The first batch of these little muffins disappeared within a day. True story. What kept us coming back for more was their secret ingredient- ricotta cheese. Ricotta has a neutral flavor which is perfect for both sweet and savory recipes and here it just lends moisture and keeps the muffins’ texture airy and light. I used the juice and zest of a Meyer lemon to add a subtle tartness and vanilla bean paste to add sweet vanilla notes. Naturally gluten-free, these muffins contain good-for-you ingredients like almond meal, oat flour and coconut oil. Whether or not a recipe is gluten-free doesn’t isn’t really a concern, however I do try to use whole grains for my baking whenever possible. The sweetener called for is sucanat, an unprocessed form of sugar, that is essentially just pure, dried sugar cane juice. Because it is unrefined, the sugar actually retains many of its vitamins and minerals (that being said, pure cane sugar can certainly be used in its place)
You can also see a hint of pink adorning their tops and that, my friends, is raspberry sugar. Yes…raspberry sugar! We sometimes get a little fancy over here, topping our baked goods with flavored salts and sugars but you don’t realize how easy they are to make! I have amassed quite the assortment– Meyer lemon salt, raspberry sugar, bourbon vanilla-bean sugar and vanilla salt just to name a few. A little goes a long way and they add a one-two flavor punch, last pretty much forever and make wonderful homemade gifts. For inspiration, I suggest checking out Joy the Baker for her fruit sugars or 101 Cookbooks for flavored salts. You can’t go wrong.
meyer lemon-vanilla mini muffins
(makes 20 mini muffins)
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 cup sucanat (or natural cane sugar)
- 2 eggs
- l/3 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
- (to make your own, go here)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbs coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- juice and zest from 1 Meyer lemon
- for a less pronounced lemon flavor, only use the juice
- Raspberry sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin tin liners.
Mix the oat flour, almond flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder, sea salt and sucant together in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk eggs until frothy, then add ricotta, almond milk, coconut oil, honey, vanilla bean paste and Meyer lemon juice and zest and whisk everything together.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon until just combined and dry flour mixture is no longer visible.
Using a spoon, fill the mini muffin tin until all batter has been used. Bake for 20-22 minutes until tops of muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
(adapted from Edible Perspective)