I am in love with this new recipe for whole wheat lemon raspberry muffins! It’s soooo good I think I want one with frosting on top for my birthday (which is not until May, but a girl can plan ahead)! The raspberries and lemon compliment each other so well, and it’s such a nice diversion from the usual muffin flavors.
Lemon raspberry muffins with whole wheat flour and real food ingredients
These flavor-packed lemon raspberry muffins are made with whole wheat flour and have no refined sugar. I always advocate eating real food, and leaving out the processed ingredients really brings out the natural flavors of the fresh lemon zest and raspberries in this muffin recipe.
Instead of sugar, I used ½ cup of pure maple syrup to balance out the tartness of the raspberry and lemon. You can easily substitute the sugar with other natural sweeteners such as honey or applesauce, but I find the maple flavor compliments the fruit flavors perfectly.
How to use fresh or frozen raspberries in these lemon raspberry muffins
I love baking with frozen raspberries! Since they’re preserved immediately after picking, frozen raspberries can actually be more flavorful than the fresh ones you buy at the store. Frozen berries are also a great way to eat real food on a budget.
The downside to frozen raspberries is that they can become mushy very quickly, which means instead of delicious chunks of raspberry in your muffins you wind up with lemon and raspberry flavored muffins (and dyed batter). To avoid this, leave your raspberries in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Once you add the berries, don’t let them warm up while you fold them into the batter or fill your muffin pan.
If you prefer using fresh raspberries you don’t need to worry about thawing, but you should still make sure to fold gently since raspberries, especially ripe ones, mash easily.
How to zest a lemon
The fresh lemon zest is what adds the lemon flavor in these lemon raspberry muffins! If you’ve never zested a lemon before, you’re essentially just grating the peel with a fine grater. I recommend using a microplane (over a zester) for the best texture.
To zest, first clean and dry your lemon. Then place the end of your micropllane on the cutting board, holding it with one hand on an angle. With the other hand, run the lemon back and forth on the microplane; the grated lemon will fall on the cutting board below.
- Don’t grate the white part of the lemon peel. This part is bitter on all citrus fruit.
- You only need a small amount of lemon zest; adding too much can overpower the raspberry flavor in these muffins.
- Be gentle as you zest and don’t press down too firmly.
- The microplane is VERY sharp so be careful not to slip and cut your hand or fingers!
If you don’t have a lemon zester or microplane you can also use a box grater or cheese grater. Choose the smallest size option and then run the lemon back and forth until you have 1 teaspoon of zest.
Can I use lemon juice instead of lemon zest?
Lemon zest and lemon juice have slightly different flavors and levels of acidity, but if lemon zest isn’t an option, 100% freshly squeezed lemon juice will work in a pinch.
To substitute the lemon zest with lemon juice in these lemon raspberry muffins, first skip the step where you add zest. Then add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with the other wet ingredients.
Lemon juice can sometimes taste more tart than zest, but you probably won’t notice a huge difference in this muffin recipe because there are so many other flavors to balance it out.
How to store whole wheat lemon raspberry muffins
Cooled leftover muffins (if you even have any leftovers!) can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Muffins can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the microwave for a quick, healthy snack or grab and go breakfast.
I hope your kids gobble up these lemon raspberry muffins like mine did. I’d love to hear what they think in the comments below. :)
Other muffin recipes you might like
- Whole Wheat Banana (Nut) Muffins
- Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins
- Apple Walnut Muffins
- Blueberry, Fruit, Nut (or anything you want) Whole Wheat Muffins
374 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Lemon Raspberry Muffins”
Love the texture and flavor. I used blueberries since that’s what I. had on hand. Will definitely make these again.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made a double batch today with blueberries instead of the raspberries. Also, I did half honey and half maple syrup for the sweetener. My whole family loved them!
My daughter, husband, and I loved these! The butter mixture didn’t initially blend super well but it all came together nicely when we added the flour mixture.
Hi there!! What can I substitute for the butter? Maybe, Yogurt?
You could use coconut oil.
My new favorite breakfast! One of these muffins with some fruit will keep me full and satisfied for quite awhile. (Unlike muffins made with fake ingredients which just leave you craving something else to eat.)
They freeze wonderfully and are the perfect thing to pop in the microwave for 40 seconds and enjoy with a cup of coffee!
Did you warm up the liquid ingredients? My butter solidified once I added them.
It helps to have your other wet ingredients at room temperature. I typically let the eggs and milk sit for a bit.
These are a winner :)
I also made these in the waffle ironn Amazing! Even my little sugar addict devoured them! Thank you!
Another great recipe of yours! Made these in the waffler iron, per your 4 Fun Things to Try in the Waffle Iron! They were great and made for a delicious tea party!
I made Thea for breakfast this morning and they pretty much disappeared. I used whole wheat pastry flour and buttermilk. They were AWESOME!!! Thanks for a great recipe
Made these today with halved fresh cranberries. The kids gobbled them up!
My 10 year old made these but with frozen blueberries that we froze from when we went blueberry picking. I was so surprised how yummy these are! We are new to whole wheat flour and I was little nervous about the taste but we were not disappointed…made them last night and only 2 left! Thank you for the recipe, I originally saw it in the second book And my 10 year old needed to bake asap ☺️
I made this with whole wheat pastry flour and blueberries. It is great!
I just need to comment on how fabulous this recipe is. I’ve now made them over a dozen times as is and with variations. I’ve replaced the raspberries with blueberries, I’ve also used strawberries along with cinnamon instead of the lemon. Just such a versatile recipe! Thank you!
I made these for my family this morning. We loved them! So delicious. I actually substituted raspberry for blueberries. Will definitely make these again.
