Lemon Berry Cornmeal Muffins
Lemon Berry Cornmeal Muffins, an easy dairy-free corn flour muffin recipe with mixed berries and lemon zest. A great summer harvest breakfast on-the-go!
Do you buy premade, packaged muffins? In our quest to reduce plastic packaging—and stick to healthier-for-you homemade versions of store-bought foods—we decided to whip up a batch of cornflour muffins from scratch instead of buying them at the store…and they did not disappoint!
👉 Here are three reasons why you should make lemon cornmeal muffins:
- It takes 30 minutes. We know it's not always easy to make your own versions of grocery staples. That's why we made this a quick and easy recipe that you can make when you want muffins in a time crunch!
- They are easy to store. These muffins will last the week and can easily be frozen and pulled out when you need breakfast on the go.
- They're versatile. Use butter instead of oil, add a little extra sugar if you prefer a sweeter muffin, use fresh OR frozen berries – there are so many ways that you can adjust this recipe according to your preferences!
Ready to learn how to make these easy Lemon Berry Cornmeal Muffins? Let's do it!
Making muffins comes down to three easy steps: mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, then combine and add fruit filling. Here's what you'll need to make our cornmeal muffins:
- Dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cornflour, brown sugar (or granulated sugar), baking powder, baking soda, salt
- Wet ingredients: eggs, lightly-flavored oil, unsweetened plant-based milk, vanilla, lemon juice
- Fruit and toppings: mixed berries (fresh or frozen), brown sugar, lemon zest
- Recommended tools: glass mixing bowls, whisk, muffin tin, cooling rack
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Preheat oven + mix dry ingredients
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
Mix the dry ingredients by adding all-purpose flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2️⃣ Step Two: Mix wet ingredients
Next, combine the wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl by whisking together eggs, oil, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice until well combined.
3️⃣ Step Three: Combine the wet + dry ingredients
Now it's time to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine.
The cornbread muffin batter should be thoroughly mixed without clumps, but should still have a thick consistency.
4️⃣ Step Four: Add fruit filling to the batter + bake
Finally, fold mixed berries into batter and fill a muffin tin 2/3 way with muffin batter. Top the batter with a pinch of brown sugar and lemon zest, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a light golden brown color and a toothpick comes out clean from muffins.
Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin for five minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
That's it! A simple corn muffin recipe that you'll love all berry season long.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
If your muffins are dense, it could mean that there's too much liquid in the batter, too much leavening, or that the muffins have been overmixed. To prevent this, make sure to measure the ingredients appropriately by following the recipe and using the right measuring cups. Using room temperature eggs, as well as the right balance of baking powder and baking soda, can also help generate the rise that makes them light and fluffy.
Crumbly cornbread muffins are typically a result of using too much cornmeal. To prevent this from occurring, replace some of the cornmeal with a bit of flour. Additionally, make sure to add the correct amounts of baking soda and baking powder.
Our cornmeal muffins are not vegan, but they are dairy-free! We used eggs to make the batter, which is not vegan-friendly. However, it is possible to make them plant-based by substituting the egg for a “flax egg” which is 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water as a vegan egg replacement. Note that we haven't tested the muffins using this method — if you try it, let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Yes, butter can be used in place of vegetable oil in muffins. If you prefer to use butter in this recipe, simply omit the oil and replace it with 1/2 cup unsalted butter.
🥮 How to serve
We love to savor a muffin any time of day! Here are a few ways that you can serve them:
- Enjoy a muffin (or two!) for breakfast. If you prepare the muffins ahead of time, you'll have them to enjoy in the mornings all week long! Their sweet and slightly tart flavors are the perfect way to start your day.
- As a grab-and-go snack. Grab a muffin when you're on the run or need something to hold you over until your next meal. Pair with a handful of nuts or seeds for some protein to make it more balanced.
- As a simple dessert. We love having a muffin as a sweet treat after dinner, and the best part about these is that they are slightly healthier than store-bought muffins. A great alternative to other super sugary desserts!
🧊 How to store
If you have leftovers, you can store the lemon cornmeal muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days. Here's how to keep their quality in the fridge or freezer:
- Refrigerator storage: Store the muffins in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Freezer storage: Place muffins in a freezer-safe container and enjoy within one month.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
Trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Us too! Just by making these muffins, you are reducing packaging waste which is a win in our book. Here are some other ways that you can make this recipe more eco-friendly:
Make them during berry season. The best time to make these muffins is during the summer months when berries are ripe (and cheap!). However, frozen berries will work well if it's not berry season in your neck of the woods.
Use organic corn flour. We opt for organic corn flour, cornmeal, and masa harina whenever possible to support farmers who choose to grow organic corn. It's better for the environment!
Freeze the muffins to enjoy longer. These berry cornmeal muffins are a great recipe to freeze; when ready to eat, simply remove them from the freezer and let thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or zap quickly in the microwave to enjoy right away. Make a big batch to prevent needing to buy premade muffins from the store!
🌽 More cornmeal recipes
Love this simple muffin recipe made with cornmeal? Check out our other recipes using cornbread and cornmeal:
Lemon Berry Corn Meal Muffins
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups corn flour
- ½ cup granulated or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 whole eggs
- ¼ cup lightly-flavored oil, grapeseed, etc.
- 1 ¼ cups plant-based milk, unsweetened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, about ½ squeezed lemon
Muffin Fruit and Toppings
- 1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
- Prep oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
- Mix dry ingredients: Mix dry ingredients by adding all-purpose flour, corn flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients including eggs, oil, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice until well combined.
- Combine wet + dry ingredients: Add wet ingredients mixture to dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Cornbread muffin batter should be thoroughly mixed without clumps, but should still have a thick consistency. Finally, fold mixed berries into batter.
- Bake the muffins: Fill muffin tin ⅔ way with muffin batter (you should have enough for 10-12 muffins). Top the batter with a pinch of brown sugar and lemon zest, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a light golden brown color and a toothpick comes out clean from muffins.
- Let cool + serve: Remove muffins from the oven. Let them cool for five minutes in the muffin tin and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy as a quick breakfast or snack!
- If you are using butter, use ½ cup unsalted butter and omit oil.
- If you prefer a sweeter muffin, use ¾ cup sugar of choice.
- Tools needed: glass mixing bowls, whisk, muffin tin, cooling rack
- Leftovers + storage: Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five days. Muffins can be frozen up to one month.
- Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is an estimate and include toppings. This recipe is cornbread muffin recipe is low dairy free.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in June 2019 and was updated for clarity in November 2021.