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 microplane 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.
For more baking resources, check out this Teaspoons and Tablespoons guide.
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