I made citrus fruit muffins in addition to the apple streusels for the brunch. These cupcake wannabes smell absolutely fantastic while you’re making them. Not even just while their baking, but the whole assembling process is wonderfully fragrant. There’s nothing quite like lemon, lime and orange zest. Oils in the rinds of the fruits are released and that quintessential citrus aroma fills the air. The zest is added to the batter, giving it a festive look. It’s kind of like Funfetti in muffin form, but the real thing! It’s a party in a bowl, and later, a party in your mouth! (And with cream cheese icing?! Come on!)
Citrus Fruit Muffins
For the muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- heaping 1/2 cup superfine sugar (I used regular sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 6 tbsp sunflower oil or melted, cooled butter
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- finely grated rind of 1 lime
- finely grated rind of 1 orange
- strips of citrus zest, to decorate
For the frosting
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon, lime or orange juice (I used lemon juice – I find that it complements cream cheese well)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (But don’t forget the muffin liner tip! See Apple Streusel Muffins, sixth paragraph.) Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with 12 muffin liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the superfine sugar.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a large pitcher or bowl, then beat in the yogurt, the oil or butter, and all the citrus rinds. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Scatter the topping over each muffin. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, put the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat together until smooth. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the mixture, then beat together until well mixed. Gradually beat in the citrus juice, adding enough to form a spreading consistency. When the muffins are cold, spread the frosting on top of each, then decorate with strips of citrus zest. Chill the muffins in the refrigerator until ready to serve.