You may be thinking, "Basil in a sweet muffin?" But, yes, it works! Lemon and basil are a perfect pair and they both scream "Summertime!" to me. I saw these muffins on the blog Lovely Eats and had to make them. I chickened out a little bit and only put in half the basil called for, but was happy with the results. Don't be fooled by the picture of the cut-open muffin; most of the others showed a lot more green than that one did.
Lemon Basil Muffins
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin pan with paper or grease and flour it.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest, eggs, and sour cream.
Stir in basil. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins (or until a skewer inserted comes out clean).
To make the lemon sugar, mix the lemon juice and sugar together. Once the muffins are done, spoon the lemon sugar over the muffins immediately. The syrup will soak into the muffins and the sugar will form a crunchy crust.
Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing from the pan.
Makes 12 muffins.
I actually made my muffins with canola oil instead of butter. I do that alot, to make them dairy free so that my daughter can eat them. Imagine how dumb I felt when I got down to the part of the recipe where you add sour cream! Oops! Oh well. They were okay with the oil, but next time I will probably try them with the butter to see what difference it makes.
I'm sure that you're used to eating basil in savory applications, but it actually works really well in sweet ones as well. Remember, the official name of it is sweet basil, as opposed to the other kind called Thai basil. You must chop the basil very finely, though, so people don't get a big chunk of it.
I think these are the perfect summertime muffins.
Claire from Claire K Creations made a strawberry version of these muffins when she was assigned my blog for the Secret Recipe Club in July 2014. Click on the button below to check out her post.