Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Happy Spring! I’ve been waiting for a chance to share this light and springy muffin recipe, and I figured the first day of spring would be the perfect opportunity. Lemon is technically a winter fruit, but I always associate citrus flavors with warm weather and summertime desserts. Maybe because as it gets warmer outside, there’s nothing quite like a glass of cold lemonade (or a margarita, or a Corona with lime…). So as we officially usher in spring (even though there’s a high of 36 forecasted for Monday in NYC), I think lemon is the perfect ingredient to play with since lemons technically are still in season and I’m ready for anything that alludes to warmer weather. These muffins are a play on the classic muffin flavor lemon poppy seed, but updated a bit with the trendiest seeds on the block – chia seeds! Topped with an extra lemony glaze they’re full of flavor, some health benefits, and plenty of zing.

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Chia seeds are popping up everywhere these days. And if you eat them a lot like I do, you’ll find them popping up between your teeth hours afterwards as well. Good thing I rarely go anywhere without floss! Chia seeds are packed with omega-3’s and fiber, and although they’re kind of pricey, a little bag will last you a long time. I like to add them to smoothies, sprinkle them in my yogurt or cereal, and use them every time I make these Energy Oat Balls (which is usually once a week –  they’re so good!).  I’ve never been a big fan of poppy seeds on my bagels or in my muffins, so I thought this would be a fun swap for a new-to-me muffin flavor. Chia seeds actually don’t add much flavor at all in this case, but they do provide a nice little crunch as well as extra fiber, healthy fat, calcium, and even some antioxidants.

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Of course if you’re really looking to be healthy I’d recommend skipping the whole muffin part and just sprinkling the chia seeds on your regularly scheduled breakfast, but if you’re craving something sweet these muffins were really great. I added the lemon glaze because I feel bad for naked muffins, but that’s definitely a component you could leave off if you’re watching calories or sugar intake. I made these for a little care-package we sent to Ryan’s grandfather after his surgery, and I wanted to make sure he had something yummy during his recovery that was a bit more heart-healthy than a box of cookies.  Glazed or not, this is a great muffin recipe with a light texture, lots of great lemon flavor, and the perfect treat for our transition into Spring!

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Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Yield: 12 muffins


for the muffins:

2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tbsp chia seeds

for the lemon glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with liners (or spray with non-stick spray).

In a large bowl, use your fingers to rub together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar is moist. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice, and butter until smooth.

Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gently pour the wet ingredients in the hole. Use a rubber spatula to fold together the mixtures until just incorporated (don’t overmix!). Add the poppy seeds and gently mix until evenly distributed. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, lemon juice, and milk until smooth. If your glaze is too thick to nicely drizzle, add a bit more milk or lemon juice until thinne properly. While muffins are still warm, drizzle glaze on top of each muffin. Allow muffins to cool and glaze to set before serving.

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If you’re loving the plates and napkins featured in these photos, you have to check out Party Pail’s Lemonwood collection. They offered to send me a set of paper goods for a potluck birthday party I threw myself a few weeks ago, and I thought they went perfectly with these muffins. Please check Party Pail out if you’re a fan – they have great customer service, sturdy paper goods, and plenty of fun designs to choose from. These are all my own opinions, I just wanted to share a great company that I had a good experience with :)

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4 Responses to “Lemon Chia Seed Muffins”

  1. #
    Hana Sarker — March 22, 2014 @ 12:17 am

    Lovely muffins, as usual! How’d you manage to get companies to send you free stuff?

    • Erica — March 22nd, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

      They just contacted me out of the blue :)

  2. #
    Hannah Weymuller — May 15, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    I love all of your ideas!

    • Erica — May 15th, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

      Thank you, so glad you enjoy!!

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