Holly B’s Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

October 28, 2009


Blind date set-ups in the movies invariably feature a well meaning person describing their friend as “nice”.  Or having a “great personality”.  We in the film audience know those are cue words for not-so-easy-on-the-eyes, right?  But, in real life, what if a date really is nice and they do have a great personality?  As I got older and realized that “cute” could only take me so far, nice and great personality sounded pretty good.  (As it happens, I got all three.)

These muffins are kind of the food equivalent of those set-up dates.  They are not going to win any beauty contests and if they were placed next to something else – anything else – you would probably just pass them by.  But they are lemon sour cream muffins.  In 12 muffins, you will find 1 1/2 cups of sour cream and a full stick of butter.  The tops are dipped into a lemon juice and sugar glaze which takes them from very nice cakes to Wow! – sweet, tart, and super moist all at once.


I tried taking decent photos of these modest muffins, but they didn’t end up looking like anything that would make a reader of this blog jump up and head to the kitchen.  My kids were in the dining room with me (where the majority of Dana Treat photos are taken) and they thought it was very funny to pretend to eat them.  These shots are better than the food porn equivalent of just muffins.  The funny thing is, the only reason they were slightly interested is because they thought the muffins were cupcakes.

Although I told myself I would not mess with Holly’s recipes so I could accurately portray what a wonderful cookbook this is, I just had to change a little something here.  She instructs you to put all the dry ingredients right on top of the wet without mixing them first, but I think they need a good toss in a separate bowl first.  If you have those giant sized muffin tins, this recipe will fill 12 of those.  If you have standard tins, it will make 18.  (I found this out the hard way when I crammed all the dough into 12 standard sized and there was much oozing.)

You can buy a copy of Holly’s cookbook by visiting this site.

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins
Adapted from With Love and Butter
Makes 12 large or 18 medium muffins

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F and position the rack in the middle.  Butter the rims of your muffin tin(s) and line the cups with papers (or grease generously).

Whip together the sour cream, milk, melted butter, egg and and egg yolk, zest, and lemon juice in a blender (or use a beater or whisk), then pour into a big bowl.  In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add dry ingredients to the big bowl.  Mix just until smooth and combined.  Divide the batter between the muffin cups.

Bake the muffins 10 minutes, turn the pan, and bake 5 more minutes.  Check for doneness with a toothpick; bake a few minutes longer if still gooey on top.  Bake until just done – these muffins are best before they get at all brown.  Remove the muffin tin to a rack to cool while you prepare the lemon glaze.

Mix the lemon juice and sugar and warm in the microwave (about 1 minute) or on the stove until the sugar dissolves.  Stir again.  Holding each muffin at the bottom, dip the top into the warm glaze.  Let stand a moment before serving to absorb the glaze.


  1. Dana! Your muffins look fantastic – I just ADORE anything with lemons… And now and then, it’s OK to have the sour cream and butter… I’ll make these for my nieces next time they visit – they are going to be jumping for joy!

    Great post… And I hope your husband loves them too… :)

    Comment by Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style — October 28, 2009 @ 12:22 am

  2. I think that anything with sour cream turns out good. These muffins must be so moist.

    Comment by Hélène — October 28, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  3. It’s been ages since I’ve had a good lemon muffin! These look delicious and the photos? So amazing. Love the pretend chomping.

    Comment by kickpleat — October 28, 2009 @ 12:44 am

  4. I love sour cream in baking…..and I could bite that kid, he is too delicious!

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — October 28, 2009 @ 1:26 am

  5. These sound too good to be true! I love lemony muffins- dipping the tops in the lemon/sugar mixture sounds amazing! The pictures are adorable- my older daughter is always trying to get into my shots too!

    Comment by Emily Rose — October 28, 2009 @ 3:24 am

  6. I love these pictures. The muffins look delicious, too. I love lemon flavored anything. Yum!

    Comment by Eralda — October 28, 2009 @ 3:34 am

  7. Those look wonderful. No worries about making the muffins shine in the photos. I think the child’s interest in them says it all!

    Comment by D. @ Outside Oslo — October 28, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  8. Oh, yum. I love anything with lemon, and the humble muffin holds a special place in my heart, too. Not that these look humble- anything but! I’ll have to make these next time I have a fridge full of lemons.

    I don’t see muffin papers in your photos- do you use silicone pans? I have a jumbo-sized one (from the discontinued but fantastic Jamie Oliver for Tefal line) which I love.

    Comment by Ele — October 28, 2009 @ 7:53 am

  9. I don’t know. I think these are pretty gorgeous. I gravitate to all things lemon in baking, and these sound delicious.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — October 28, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

  10. Such cute photos! I adore lemon- I will have to bookmark these!

    Comment by fresh365 — October 28, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  11. I love baked goodies with sour cream. It gives it such a unique flavor. I’m going to have to give these a try. Sounds like something that wont last very long in my house!

    Comment by Katie @ goodLife {eats} — October 28, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  12. These look incredible and the bread below…and the galette…and the brownies – I can’t stop by here hungry that’s for sure.

    That bread is beautiful.

    Comment by Amy J in SC — October 29, 2009 @ 12:46 am

  13. oh boy! i want one right now! these are definitely going on my list…

    Comment by kelly — October 29, 2009 @ 3:14 am

  14. These muffins sound like have quite a personality indeed.
    I love the photos with your son! I had a similar experience in the past with cookies. My photos looked boring to me and then my son popped up behind the stack of cookies. Of course the result was adorable. Yes, better then food porn. A photo with personality and a story. Kids are the best props!
    Love that you talk about your food photography. I would love for you to guest post on my blog :)

    Comment by Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. — October 29, 2009 @ 4:42 am

  15. I LOVE lemon glaze on anything. I’d even choose these over a brownie, I think! And your models are so handsome and funny. Great pictures!

    Comment by Deb — October 29, 2009 @ 8:09 am

  16. I love the giant tops on the muffins! Adorable photos of your kids. =)

    Comment by Ashley — November 1, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

  17. These pictures are great fun. Love the first one. Somehow my muffins often look a bit weird, but as long as they taste good I’m happy.

    Comment by Bordeaux — November 2, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  18. Just made these muffins all the way here in NZ. Pretty yummy. I did halve the recipe as I was going by what ingredients I had in the house. The glaze on top is what really makes these muffins and gives them that wee zing. Could easily add poppy seeds to this recipe or put a surprise in the middle like a dollop of jam or chocolate spread. Nice one!

    Comment by Emma Mills — November 24, 2009 @ 6:30 am

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