Sunburst Muffins

Photo credit: 
Liliana Fuchs on flickr
A lemony spring treat to bake together

Iinally, the days are growing longer. Soon our longing for warmer weather and sunny days will be satisfied. But for a bright fix now, stir up a batch of sun-kissed muffins. Sprinkled with flecks of orange and lemon peel, these muffins burst with flavor and splendor. Let the kids help with grating, mixing, and filling the muffin cups.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of margarine or butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp. of lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 2 cups of flour

Mixing Steps

  • Finely grate lemon and orange peels to make 2 1/2 teaspoons of each peel.
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange into a mixing bowl.
  • Add grated peel, margarine, sugar, and eggs.
  • Blend together until it produces a creamy texture, and then add milk and lemon extract. The process will curdle the milk and the butter will break into something resembling beads.

Beth S. from Iowa said that her 11-year-old daughter and a friend made the muffins, but "had never seen curdling before, so we talked about acidic foods a bit. It also seemed that the batter began to rise right after mixing (in the dry ingredients), so that was interesting, too."

Now add the dry ingredients. Mix by hand until well-blended. Scoop the batter into a greased muffin pan (grease it even if you use paper liners) and bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes.

NOTE: Muffin pans vary in size, so only fill 2/3 and oven cooking time will depend on how "hot" it gets.

Pull pan from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and let them cool on rack.

Drizzling a lemon glaze over each muffin will enhance the citrus flavor. To make glaze, combine 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tsp. of lemon extract and about 2-3 tablespoons of milk. One RFRF family added a teaspoon of citrus peel for more flavor.


Use a small strainer to remove the seeds from the squeezed juice. --Iowa Mom

I cut the peels into 1-inch pieces and put them into the blender. Saves the knuckles! --Iowa Grandma

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