Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Lemon Olive Oil & Lemon Olive Oil Muffins

20130306-193833.jpgMy family has been sick this winter. Never-endingly sick, it seems. The toddler, then me, then the newborn, then my husband, and then as soon as we get better, it starts up again. And so, citrus and, of course, olive oil have been on the menu around here, and LOTS of them both.

This past weekend, when I finally felt well enough to stand up and make something again, I thought of lemon-y olive oil muffins. I’m not sure if I've ever even eaten something quite like these before? But that didn’t stop me from craving them, or maybe just craving that summery fragrance. Looking for inspiration, I came upon gorgeous cakes like this and this, and I tried to steal the best from all of them.

With thyme and olive oil, sugar, and lemon, these lemon olive oil muffins manage to be savory, sweet, and tart all at once, and the glaze on top gives them a lovely, messy, cupcake-ish look (although they really don’t taste like cake, which is a good thing, I think). They taste light and fluffy, and the fruity smell of olive and fresh lemon makes me want to believe that warm weather is coming.

Now everyone in my house is *finally* on the mend, again. Was it the muffins? I don’t know. Probably.


Lemon Olive Oil Muffins with Thyme & Sweet Lemon Olive Oil Glaze


1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil (+ 2 tablespoons more for the glaze)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/3 cup water
5 tablespoons lemon juice (+ 2 more for the glaze)
1 cup powdered sugar



1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray your muffin pan with an olive oil spray.

2. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and thyme, and then set it aside. In the other bowl, mix together the olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, water, and lemon juice.

3. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon just until combined.

4. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins. Bake them for 20 minutes, until the muffin tops are lightly golden.

5. While they’re baking, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon, and olive oil. Have a taste or two. If you’d like it to be a little more lemon-y, add another squeeze of lemon.

6. Spoon the glaze on top of the hot muffins. It’s a thin glaze, light and sweet and a little (or a lot!) tart, and it takes a minute or so to firm up, not that you need to wait. I think they’re great warm, but I also really loved them once they cooled — somehow I appreciated the tanginess of the lemon more at room temperature. I gobbled mine up like a cupcake, and had it with lemon tea and yogurt, and I bet they’d be delicious with lemon yogurt, too. Not to get too carried away.

Be well out there!

Previously: Golden Mean Pumpkin Muffins

Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist who likes surprises and loves olive oil. You can buy prints of her paintings here. Muffins available upon request.

28 Comments / Post A Comment


Important question! (Maybe? I'm not exactly an expert baker): the ingredient list says baking soda but the recipe step says baking powder, which is correct?

Neve Garrett

@margaret_r Ahhh thank you! Baking powder!


These sound delicious, thanks for posting!

I really love citrus-flavored baked things and picked up this excellent tip from a Dorie Greenspan recipe: grate the zest of the lemons (or whatever) before juicing them, and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is "damp" and fragrant with the citrus oil. I also do this when there is no juice involved, for example I use orange zest with the sugar in a chocolate cake.


@churlishgreen Also resting citrus juices for a couple hours before you use them lets the aromatic compounds in lemon (and lime!) oils to oxidize, which mellows out the flavor while keeping it complex.


that looks delicious!!@a


These sound amazing! As much as I want to make them exactly as written, can anyone tell me if this should work fine with all-purpose flour (in place of the whole wheat + oat flour), and if so, do I need to adjust the amount? Can't wait to try.

Neve Garrett

@OneTooManySpoons Yes! They'll be perfect that way for sure. No need to adjust the amount.


@Natalie Eve Yay! That was my question too, as for once I have everything else, save the lemon.


@OneTooManySpoons That's what I wanted to know, too--I have all of the other ingredients and theoretically it is going to start snowing here at sunset. Muffins here I come!

Ophelia Flensburger@facebook

Is the thyme dried or fresh? Also, yes, baking soda or powder? Thanks!

Neve Garrett

@Ophelia Flensburger@facebook I used dried but I think fresh would be really wonderful.


YES! Olive oil and lemon in ALL the baked goods. I recently made myself a meyer lemon cake with lemon glaze and ate the whole thing in three days. Or was is two and half? Anyway, it was sublime. http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/home/2013/1/28/meyer-lemon-loaf.html


@OhMyGoshYouGuys I just bought some Meyer lemons and almond meal is totally an obsession. I am going to make that this afternoon.


@OhMyGoshYouGuys These Meyer lemon ricotta cookies (really more of a cakey texture given the ricotta) are my absolute favourite things to bake (and a pretty decent way to make friends)!



@laurel Yay! You won't be sorry. Enjoy.


@crookedlegs Those look amazing. Ricotta=genius.


@OhMyGoshYouGuys OhMyGoshSoGood.

Judith Slutler

These sound so good!

happy go lucky scamp

I feel this is the appropriate time to rave about lemon olive oil.
I use in all the time (well when I'm not using garlic olive oil, or basil olive oil) and it is fantastic.

Risa Seidman@facebook

Literally making these right now thanksss


Where do the 5 tbsp of lemon juice go? I'm assuming the wet portion of the batter, but I'd like to make sure before attempting.


I'm making these as we speak... I hope there's some glaze left for the muffins when they come out!


@hoo:ha OH god. They're amazing. I used whole wheat flour, but white instead of the oat flour. They look very posh when decorated with tall stalks of lemon thyme. EVOO for the win!


I don't have muffin tins. What are your thoughts on doing this in a cast iron skillet like a corn bread?

ms. alex

I really like lemon, and I really like olive oil, but I've never successfully paired them. Perhaps I should try again?


I made these and they're good! Followed the recipe and added a few tsps of lemon zest to the batter and the glaze! I want to make more already and I haven't even eaten them all yet!

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