Vegan Lemon Muffins

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There is nothing more decadent than a citrusy treat.. Correct me if I’m wrong. What started out as a fluffy cupcake recipe turned into a dense & delicious lemon muffin with a lemon glaze. While they may not be the healthiest thing on my blog, they are still vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. I hope you enjoy this Vegan Lemon Muffins recipe!

What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

With the flavour combination and sweetness of these gluten-free lemon muffins, I could have easily called this a “Vegan Lemon Cupcakes” recipe. But that wouldn’t be accurate.

The main differences between a muffin and a cupcake are the consistency of the batter and the method of mixing. Cupcakes are a bit more moist and fluffy in nature, and the batter is often creamed together using a stand mixer or handheld beaters. Muffins tend to be a bit more dense, and while the fat and sugar may be beaten together, the remainder of the ingredients are often mixed in with a spoon or spatula.

Cupcakes tend to have frosting or icing on them, whereas muffins are typically served plain, with butter or with a glaze. You can also have savoury muffins – think cornbread, cheesy, or egg muffins. But savoury cupcakes are not as common because of their light and airy texture.

While this gluten-free lemon muffins recipe is defined by its characteristics, do not hesitate to serve these as a dessert item. These could easily be confused for some of the best lemon cupcakes you’ve ever had.

What is a flax egg?

Flax egg in grey bowl with fork.

This recipe called for vegan substitutes for butter, yogurt and eggs. A flax egg is an excellent egg substitute to use when baking. While it will not have the same effect in custards or meringues, there is little difference (if any) in baked goods like muffins, cookies and breads.

To make 1 flax egg you will need:

Mix the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken upon sitting, giving it an egg-like consistency.

For this recipe, you will need TWO flax eggs. This equates to 2 tbsp of flaxseed and 6 tbsp of water.

What can I use instead of a flax egg?

Another alternative to a flax egg is a chia seed egg, where you simply replace the flax with chia seeds. Other egg replacers include apple sauce, yogurt or mashed banana. However, I have not tried any of these substitutions for this gluten-free lemon muffins recipe.

How to make vegan lemon muffins

What you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Flax eggs (see above for instructions)
  • Vanilla extract
  • 2 lemons (really 1½ lemons) – for juice & zest
  • All purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum (or add xanthan gum to the flour if it is not included)
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Dairy-free yogurt 
  • Confectioner’s sugar for icing (optional)

Lemon Muffins Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups. I use a Wilton cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar with a hand/stand mixer or whisk for about 30 seconds. I tried reducing the sugar in this recipe and the muffins came out a bit more chewy. I would recommend sticking with the 1 cup, but if you would like to reduce the amount and texture is less of a concern, you can go down to ¾ cup.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds. Mix in the lemon juice and zest. A typical lemon has 2-3 tbsp of juice.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour (with xanthan gum), baking powder and salt.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined (do not beat!). Lastly, stir in the yogurt. Adding yogurt creates a more moist and flavourful lemon yogurt muffins recipe.

Using a spoon or scoop, portion the muffin batter into the 12 muffin cups, about ¾ of the way full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack before adding the glaze.

Lemon Glaze Recipe

Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice.

Drizzle over cooled muffins, or dunk muffin tops into the glaze. Serve immediately or store for later.

Leftovers

Lemon muffin with bite taken out of it held up to camera. Other muffins, lemon slices and yellow napkin in the background.

These muffins store well at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Storing your muffins in the refrigerator will dry them out.


As always, if you have any questions, comments or substitutions that you have tried, please comment and rate this post. I appreciate any feedback and would love to hear how you enjoyed your Vegan Lemon Muffins with a Lemon Glaze!

Are you looking for more dessert ideas? Find more recipes here!

Lemon muffin with glaze in blue muffin cup. Lemon slice on top and other muffins behind.

Vegan Lemon Muffins

thenutritionjunky
These gluten-free vegan lemon muffins are the perfect citrusy treat! They are made with dairy-free yogurt, flax eggs & coconut oil. A great dessert or snack.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 206 kcal

Ingredients
  

Muffins

  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted & cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 flax eggs see above for instructions; can use regular eggs if not vegan
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon will use juice & zest
  • cups all purpose GF flour with xanthan gum add 1 tsp of xanthan gum to flour if it is not included
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free yogurt can sub with greek yogurt if not vegan

Icing

  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (~juice from ½ lemon)

Instructions
 

Vegan Lemon Muffins

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups.
  • In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar with a hand/stand mixer or whisk for about 30 seconds. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds. Mix in the lemon juice and zest.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour (with xanthan gum), baking powder and salt.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined (do not beat!). Stir in the yogurt.
  • Using a spoon or scoop, portion the muffin batter into the 12 muffin cups, about ¾ of the way full.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack.

Lemon Glaze

  • Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice.
  • Drizzle over cooled muffins, or dunk muffin tops into the glaze. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.

Notes

These muffins store well at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keyword dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, muffin, plant-based, quick, snack, vegan, vegetarian

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