When life gives you lemons make muffins and cake and a tart too!

Did I go a bit overboard with the lemon baking this afternoon?!

Good job I have lots of hungry mouths to feed. The muffins have already disappeared and I only made them half an hour ago…..greedy children (and mummy). Plus the hubs will be home for dinner this evening and he’s partial to a bit of pudding so I’ll have someone to share my tart with!

I am a bit of a hopeless shopper, by which I mean I never shop with a list, I never get what I go in for and I always forget something. So  every time I’ve been shopping in the past week or two I’ve ended up buying a bag of lemons for some reason. Dur.

So the first thing I did this afternoon was slowly whip up a batch of my most delicious lemon curd (recipe here)….it’s properly heavenly I tell you. Creamy, rich, indulgent and totally moreish. I should have made a double batch really and then I could have put a pot in the fridge but I ended up using it all between the muffins and the lemon tarts.

So I had this idea for the kind of muffins you get in Starbucks which are huge and popping out of their cases with a big squishy top and full of lemony squishiness instead.

Well, mine didn’t turn out huge because I totally underestimated the recipe. I combined a lemon and poppy seed gluten free number I found on Pinterest with a recipe for a lemon filled muffin and then replaced the butter for my Pure vegetable spread and it turned out perfectly although just not enough of it. And when they look this good you just need lots of them right?

Soft fluffy muffin with a gooey lemony centre. Muffin heaven? Yup I think so.


Lemon Curd Centre Muffins

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You will need this:

For the Lemon curd

  • 200g caster sugar
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 100 melted Pure sunflower spread
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2tsp cornflour

For the muffins

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

You make it like this:

Firstly make your lemon curd because it needs to time to thicken and set:

  1. Using a food processor blend together the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice & zest
  2. Sprinkle in the cornflour whilst it’s still blending
  3. Melt the vegetable butter in a microwave for a few seconds until pourable
  4. Then pour the melted butter through the processor funnel slowly until it’s combined
  5. Decant into a glass bowl and set over pan of lightly boiling water
  6. Stir every now and again until it starts to thicken (about 15mins or so)
  7. Once the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, put into a bowl in the fridge to set (you will have made way too much lemon curd for this recipe but it keeps well in the fridge if you put it in an airtight jar….great on toast!
  8. To make the muffins: whisk the eggs with the lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, vanilla & lemon zest with a hand mixer or in a food processor
  9. Sieve over the coconut flour and baking powder
  10. Combine slowly with a whisk until it starts to thicken and turn into a fluffy batter
  11. Spray your muffin tin with oil to prevent them sticking
  12. Fill the muffin cases half full with the batter (this amount of batter will make 8 small muffins)
  13. Squish down a dip in the centre and fill with a good tsp of lemon curd
  14. Top with another spoonful of muffin mixture
  15. Bake for 20mins at 180c


Then with the rest of the lovely lemon curd I made lemon tarts and OMG they were SO super delicious. I used half a packet of Genius freefrom shortcrust pastry (a little bit of cheating is allowed isn’t it?!) and all I did to make them was this…


Lemon Curd Tarts

  • Servings: 2 small tarts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  1. Using half a packet of pastry (equal to 200g) roll it out thinly
  2. Line your tarts cases (I used two small 12cm diameter cases) with baking parchment
  3. Lay the pasty into your tart cases (I found the pastry broke quite easily but also fixed quite easily with a bit of pushing and patching and smoothing out with my fingers)
  4. Lay another small piece of baking parchment in the case, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 10mins at 180c
  5. Remove the paper and baking beans and pop back in the over for another 5 mins
  6. Remove from the oven, fill almost to the top of the pastry, with your lemon curd
  7. Bake again for 15-20 mins until you can see the top starting to crack and brown just a tiny bit


And then (my kitchen is a huge messy disaster by this point)……I made a little lemon drizzle cake just to finish off the lemons I had leftover! So I’m going to admit something now to you all lovely readers…..the lovely looking cake in the original photos looked amazing but didn’t taste great. Boo. I had used a recipe from Pippa Kendricks new book ‘Freefrom food for family & friends’ for her lemon loaf cake. It was a super easy mix to make from basic store cupboard ingredients and I also liked it because it was a vegan recipe with no eggs. But I think this was where the problem was. It wasn’t light and fluffy like a good lemon drizzle cake should be, it had far too close a texture and I also think because the recipe only called for flour instead of any additions of ground almonds or polenta it made it rather dense. Also I cooked it for 30mins as per the recipe but it was undercooked in the middle and would have needed at least another 10mins.

So I had another go at it today but mucked about with the recipe and it turned out so much better! Yay! The recipe here is this better version for you guys to try.


Lemon Loaf Cake

  • Servings: one small loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You will need this:

  • 90g gluten free plain flour
  • 60g polenta
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp xantham gum
  • 75g vegetable butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing: 100g icing sugar blended with 2tbsp lemon juice until smooth
  • More lemon zest & lemon slices for decoration


You make it like this:

  1. Using an electric mixer mix together the sugar & butter
  2. Add the eggs and beat again, then add the lemon zest and juice and mix until creamy and smooth
  3. Sieve over the flour, baking powder & xantham gum
  4. Stir through the polenta
  5. Pour into a small lined loaf tin and bake for 30mins at 180c until golden on the top
  6. When the cake is cool, make your icing and drizzle liberally all over the top
  7. Finish with lemon zest and artfully arranged lemon slices!


Hope you enjoy these lovely lemony recipes in the sunshine this weekend! Love Abi x

2 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons make muffins and cake and a tart too!

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