There’s a fine line between a muffin and a cupcake. These Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffincakes are that line. Because, see, the original recipe name (Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins) has the word muffin in it; their recipe, however, also has a LOT of sugar in it. Even with some health-conscious tweaks to the original Bon Apetit recipe, these strike me more as an after dinner treat than a healthy breakfast. The lemon sugar alone – perhaps my favorite part of the recipe – should probably be kept away from people with a history of sugar overdose. So muffincakes it is.
We’ll start with the making of the aforementioned Lemon Sugar, which I could see being a nice addition to a number of citrusy baked goods. It’s a simple grind and combine recipe that takes all of a couple minutes.
¼ Cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of shaved lemon peel
I wish I had a witty remark about shaving a lemon, but I’ll leave that for someone else to fill in. Instead, a quick bit of advice: Use the whole thickness of the peel for the sugar – the outer coating gives the sugar a nice color, but much of the flavor lies a little deeper. Simply combine the two ingredients and grind them together. A mortar and pestle work really well for this. The sugar will start to clump together from the moisture, and after a minute or two, you’re left with a deliciously fragrant, lemony sugar.
Onto the muffincakes.
Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffincakes
3/4 cups sugar
1 C all purpose flour
1 C wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ pint of fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 375, and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together. Then beat in the egg, followed by the buttermilk. Add the vanilla. Add about half of the lemon sugar. The last part is important – the lemon flavor of the muffins comes from the lemon sugar, so you want to make sure to get it in there. I might even, in the future, think about putting some small chunks of lemon peel into the batter for some extra texture and citrus.
Once the wet stuff is combined, beat in the dry ingredients. Divide the batter into cups in a muffin tray.
Once the muffins are divvyed out, place three or four of the fresh raspberries in the center of each. The berries add nice color and flavor to the muffins, and help bulk them up a little bit. I had to stretch this recipe to make fourteen muffins.
Toss the tray in the oven and let the muffins bake for about 35 minutes. About halfway through baking, pull them out and sprinkle the remaining lemon sugar on top of the muffins – this will melt the sugar into a delicious little top. If you’d prefer, though, you can also hold off on adding the lemon sugar until the muffins are done baking, for some extra crunch.
Let ‘em cool and dig in! Be careful, these little fellas are completely addictive.