Spring has (almost) sprung! And truly, what feels more seasonal than bright flavors and bold colors? Personally, I’m welcoming the warmer weather and upcoming festivities—from Easter to Mother’s Day to picnics and outdoor gatherings—with tailored-for-spring recipes. As I plan my menus, I’m skipping ahead to my favorite part: the dessert. What feels more on brand for spring than edible florals? If you’re looking for something beautiful and delicious for your springtime parties, these olive oil muffins have you covered.
We’re big fans of all things muffins around here, so it only felt right to merge all the beauty of spring into our favorite baked breakfast good. These are packed with bright, citrus flavors, a moist crumb (spoiler: it’s the olive oil!), and just enough texture thanks to the poppy seeds laced throughout.
These muffins are super easy, come together in one bowl, and are ready in 20 minutes. Get your ovens ready: the perfect, spring-inspired olive oil muffins are coming your way.
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Ingredients for Olive Oil Muffins
Lemon AND orange zest. These aren’t just lemon poppy seed muffins, they’re citrus muffins! I find the floral flavor of orange zest adds a nice softness to the flavor that makes them extra delicious.
Granulated sugar. Don’t worry, I’ve tried maple syrup. However, I find that with all the citrus zest in these muffins, incorporating it into the granulated sugar with your fingers really makes a difference in flavor.
Olive oil. No butter, just olive oil! Use the good stuff—you’ll be able to taste it.
Eggs. Allow your eggs to come to room temperature ahead of time. It makes a difference when you incorporate them into the sugar, zest, and olive oil mixture.
Milk. I used pistachio milk (this is my fave!), but use whatever milk you have on hand here.
Greek Yogurt. It’s all about adding moisture and flavor, and Greek yogurt does both. You could use a lemon or vanilla Greek yogurt for additional flavor or sub with sour cream.
Flour. The base of all good baked goods.
Poppy Seeds. I love the little specks these add to the batter and their subtle flavor. But if you don’t have poppy seeds on hand, feel free to omit.
Tips for Decorating Muffins With Real Flowers
Yes, these beautiful muffins use real flowers for the toppers. You can use whatever you have access to— just make sure you use flowers that are food safe. I love perusing the collection from local growers or those that ship.
Flowers are a natural way to add beauty without having to worry about decorating a cupcake with fancy frosting skills. Just do a big swoosh of frosting over the top, and use your artistic eye to mix and match colors and styles in a way that is as whimsical as it is beautiful.
Before decorating, clean and carefully wash your flowers and clip away any stems you don’t need. If you don’t want your flowers to actually touch your cake, you can wrap the stems in floral tape before placing them into the frosting.
How to Make the Best Muffins, Every Time
I’ve made a lot of muffins in my day, so a few things that I always keep in mind:
- I rarely use a stand mixer for muffin batter. Because these muffins come together in one bowl, it’s simply easier not to. Use a light hand and mix until the batter just comes together to avoid over-mixing, which can make a tougher batter.
- Always err on the side of less baking time. These muffins only bake for 12-13 minutes. I start checking on them at 10 minutes to avoid dried-out muffins.
- Use muffin liners. Because even the best pans can sometimes stick. To avoid the risk, line with muffin liners or parchment.
- Don’t overfill your muffin pan. Fill the muffin liners about 3/4 of the way to the top. Overfilling can mean needing different baking times and unevenly baked goods.
Tips for Making Ahead and Storing Leftovers
To make your muffins ahead of time, bake the muffins and let them cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to frost. You can also make the frosting ahead of time and let come to room temperature before frosting. I would wait to decorate with flowers until ready to serve, but otherwise, you can get this prep done ahead of time.
To store leftovers, remove flowers from the top and store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge.
The Best Lemon Frosting Recipes
I love topping these olive oil muffins with something that ups their’ citrusy flavor. Go for a lemon frosting or glaze that echos the impact of the zest and juice incorporated into the batter. Some favorites:
Scroll on for the recipe, and if you make these olive oil muffins, be sure to leave a rating and comment below.