That is what I plan to try since I have about 20 gallons in my freezer.
These are unbelievable! So delicious and the perfect texture. I added a whole bag (10oz) of frozen raspberries because I love them, and it same out very well-bursting with raspberry lemon flavor. Do you think it would be possible to replace the butter with equal volume coconut oil?
Yes. This should help: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/02/07/how-to-cook-with-coconut-oil/.
What can I sub for the milk? I’m working at removing dairy for a while and am not a fan of soy or almond milk. Could coconut water work?
I use real coconut milk.
I LOVE lemon & raspberry, so I had to try these. I did sub unsweetened applesauce & full fat plain yogurt for the butter, since I needed the butter in another recipe. They were delicious!
What amounts did you use of applesauce and yogurt?
I LOVE this recipe! Fun modification, I replaced the butter and lemon zest with Zesty Lemon Grapeseed Oil from Wildtree. Friends were blow away how much lemon flavor came just from oil. And the grape seed oil is healthier than butter. Plus I didn’t have to get my hand mixer out. Nice!
Great idea. Did you use the same amount of oil or reduce the amount? What was your ratio? Thanks for sharing. I’m eager to try a dairy free version!
I substituted the butter with half the amount in oil. So instead of 1/2 cup of butter, I used 1/4 of Lemon Grapeseed Oil.
I would prefer to make a loaf with this recipe, is there anything I would need to change?
Hi. This King Arthur thread might help: http://community.kingarthurflour.com/content/converting-muffin-recipe-bread-recipe.
These are amazing! A crowd pleaser for even the picky toddler. Kids are so excited to have these in their lunch!
Made these with my 3YO son and they were a hit! Does anyone know where I can find the nutrition facts on these? Just wondering how many grams of sugar (approx) are in each muffin. Thanks!
My maple syrup has 53 grams of sugar per quarter cup, and the recipe calls for a half cup of syrup, so that makes 106 grams per batch. A cup of raspberries adds 9 more grams of sugar, bringing the total to 115 grams of sugar per batch. Divide that by 12 muffins, and you get about 9.6 grams of sugar per muffin. I would check your ingredients (maybe the sugar content is different in your maple syrup), but it’s probably pretty close.
Ooh – plus another 6 grams of sugar per half cup of milk, so 121 grams per batch equals closer to 10 grams per muffin if I’m not forgetting anything else!
My 2y/o, 1y/o, husband, and I LOVED these for breakfast this morning! I used frozen blueberries just b/c that’s what I had in the freezer :-) They were sweet and moist!
Could I use sprouted whole wheat flour instead? Also, do these freeze well?
Hello. Yes, sprouted should work, too. These do freeze well.
So good!! I used blueberries instead of raspberries and honey instead of maple syrup. They were a big hit. Thanks!
Any substitute for the pure maple syrup? We live overseas and don’t have it here. Also, our equivalent of raspberries are super tart and require something to sweeten then. I wondered about honey in place of the syrup, but not sure how much to use.
Cindy, I would use honey in a 1:1 sub. You could use blueberries or chopped up strawberries instead of the raspberries.
Is there anything you can substitute for the maple syrup? Maybe honey?
Hi. Sure, honey should work. It may change the batter consistency somewhat.
Is there any reason frozen berries would be better than fresh?
You will LOVE your microplane…. quite possibly the best kitchen invention out there!
I used a firm (not overly ripe) banana in place of the stick of butter and it turned out fine.
Just a tip for those who are thinking of substituting coconut oil for the butter: don’t. When I added the frozen raspberries, the whole batter froze up! I still managed to get them into the muffin tins and baked, but it was a pain to work with.
Made these with my 3 year old yesterday and they are amazing. We both ate two each right after they came out of the oven. Thanks for the wonderful and simple recipe.
I love these muffins! I’m wondering how you defrost them (and any muffins) without them becoming soggy. Any tips?
Hi. You can defrost on the counter or in the fridge. I’ve not had problems with excess moisture. If you do, you can throw then in the oven for a bit to reheat.
My kids and I made these today. We used whole grain spelt flour, which I usually like better than wheat flour for baked goods. We also used fresh raspberries and made them into mini-muffins, which took about 10 minutes. I should have used liners but we were out of them, so they did stick a little because of the gooey raspberries. But, they still tasted SO good, and all the kids loved them! Yum!
Wow– soooo, so good! These are fabulous. Made them exactly as the recipe calls. Perfect. Wondering if theres a way to bump up the protein or fiber?
Hi Morgan. You could always add nuts or seeds.
Made these to go with my Father’s Day brunch yesterday and they were a huge hit! Definitely your best muffin recipe!
These sound delicious. Any recommendations for how to replace maple syrup with coconut sugar? Our maple syrup is precious…(c:
Hi Sara. This might help you convert: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/how-to-substitute-sugar/ and http://www.myrealfoodlife.com/part-3-how-to-substitute-sugar/
I love these muffins! I have made them a few times and can hardly resist eating several. My only concern is the Amt of butter. Seems like a lot of greasiness on my muffin papers at the bottom when I put them
On a rack to cool. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there replacement for part of the butter?
Hi Erin. Some readers have replaced some of the butter with applesauce.
These are fantastic!! I used fresh raspberries, folded in, and I added one or two on top just before baking. And I used 1/4 cup syrup and 1/4 cup honey. They are perfect! Thank you!!
Can Bran or wheat germ be added to this recipe?
Hi. That’s not something we’ve tried. You might need to add a little more wet ingredients if add dry ingredients.
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup? Thanks!
You can. :)