Home > Baking, Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Recipe > I Cheated!…w/Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins

I Cheated!…w/Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins

I’ve got to tell you, I’m a bit  very ashamed and disappointed in myself :-(. 

In addition, I’ve learned that I can play a really mean game of DENIAL.

On my third day of Lent, I cheated with the Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins that I made yesterday…and like Eve, I brought my husband down with me.

As you may or may not know, Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My husband Sam and I, both agreed to deny ourselves the following foods, for the 40-day period of Lent:

  1. Pizza (OUCH!)
  2. Gelato, Ice Cream (DOUBLE OUCH!)
  3. Cakes, Cookies
  4. Candy bars
  5. Bread (I’m alone on this one)

I knew this would be challenging (not to mention good for the waistline) and feel truly sacrificial, considering how the above mentioned are staples in our home, that are consumed at least 5-7x a week.

No, not the pizza… that’s just once a week…okay, maybe two if there are leftovers ;-).

Before I even started Lent, I asked myself, “Can I still bake muffins???”

Are they synonymous with cupcakes or bread???

This is what I learned, AFTER I baked the muffins. 

A muffin is an American English name for a type of bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting. Savory varieties, such as cornbread muffins, also exist.

Ah, Ha!

See the part about cornbread muffins being considered savory? That means muffins fall into the savory category, not sweet, like a cupcake. 

Therefore, I should be in the clear right??? 


It’s in the bread family…Hence, I totally lost this game of denial.

However, for those of you not denying yourselves bread, cakes or muffins.

I’ve got a new addiction for you!

The original recipe (for Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake) I got from Joy The Baker.  You may want to read her story, it’s hysterical.

I made a few of my own adjustments (see below in red) and made muffins, not cake.

Yes, I know…I was completely blind to the word “cake” in the recipe’s name, all I saw was cornmeal and breakfast (I told you I was in denial).

Without a doubt, the citrusy, buttery aroma that perfumes your home will get your attention.

Then…your first to last bite will be met with a lovely…moist…slightly sweet…warm, nutty butter flavor, that is sure to make you fall in love.

You won’t know if you want it for breakfast or dessert.

I shamefully ate two and prayed for strength not to eat the rest (which I’ve given half to my mother-in-law and the rest go to my mom and sister).

The best part of it all, is that it is so simple to make!

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

“Two old Bachelors were living in one house; One caught a Muffin, the other caught a Mouse.” – Edward Lear

Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour) 
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (I added another 1/3 due to the addition of fresh fruit)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used light plain soymilk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus one tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned then cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries cut into small pieces

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

In a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Use a potholder to grab onto the cast iron and carefully tilt back and forth so the melted butter greases the sides of the pan.  Remove browned butter from the cast iron to cool, and set the buttery cast iron aside.  That’s what we’re going to bake the cake in!

OMG! The smell of the browned butter (a first for me) was intoxicating!!!

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, simply butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.  Brown the butter in a skillet over the stove top and incorporate into the recipe just the same.  I lined a 12-muffin pan with baking cups and used baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, carefully whisk together eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest and butter. Add the wet ingredients, all at once, to the dry ingredients and fold together, (along with berries) with a spatula.  Fold until very few lumps remain.  Pour batter into the prepared buttered pan and place in the oven.

While the cake bakes, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.  Set aside.

Bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes for muffins) or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Use a skewer or the tines of a fork to poke holes in the bake.  Sporadic holes here and there will do.  Pour over the glaze, spread evenly and let rest for about 30 minutes before serving. This cake will last for up to 4 days, well wrapped, at room temperature.

  1. 03/12/2011 at 4:49 pm

    Oh Oh.. you discovered brown butter… yep, anyone would fall for brown butter! And technically muffins is not bread… or cake… or never mind, it’s not going to wash.

    The funny part of this is that I saw the same recipe in Joy.. and (yes I laugh historically at the bee story) and had already pinned it to try it… because brown butter, and corn.. I mean come on!

  1. 04/25/2011 at 5:35 pm
  2. 03/12/2011 at 2:12 pm

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