Wholesome, light and refreshing, whole wheat Meyer lemon ricotta muffins are the perfect treat for Mother’s Day brunch.This one’s for you, Ma.
Ever since moving away from Buffalo almost ten years ago, I haven’t had too many Mother’s Days spent with my momma. And even though a delivery of Georgetown Cupcakes to my Mom’s doorstep seems like a pretty great (delicious) replacement for me not being there, it’s just not the same.
My Mom, sis, and I on Nantucket last summer
Luckily, this year the whole fam will be together this on Mother’s Day. My little sis is graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh this weekend and we’ll all be making the trek to the ‘burgh to reunite. SO looking forward to (finally) celebrating Mother’s Day in person.
Since I’ll be seeing her this year, I wanted to
surprise bring (not a surprise anymore – hi, Ma!) her a homemade Mother’s Day treat. She loves sweet lemon anything, which is ironic because lemon is the last thing listed on my must-have sweets list. Guess ya didn’t pass that gene down.
I decided to make whole-wheat Meyer lemon ricotta muffins that are delicious (and healthy) enough for any Mother’s Day brunch. To make a healthier version, I swapped whole-wheat pastry flour for all-purpose and applesauce for butter and some of the sugar. The result? A guilt-free muffin for Momma. I love how these still turned out to be sweet but not overpoweringly sweet and the Meyer lemon zest brightens the flavor to another level. The ricotta cheese helps make these muffins lighter and fluffier.
If you’ve never made muffins using only whole-wheat pastry flour before, I suggest starting off with using half whole-wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour to adjust your tastebuds to the difference in taste and texture. The whole-wheat flour lends a denser quality to the texture of these muffins. And beware of over-mixing the batter! I swear I always over-mix – blame it on my ambitious blood. Which is why from now on, Im no longer mixing. I’m folding. And I’ve adjusted the directions for this recipe accordingly. When you over-mix muffin batter, you get a denser, chewier texture and weird looking tunnels in your muffins.
Did I mention these are especially delicious served warm with a little spread of butter?
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: 1/2 tsp raw turbinado sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugars.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, applesauce, egg, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined (be careful not to over mix).
- Evenly distribute muffin batter to the paper-lined muffin tin. Optional: dust tops of muffins with raw sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.**
- Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove muffins from pan and let continue to cool on a wire rack.
*If you're not used to the texture of whole-wheat muffins, try starting with 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour.
**Insert a toothpick into the center of one of the muffins to check to see if they're done. Toothpick should come out clean.
To all the Moms out there, happy Mother’s Day.
To my Mom, can’t wait to see you Friday and give you these muffins!!
For more delicious Mother’s Day brunch ideas, check out the recipes below: