Lemon and Cherry Muffins

by Lana Stuart on November 29, 2011 · 27 comments

Lemon and Cherry Muffins

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was really nice. We had most of BeeBop’s family with us this year along with our daughter and grandbabies. Such a busy, busy day full of family time. And food! We were really on rich food overload for a few days there. All that turkey and dressing. All those pies. All those leftovers! Oh, my goodness, was I ever ready for something light to eat after all that.

When I was planning last night’s dinner, I really wanted to include a little something sweet for dessert. But it had to be something not-too-sweet. You know? I mean, really, after all those rich, sticky, ooey-gooey pecan and pumpkin pies, you just want something to counteract it all, don’t you? As usual, when I start planning a recipe, I look around for what I have on hand that needs to be used up. I knew I had a couple of partial packages of dried cherries in the pantry. Those are so good and not too sweet. I thought I could use those surely. But what else?

Meyer lemon tree in my office bay window
That’s when inspiration struck. Meyer lemon. Yes! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and always seems to lighten up a dessert. And I just happen to have a little meyer lemon tree that lives in the bay window of my office and is right now loaded with ripe fruit. So I decided to combine some Meyer lemon zest and juice with dried cherries and almonds in a light batter and these lovely little muffins were the result. I hope you’ll try them and enjoy them, too.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Place paper liners in 18 muffin cups and set them aside for now.

Dry ingredients for Lemon and Cherry Muffins

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Wet ingredients for Lemon and Cherry Muffins

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil, lemon zest and juice. Mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry for Lemon and Cherry Muffins

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Try not to overmix. Gently stir in the cherries and almonds.

Lemon and Cherry Muffins ready for oven

Fill muffin cups about ¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Lemon and Cherry Muffins out of the oven

Remove the muffin pans from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

You could dust these muffins with a little powdered sugar or make a little lemon glaze to drizzle over them. But, honestly, I don’t think they need anything except a nice cup of coffee or tea :-)


Lemon and Cherry Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lightly sweetened muffin flavored with Meyer lemon and dried cherries
Serves: 18 muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place paper liners in 18 muffin cups. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil, lemon zest and juice.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Gently mix in the cherries and almonds.
  7. Fill muffin cups about ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  9. Remove muffin pans from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove muffins from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

More lemon and cherry muffins you might enjoy from around the internet:

What I was cooking…

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara Wiedemann November 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

These look sooo good. But I’m mostly smitten by your Meyer’s Lemon. I had one when we lived farther south so I was very happy to see yours . I’ll be looking for one now.


2 Lana November 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I’ve really enjoyed having my Meyer lemon tree. Just brought it inside a few weeks ago for the cooler temps and it’s doing great.


3 Jersey Girl Cooks November 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Very nice fruit combination! I just picked up some Meyer lemons today.


4 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. November 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

awesome combination! I want one!


5 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) November 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

You have a Meyer lemon tree in your office? I’m jealous!


6 Lana November 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I do, Lydia! It lives in the office during the cooler months and goes out onto the deck for warmer weather. If it’s inside when it’s blooming the whole house smells fantastic!


7 Mari @ Mari's Cakes November 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

The perfect muffins for winter. I love the combination. Thank you Lana for sharing this recipe with us. I am glad you had a great thanksgiving with your family.


8 Lana November 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Thank you, Mari. And I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well.


9 Delishhh November 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Ok i am so jealous you have a lemon tree :) I haven;t eated sugar since Thanksgiving day. . .it was just too mush. But this looks fabulous and refreshing.


10 foodwanderings November 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I love muffins and these are spectacular. Love the lemon cherry combination. i wish I could have some with my tea now.


11 Shelby November 30, 2011 at 3:34 am

Your muffins sound wonderful and I am so envious of your tree! :)


12 Mary November 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

these all so delicious – love the addition of the almonds – gorgeous :)
Mary x


13 Zesty Cook November 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving! Citrus is always refreshing to me after large meals, so these are the perfect treat!


14 Barbara | Creative Culinary November 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I am so jealous of your tree; I’ve only had Meyer lemons once; a friend sent some last year and they got waylaid by the USPS and were frozen solid by the time they arrived. I still thawed them and enjoyed the aroma so much.

But I mostly love how you went to the pantry and found something there to use. SO identify with that Lana; it’s how I usually cook. What do I have is first before what can I make!

And I have some dried cherries. Whoo hoo.


15 Lana November 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think I remember you talking about those frozen lemons last year! When I have extra ones, I zest and juice them and freeze for later. The freezing doesn’t seem to affect the taste any at all.

And, yes, I always try to cook from the pantry first. Otherwise, I tend to buy things that get stacked up in there and never used. Always try to remember the old saying – “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”


16 Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos November 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

That’s it – I’m asking Santa for a Meyer Lemon Tree – I’ve wanted one for years and daggone it – I’m going to get it this year!

Now that my tirade is over, I’m making these this weekend as I have some lovely Meyer lemons from WholePaychex and dried cherries are always in my pantry.


17 Lana November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Got my fingers crossed for you that Santa brings you a lovely little meyer lemon. They’re pretty easy to grow. When we lived in south Georgia we could have them outside all year, but here in the north part of the state we do have to bring them in during the cooler weather.


18 Jeanette November 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Love the light bright flavors in these muffins. I haven’t seen any Meyer lemons around here, but will have to look for them.


19 Jamie December 1, 2011 at 8:42 am

Lemon and cherries are divine and these wonderful, from-scratch muffins look perfect. And delicious. These would be great for this weekend’s breakfast and last afternoon snack… especially as autumn and the rain settle in.


20 Nancy@acommunaltable December 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I honestly cannot cook if I don’t have lemons (or some sort of citrus) around. If you haven’t made preserved lemons you should Lana – I use them all the time!
These muffins are so up my alley – not too sweet (or too big) and flavored with two of my favorite flavors – tart dried cherries and of course, lemon!


21 Jo December 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

They look delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.


22 Simply Life December 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

oh I am loving this flavor combination- they sound so refreshing to bite into!


23 Jen@I Want a Nap December 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm

What a great recipe to breakup all the heaviness of holiday food. These look amazing!


24 claudia lamascolo December 2, 2011 at 6:59 am

I love the try and the muffins, I planted one last year and got bugs all over mine all the fruit fell off :( yours are making me so jealous nice job!


25 Sanjeeta kk December 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

Oh…these muffins look gorgeous..lemon must have been a wonderful addition.!


26 Denise @ Creative Kitchen December 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Living in South Florida…I must get a meyer lemon tree!! :) Just found out the other day that my grandmother has one on her patio. Mmm….love lemons!!

That’s also one of my favorite sayings, “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Learning to be frugal over the years as a stay at home mom has been so amazing…when the economy made a downturn after 9/11 it didn’t affect our lifestyle. And now that my hubby is unemployed…it continues to serve my family well!!

Merry Christmas Lana!


27 Pearl Necklaces December 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

Aww, these muffins look so cute and precious. They must taste delicious too since I like both cherries and lemons and they go well together. It was really lucky you have that little lemon tree with ripe fruit on it at this time of the year. I can’t seem to place my plants in the right place, they always dry up or turn light green; the house is positioned in an inconvenient way and all the windows have radiators underneath them, so it’s too warm for most plants I’ve had so far. Well, I don’t mind, I go to the market and get everything I need, so it’s all good. My next trip there will be for cherries and lemons. :)
Hugs, Flora


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