The best pink lemonades I’ve had have actually been strawberry lemonades, made with fresh lemonade and fresh, bright pink strawberries. They have more lemon than berry, but that berry makes the lemonade all the sweeter. These Strawberry Lemonade Muffins mirror that, although they do have more of a yellow color than that pink lemonade might!
To make them, I mixed finely chopped strawberries into the muffin batter – which does give the muffins a slightly pinkish hue when you bite into them – so that you get a nice, mild (and well distributed) strawberry flavor to go along with all that lemony goodness. The muffins are moist and soft, with a good balance of brightness and sweetness to really remind you of lemonade.
To get the half a cup of fresh lemon juice that you need to make these muffins – and always keep in mind that fresh juice will get you a better flavor than bottled juice – you will probably need 2 or 3 good sized lemons. Since you also need lemon zest, picking up a couple of lemons to make these should be no problem. Feel free to zest those lemons like crazy add some additional zest to the batter. Nothing from the lemon will go to waste (except the bitter, white pith) and you’ll get an even more lemonade flavor in the finished muffins.
Strawberry Lemonade Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon zest, then blend in the eggs one at a time.
Stir in about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix well, then add in vanilla extract and half of the lemon juice. Add another third of the flour, followed by the remaining juice and the remaining flour mix. Stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Mix in finely chopped strawberries quickly, just to distribute them evenly into the batter.
Spoon batter out into prepared muffin cups. The muffin cups should be very full.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 muffins.