Almond Flour Lemon Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
360 g almond flour (sometimes I substitute up to 1/4 cup of coconut flour)
192 g tapioca starch (I’ve also substituted potato starch for some of the tapioca)*
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (I use homemade corn-free baking powder)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 packet of powdered milk (optional)**
1-2 Tbs ground flax seed (also optional)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cups sugar
zest from one lemon
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract (optional, but it boosts the lemon flavor)
6 eggs, separated yolks from whites
3/4 cup milk at room temperature or warmer, I just microwave it for a minute (use a little more if you use any coconut flour which really soaks up liquids)
2 Tbs turbinao sugar for sprinkling on the top of the muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350. Put paper liners in cupcake tins.
2. Rub lemon zest into sugar. This helps to intensify lemon flavor and helps prevent the zest from clumping.
3. Blend dry ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Add milk, butter, vanilla and lemon extracts and egg yolks and mix until smooth.
5. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into batter.
5. Spoon into muffin tins. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
* tapioca or potato starch helps make muffins light and fluffy
** powdered milk is optional, but I’m baking for a child who is supposed to get baked milk daily as allergy immunotherapy and also baking for a child who needs extra protein
I’ll be honest, more and more I bake like an old-fashioned grandmother. I measure some ingredients, but others I judge more by instinct and feel my way in. A bit more milk when the batter looks too dry. A bit more flour when it looks too wet. I measure the flour and then toss in an unmeasured amount of flax seed. I add a but more coconut flour than the recipe calls for. I toss in an extra egg. I never measure lemon zest, for example, which I keep in a bag in the freezer, so it’s almost never actually the zest of one lemon, just a few generous pinches.
I started making these muffins after Lucy was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. She’s allergic to dairy and eggs, but not extremely so, she can have them in baked goods. And in fact the allergist recommends that she eat baked dairy and eggs daily. Thus, muffins, a way to get baked dairy and egg. Also a quick and easy breakfast.
Unintended consequence: she gets very, very tired of muffins for breakfast and has to be coaxed into eating them. The other kids look on in envy.
I started experimenting with making them higher in protein and we discovered that we adore almond flour. But almond flour goods tend to be denser and often fall. I was pleased when I disocvered tapioca starch as a way to give them lift. But they still sometimes fall, so I tried beating the egg whites and folding them in and that gave them a dreamy lift and texture.
Turbinado sugar sprinkled on top makes them just like store-bought muffins, adding a little crunch and a bit of extra sweet.
I discovered early on that most muffin recipes are low-fat, even if they aren’t labeled as such. I kept wondering why my muffins went stale so quickly. I started doubling the amount of fat and had muffins that would stay soft for a week. The magic of butter!