Lemon-Ginger Muffins

Preparation info

  • Makes

    1 Dozen

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

One morning while visiting Rhode Island, I tasted a delicious lemon-ginger muffin in a restaurant converted from an old barn. Here’s my cakey version, partially based on a recipe from my friend, cookbook author Martha Rose Schulman, who knows plenty about baking muffins. The crystallized ginger gives these muffins a gentle bite.


  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 3 large lemons (the outer yellow skin only, no bitter white pith)
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger (about the size of peas)
  • ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt (or use lemon or vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.; position a rack at the center level. Coat a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (or rub with soft butter); set the pan aside. (If you have one, a deep-cup muffin pan works best here. But don’t use a black metal one; it will overbrown the muffins.) If you prefer, butter only the upper rims of the muffin cups and then line the cups with paper muffin liners. Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat; set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. On a cutting board, use your fingers to toss together the lemon zest and chopped ginger. Set aside about ¼ cup of this mixture; stir the rest into the flour mixture.
    3. Measure the yogurt into a 2-cup glass measuring cup; then add the eggs, melted butter, and lemon juice and stir with a fork until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour the yogurt mixture into the well. With a large rubber spatula, gently but quickly mix the dry and moist ingredients together just until the dry mixture is thoroughly and evenly moistened (no traces of flour)—the batter will still be lumpy; that’s okay. Don’t overmix or the muffins will come out tough.
    4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling the cups about three-quarters full. (Depending on the depth of your tin, you may have some extra batter. If that’s the case, coat a couple of ramekins or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray, fill with the extra batter, and bake them alongside; the baking time may vary slightly.) Scatter the reserved lemon-ginger mixture over the batter.
    5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are light golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with no crumbs attached. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes. Turn the muffins out onto the rack. Serve lukewarm or split and toast.