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Easy Sourdough Lemon Muffins

One sourdough lemon mufin cur in half, with another one in the background on a brown plate.
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Inspired by a true classic – Lemon Drizzle Cake – these Easy Sourdough Lemon Muffins are a quick and delicious way to use up that sourdough discard to make a wonderful zingy treat! Perfect for a sweet breakfast nibble or a snack to pack for a lunch break at work, these sourdough muffins can also be turned into a decadent cupcake. Read on to see how to make them!

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Note On Ingredients

  • vegetable oil: can be substituted with other odourless oil, like sunflower or rapeseed oil. We tested this recipe with olive oil and found that the flavour of it was too strong for these muffins.
  • caster sugar: or white granulated sugar.
  • egg: use large eggs (UK) or extra-large (US).
  • milk: dairy milk works best in this recipe. But if you’re looking to make dairy-free muffins, we found that cashew milk was the best alternative.
  • plain flour (all-purpose flour).
Ingredients for sourdough muffins on a wooden chopping board.
  • baking powder: not to be mixed up with bicarbonate of soda.
  • salt
  • lemons: since we are using zest as well as juice in this recipe, choose unwaxed lemons.

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Discard is a perfect ingredient to use in lemon muffins since it adds that extra sour tang to the muffins that complements the zingy lemons. A few things to note regarding the sourdough starter:

  • You can use an active sourdough starter if you wish, but it is not necessary as we are adding baking powder to help the muffins rise in the oven.
  • Don’t use an old sourdough starter. If it started forming a “hooch” (fermented alcohol on top of the sourdough starter), your muffins will be too sour and won’t rise much in the oven.
  • Use 100% hydration sourdough discard. That means that your starter would consist of 1 part water and 1 part flour.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the cupcake liners into a 12-hole muffin tin (you may use silicone cupcake cases, or grease a muffin tin with butter, if it’s a non-stick type).

In a mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, eggs and sugar and, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk until combined and the sugar dissolves. In a separate bowl, mix sourdough starter discard and milk. Then add the mixture to the eggs alongside the zest of a lemon and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, taking care not to overmix. Divide the batter between the muffin liners.

Bake for 20 minutes in the centre of the oven. To check if the sourdough muffins are cooked, insert a wooden skewer or a cocktail stick into the centre. If cooked, it should come out clean.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and juice of a lemon. Prick each muffin with a wooden skewer, then spoon the lemon drizzle onto the muffins and scatter the lemon zest on top. After the drizzle has soaked in and hardened, remove the sourdough lemon muffins from the tin/cases and allow them to finish cooling on a wire rack. If you used paper liners, leave the muffins in them.

Recipe FAQs

Why Are My Sourdough Muffins Not Soft and Fluffy?

Overmixing the batter is one of the most common culprits for tough and stodgy muffins. When you mix the wet and dry ingredients together, try to be gentle and fold, rather than beat. Only mix until there are no dry ingredients in sight!

How Can I Add Extra Flavour To These Sourdough Muffins?

You can add a bunch of things to make these Sourdough Muffins even more delicious. Try adding some culinary lavender for a floral twist. Or some white chocolate chips for a sweeter more decadent muffin. Some fresh blueberries or raspberries will work brilliantly in these muffins too – but don’t add more than 100g or your muffins will be too wet when baked.

How To Store Sourdough Muffins?

After cooling the Lemon Muffins completely, store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Alternatively, you can wrap them individually in clingfilm, place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 4 months. Defrost at room temperature – they will not have a crispy sugary top after defrosting but will still taste great!

Sourdough muffins on a white table, two on a brown plate, and other in a white metal box in the background.

Turn The Sourdough Lemon Muffins Into Cupcakes

After your muffins cooled down, whip up a simple lemon frosting. Our favourite is Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. You will need:

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 100g cream cheese, ideally full fat, at room temperature

Using a hand-held electric mixer (we love Kenwood), beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and beat again until combined. Then add the cream cheese bit by bit and beat on slow speed until incorporated. Don’t overbeat the frosting. Place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up a little bit before piping it on top of your muffins to create lovely Sourdough Lemon Cupcakes!

Other Sourdough Discard Recipes

See our section of sourdough discard recipes for all of our beloved snacks and sweet treats that we make. You may like to try:

Recipe Card

One sourdough lemon mufin cur in half, with another one in the background on a brown plate.

Easy Sourdough Lemon Muffins

Inspired by a true classic – Lemon Drizzle Cake – these Easy Sourdough Lemon Muffins are a quick and delicious way to use up that sourdough discard to make a wonderful zingy treat! Perfect for a sweet breakfast nibble or a snack to pack for a lunch break at work, these sourdough muffins can also be turned into a decadent cupcake! Simply add icing on top!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Baking, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Servings 12 -14 small muffins
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 120 ml vegetable oil
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs large
  • 180 ml milk
  • 120 g sourdough discard/ unfed starter 100% hydration
  • 190 g plain flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lemon zest only

For The Drizzle:

  • lemon juice and zest
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the cupcake liners into a 12-hole muffin tin (or use silicone cupcake cases, or grease a muffin tin with butter, if it's a non-stick type).
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, eggs and sugar and, using an electric handheld mixer, beat until combined and sugar dissolves. In a separate bowl, mix sourdough starter discard and milk. Then add the mixture to the eggs alongside the zest of a lemon and stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, taking care not to overmix. Divide the batter between the muffin liners. If you have any batter leftover you can bake it in small greased ramekins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the centre of the oven. To check if the sourdough muffins are cooked, instert a wooden skewer or a cocktail stick into the centre. If cooked, it should come out clean.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and juice of a lemon. Prick each muffin with a wooden skewer, then spoon the lemon drizzle onto the muffins and scatter the lemon zest on top. After the drizzle has soaked in and hardened, remove the sourdough lemon muffins from the tin/moulds and allow to finish cooling on wire rack. If you used paper liners, leave the muffins in them.

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 84mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 31IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Lemon Drizzle Muffins, Lemon Muffins, Lemon Muffins With Sourdough, Sourdough Discard Muffins, Sourdough Lemon Muffins, Sourdough Muffins
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