Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater.  I am willing to try just about anything once.  Sure I draw the line somewhere, this isn’t Bizarre Foods after all, but I find it exciting to try new foods.  I’d love to try uni aka sea urchin, the same goes for sweetbreads and bone marrow.  Those little finger limes always grab my attention.  All the different kinds of kale and tomatoes I see on TV draw me and leave me on an endless search for them.  Maybe one day when I move to California . . .

I am always up for buying a new cross breed of stone fruit.  A summer trip to the grocery store leads to plumcots and peacherines in my cart.  I’ve become a huge fan of Brussels sprouts and all different kinds of fish.  I search out new and exciting foods to try and look forward to the moment of the taste test.  The moment when I will either fall in love with my experiment or never want to try it again.

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Of course, there are foods I don’t like.  Parsnips.  Artichokes.  Grapefruit.  One of my least favorite foods is stuffing.  I’ve never liked it, and yes, I have tried it.  The smell, the look, the ingredients, the taste, in my eyes, it has no redeeming qualities.  It’s one of the few foods I will literally run the other way from.

So when this week’s Muffin Monday email arrived and it was a savory muffin, Lemon Chive Pepper, I kind of had a panic attack.  I mean, it wasn’t stuffing, but a savory muffin, involving no sugar, herbs, and pepper?  It’s way too close to stuffing to make an appearance in my kitchen.  I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it.  But I still wanted to participate and I needed something to post anyway.

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Enter Lemon Gingerbread Muffins.  Lemon?  Check.  Pepper?  Check.  Herbs?  Not so much, but stick with me.  These are a sweet muffin, a breakfast treat, but they are not overly sweet, leaning much more toward the spicy side, with all those traditional gingerbread flavors.  The muffin tastes exactly like I wanted to when I was coming up with the recipe.  Spicy gingerbread, with that rich molasses undertone (though I used cane syrup because I ordered four giant bottles of it), the lemon flavor shining through and adding the perfect amount of brightness to the richly flavored muffin.  It rose perfectly, popped out of the pan like a dream, and is a lovely light, fluffy, moist muffin that is sure to get your day off to a great and sweet start.

Don’t forget to enter my Wustof Offset Cake Knife Giveaway!  Such a great prize!

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

3.8 from 6 reviews
Lemon Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cane syrup or molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 10 cups in a muffin tin generously, including the tops.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, ginger, pepper, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugar, syrup or molasses, eggs, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the milk until a homogeneous mixture is formed. Add in the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
  3. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups filling almost all the way to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

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  1. These look spectacular…Eyeballing the texture…they look absolutely perfect…incredible height with moist crumb! I have molasses looking quite lonely in the pantry..so I will give these a try for this weekend’s brunch!…Question..I have some lovely clementines and oranges…do you think these could furnish a suitable “sub” for the lemon?..I love the idea of orange with your fabulous spice assemblage!

    • Thank you so much, Donna! They did rise perfectly and have such a moist crumb without being like a cupcake. You could absolutely use clementines or oranges. They will pair great with gingerbread, though you might not get as much of a punch of flavor. Maybe add a little extra zest. I think they’ll be wonderful though! Please let me know how they turn out 🙂

  2. I just discovered my love for gingerbread and lemon together around Christmas time this year Laura. A fabulous combination. I made gingerbread muffins with a sweet lemon glaze. I still have dreams about how amazing those muffins are! I love a good moist muffin like this!

    • Lemon really adds that punch of flavor to gingerbread. They are a great flavor combo. Glaze on a gingerbread muffin sounds fab.

  3. I loved the gingerbread flavor. Since I’m a big lemon fan I would have liked them to be a little more prominent.

    • I didn’t know you were a big lemon fan. It’s tough to make it more prominent because the gingerbread flavors are so strong, but I thought it was still detectable. Glad you liked them!

  4. I love that you made these gingerbread but still left in the black pepper! Bet they were wonderful and warm and spicy. This is what Muffin Monday is all about! Making a muffin your own. Well done!

    • Thank you so much, Stacy! I have seen some gingerbread recipes that use black pepper so I felt inspired. They were definitely warm and spicy!

  5. This muffin is unlike what I expect a muffin to be. It was spicy. Most muffins I’ve had were more cake like and sweet, I didn’t expect the wonderful flavor of ginger to be so prominent. I really liked this one. Good work!

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Linda! These were really different, but exactly what I was looking for. I wasn’t sure they’d turn out as well as they did, but was so happy when I tasted them.

  6. I love the idea of a slightly spicy but not too sweet muffin. The pepper seems like a great addition. Do you not like fresh artichokes, or canned ones? Fresh artichokes with hollandaise were a revelation for me.

    • I have only tried frozen artichokes. I agree that fresh is always better, so maybe I’ll have to give fresh artichokes a try. And hollandaise makes everything better! Thanks, Natasha!

  7. Exceptionally good, very moist and tasty.

  8. Oooooh la la, gingerbread and lemon? What a great combo! Looks like some delicious muffins!

  9. Everything gingerbread is great! For me that is just a fact 😀 so these muffins are great!

  10. Debbie Eccard says:

    Sounds great!

  11. Nice & moist very good. I’m a ginger bread fan.

  12. The muffins look gorgeous! I love lemon and ginger together. The texture of these looks so light and fluffy.

    • Thanks, so much, Emily! Lemon and ginger might be my new favorite combo. The texture is perfect – exactly what I think of when I think about muffins.

  13. Your muffins look spectacular! Love anything with ginger…mmmmmm.

  14. Sorry Laura, I was not able to eat my piece but it smelled like 5 stars. I started the Atkins this week so I must not have any carbs for a few weeks.

    • Good luck on your diet! Just put your mind to it and you will have great success. Then, when you’ve met your goal, I’ll still be here to tempt you with more treats 😉

  15. Wow, these look so sinful! How do you bake such perfect pieces every time? Superb!

  16. Ooooh lemon and gingerbread in a muffin?! YUM!! Yes, please! I’ll take a dozen.

  17. These Muffins were very good. I was never a big gingerbread fan, but the way you have mixed the gingerbread in with the last few baked goods have been a very welcome addition.

    • I’m glad I have made you a gingerbread fan, Lendon. It’s one of my favorite treats. You just needed to try my gingerbread desserts 😉

  18. I never dreamed of adding citrus to gingerbread and now I cannot wait to try it! I can tell by the photos alone how moist and flavorful these muffins must taste!

    • Citrus and gingerbread are a wonderful combo! Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! By the way, I read your book Food Blogging for Dummies and it really helped me. I was so excited when I saw your comment on my blog! It’s so cool that you visited my blog. Thank you!

  19. I am sad you haven’t tried uni or bone marrow or sweetbreads! Take a trip to Chicago and go nuts! They are all over the place there, girl!


    • I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the muffin, Sal! I love baking muffins with fruit and agree that they do add a lot of moisture. Thank you for your feedback.

  21. I love Muffin Mondays, always a great recipe to go with my morning coffee and these were no exception!
    The combination of flavors was really delicious and the texture was light and moist. Can’t wait till next Monday.

  22. I would have never thought to add lemon to gingerbread. Great idea!
    You’d be surprised about how good parsnips can be in muffins : )

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