Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

A Delicious Spring Treat

In the aftermath of Ohio's long, harsh winter, something light, lemony and delicious is in order for our favorite foodies! The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market is always looking for and developing new recipes that feature seasonal ingredients available in the store. There are times however, when we have some quality ingredients left over from a class and we are not above searching the internet for a recipe that uses that particular ingredient. Today we wanted to use up a cup of whole milk ricotta and found a recipe we just had to try - Lemon Ricotta Muffins. Not really a biscuit, not necessarily a cupcake, but very definitely a treat we'll make again!

These lemony cupcakes are surprisingly moist. The lemon and almond flavors are wonderfully balanced and the crunch of slivered almonds and coarse sugar complete the experience! We put one in a deli container to see how they tasted the next day. They were still very good, but a little bit dryer. The consensus among staff is that they are best the day they are made.

Add the butter, lemon zest and sugar in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. A hand mixer worked well for the batter. You could use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you wanted to.

Beat in the whole milk ricotta.

Add the egg, lemon juice and almond extract.

The dough is thick and fluffy, not runny like a cupcake batter. 

Add the dry ingredients.

Combine until just blended

You'll smell the aroma of lemon and almond!

Fill the 12 regular muffin tins with liners. We found a great product by Reynolds - a heavier paper cupcake liner with a foil inner layer. This is a sturdy liner and makes for a non-stick surface. The batter is stiff enough to use a large cookie scoop to fill each liner.

Top with slivered almonds and sprinkle with coarse white decorator's sugar.

Bake the muffins about 20 minutes. The tops will be just golden on top. Insert a toothpick to test for doneness - it will come out clean. Allow to cool on in the pan 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. Resisting the temptation to eat a warm one will be hard to do!
Lemon Ricotta Muffins
adapted slightly from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe on Food Network
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds
  • coarse white decorator's sugar for the tops
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Love these muffins!

    1. Jimmy, thanks for trying the recipe. We think this muffin could be called a cupcake, too. How about some cream cheese icing on top! Jenny R.