cake.
Everyone needs a good lemon muffin recipe and you will love the bright lemon flavor and the super simple recipe. And if you bake with lemons a lot, make sure to read this guide on The Juice of One Lemon - How Much Is That, so you will know the correct measurements.
Why add ricotta cheese in baking
- We need to get past the fact that ricotta is only for pasta dishes because it is really delicious in baked goods like cakes, bread, and cookies.
- The creaminess of the ricotta adds moisture to baked goods and this cheese has more of a milky texture to it, which is perfect for a lighter crumb.
- Ricotta has a very mild, sweet taste, so it does not impart a strong flavor to what you are baking.
- Use Ricotta instead of heavy cream cheese or mascarpone cheese for a lighter texture.
- Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover ricotta? Bake a batch of these delicious muffins.
Let's bake muffins
This recipe is so simple using the basic muffin mix technique which means adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mixing them together.
One thing you will find is these muffins stay a fairly light brown color.
Step 1. Prepare the muffin tins with paper cup liners. This is optional, but you can add a small layer of rice to the bottom of the muffin tin before adding the paper liners to reduce the browning of the baked muffin. See the tips below.
Step 2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Step 3. In another bowl add the ricotta cheese, olive oil, water, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and the beaten egg and mix completely
Step 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is incorporated and moistened. Be easy on mixing so the batter doesn't get overworked and in return, your muffins will reward you with the perfect texture. You will have a nice thick batter.
Step 5. Scoop the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups and fill ⅔ full and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Step 6. Make the lemon glaze by mixing the powdered sugar with lemon juice and lemon zest and drizzle over the cooled muffins.
Drizzle on plenty of lemon glaze and a sprinkle of lemon zest on top of each muffin to add even more of that fresh lemon flavor everyone loves. Don't you just want to take a bite?
- Whole milk ricotta works best for baked goods because of the added fat content.
- When using ricotta cheese, mix it into the butter to make sure it is whipped well before adding it to dry ingredients.
- To get that beautiful domed top on the muffins, start baking them at a high temperature for 5 minutes then reduce the temperature to finish baking.
- Add a small layer of white rice to the bottom of each muffin cup to keep the bottom of the muffins from turning brown and the rice absorbs the oils from the batter. Try it!
More baking inspiration
- Try this Lemon Baked Ricotta Cheese Dip that is ultimately creamy and baked with lemon and herbs. Perfect with a good loaf of bread.
- These tender Italian Ricotta Cookies are a perfect lemony cookie to make all year long.
- Instead of ricotta cheese, these two recipes use cottage cheese for the base. Cottage Cheese Crescent Rolls and Cinnamon Crescent Rolls.
- For scone lovers, bake these Lemon Scones that are filled with fresh blueberries.
- Let's add some more favorite muffins to this list. Maple Walnut Muffins are always a delicious fall flavor and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins are a favorite all year long.
For this recipe, ricotta cheese works the best because of the difference in moisture content of the cheeses.
This recipe requires a few items for baking and I have found a good set of glass bowls are necessary for mixing batters, and this set with ten different size bowls will cover your mixing needs.
Try to invest in good heavy standard muffin pans that heat evenly and do not warp. These muffin pans have never failed me.
Don't forget the paper liners for your muffin tins.
One Hot Oven recipes
Ricotta Lemon Muffins with Olive Oil
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- lemon zest zest of one lemon
Mixing the muffins
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Optionally, place a teaspoon of white rice in the bottom of the muffin cups then add the paper liners which helps to absorb the grease and keeps the bottom of the muffin from getting too brown.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
- In another bowl mix the water, olive oil, ricotta, lemon rind, lemon juice, and the beaten egg until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
- Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin pans about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F then lower the temperature to 375°F for 10-12 until the muffins are brown. These muffins do not get deep brown.
- Let cool in the pans for about five minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
- Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl and use a wire whisk to break up any clumps.
- Zest one lemon and then juice the lemon. Add 1 tablespoon of the juice to the powdered sugar along with most of the lemon zest. Reserve some of the zest to sprinkle on top of the glazed muffins. If the glaze is too thick add a small amount of lemon juice or water until it is the desired consistency.
- Mix the glaze until it is smooth then drizzle on top of the cooled muffins and sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest.
Storing the muffins
- Keep the cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to three days.
First Published: June 11, 2021… Last Updated: June 30, 2022, with updated content for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.