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Tuscan Lemon Muffins

These Tuscan Lemon Muffins take the typical lemon muffin to a whole new level! With the addition of ricotta cheese and olive oil, these will be the moistest muffins you’ve ever had!

Head-on view of lemon muffin topped with lemon zest in a colorful muffin liner with a second muffin and lemon wedge in the background and "Tuscan Lemon Muffins" text at top

(This recipe for Tuscan Lemon Muffins was originally published in April 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2018).

Sometimes the simplest things are best. But sometimes it’s fun to fancy up the simple things. Especially when that fancying up takes no extra effort at all. Sometimes that fancying up takes the form of sprinkles (any regular baked good is ten times better when it’s made funfetti style!) or a little bit of chocolate ganache. And sometimes it takes the form of cheese and delicious olive oil. That’s exactly what you need to take lemon muffins to a new level. In their most basic form, lemon muffins are quite delicious. And there’s nothing really fancy about them. But turn those lemon muffins into Tuscan Lemon Muffins and your taste buds will be taken to a whole other level. With just the addition of a few simple ingredients.


The next time you’re in the mood for lemon muffins, I urge you to make these Tuscan lemon muffins instead! The only real additions you need? Ricotta cheese and olive oil. Those two ingredients turn a basic lemon muffin into a delightful baked good you can just imagine yourself nibbling on as you roan the Tuscan countryside.

The batter is incredibly easy to make. Simply mix the dry ingredients, create a well, add the wet ingredients, and stir until combined. Even the batter looks bright and cheery! It’s also very much recommended to sprinkle some turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven. Not totally necessary, but it adds a nice little sugary crunch. Plus, who am I to say no to extra sugar??

Collage showing process for making Tuscan lemon muffins, including wet ingredients poured into dry ingredients, batter mixed in bowl, and batter in muffin liners in tin

I’m a big fan of having homemade muffins in my kitchen at all times in case I don’t have time to make a proper breakfast. I mean, who am I kidding, it’s also kind of nice to hit snooze a couple extra times knowing that breakfast is already waiting. Especially when it’s moist, airy, lemony muffins.

Two Tuscan lemon muffins on a marble surface with lemon zest scattered around and a lemon wedge in the background

And can be brought with you! If you’re a crazy hot mess in the morning and don’t even have time to sit down to a quick bowl of cereal, just grab a Tuscan lemon muffin and be on your way. Muffins are especially good to just toss in your purse (in a ziplock bag, of course!). I find I always have random bursts of hunger so I like to keep food on me at all times. Never know what you’ll find in my purse! But just a warning, if you’re bringing it to work, your co-workers will be very, very jealous.

Landscape head-on photo of multiple Tuscan lemon muffins with lemon zest and lemon wedges scattered around

Thanks to the ricotta cheese and the olive oil, these lemon muffins are extra moist; legit moister than any muffin I’ve ever had. You can’t really taste the ricotta at all, but there are definitely little notes of olive oil in the muffins. Which matches perfectly with the light lemon flavor.

Head-on view of lemon muffin topped with lemon zest in a colorful muffin liner with a second muffin and lemon wedge in the background

I promise these Tuscan lemon muffins will save you from being a hungry hot mess. And no one likes a hungry hot mess. Trust me; I know from experience.

If you’re looking for more delicious muffin recipes, check out these Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins or these Pumpkin Spice French Toast Muffins. I also love these Lemon Thyme Muffins from Baked Ambrosia!

5 from 2 votes
Tuscan Lemon Muffins
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
31 mins

These Tuscan Lemon Muffins take the typical lemon muffin to a whole new level! With the addition of ricotta cheese and olive oil, these will be the moistest muffins you've ever had!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Breakfast Muffins, Lemon Muffins, Ricotta Cake
Servings: 1 dozen
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place muffin liners in a 12-cavity tin.

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg.

  4. Gently mix the ingredients together until everything is combined, taking care not to over-mix.

  5. Using an ice cream scoop drop the batter in the muffin-cups. Sprinkle tops of muffins with turbinado sugar.

  6. Bake for about 16 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from Cooking Light

Tuscan Lemon Muffins -- These Tuscan Lemon Muffins take the typical lemon muffin to a whole new level! With the addition of ricotta cheese and olive oil, these will be the moistest muffins you've ever had | wearenotmartha.com #lemon #muffins #ricotta

28 Responses to "Tuscan Lemon Muffins"

  1. Erica says:

    I seriously love lemon in baked goods. Its such a refreshing flavor! And having a bar or muffin to grab in the morning is key to life operating as usual in my house :). These look awesome.

  2. Bee says:

    mmm! Original and fun! I’ve been wanting to try olive oil in a “sweet” dish–there’s a blood orange olive oil cake I’m dyyying to try and make! These look lovely πŸ™‚

  3. Since these are Tuscan, I have the urge to throw in some fresh rosemary…

  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    I always have snacks in my purse but don’t think it has ever included muffins…. sounds like a good idea, though:-)

  5. Simply Life says:

    this sound like the perfect spring muffin!

  6. Michelle says:

    I love baking muffins because they are great for breakfast, snack or dessert… Actually, this is pretty deadly for me so I usually send most of them to work with Bret for his co-workers!

  7. Sarah @ Aubergine says:

    These muffins look delicious!

    I always pack snacks, too. I’m particularly fond of LaraBars and spiced nuts.

  8. Kelly says:

    Haha, I have to pack my own snacks because I am the same way- very hangry if I don’t eat enough!

  9. BostonSportsWoman says:

    These are a perfect Easter breakfast compliment to eggs benny! Love this recipe!

  10. Jenn's Food Journey says:

    Lovin’ the muffins….I can imagine how wonderful they tasted!

  11. Beth @ DiningAndDishing says:

    hahaha – a hungry hot mess. i know the feeling!

  12. Emily @ A Cambridge Story says:

    Wow, these looks incredible. Fresh lemon zest totally does it for me!

  13. Sarah @ The Pajama Chef says:

    mmm i love muffins! i made orange berry ones the other night. can you taste the ricotta at all?

  14. Michelle Collins says:

    These look delicious!

  15. lena says:

    i havent had ricotta cheese in my bakes before, a little curious though how they taste like but i can tell you that your muffins look simply gorgeous!

  16. Shannon says:

    fabulous! love the sounds of all these ingredients πŸ™‚

  17. @sarah you can’t really taste the ricotta. I think it’s used mostly to keep the muffins nice and moist and light! Delicious πŸ™‚

  18. Monica says:

    I can’t wait to make these. We love muffins but I h8t what they have in the stores. Lemon is alway a plus too!!!!

  19. Taryn says:

    Yummy, these look great! I LOVE cooking with ricotta – I made Strawberry Lemon Ricotta muffins recently, and they were outrageously good. Makes them so moist!

  20. Erica @ In and Around Town says:

    Those look delicious…so light and fluffy and doable to boot – a must try for me!

  21. briarrose says:

    The muffins look delicious….so easy to grab and go with these.

  22. Erin @ A Nesting Experience says:

    Wow these look tasty. Yum. I happen to have all of these ingredients on hand in my kitchen. I may have to make these tonight!

  23. Erin @ A Nesting Experience says:

    Made these last night. Just had one for breakfast. So super delicious!

  24. The Duo Dishes says:

    Hungry hot messes not allowed! Give them muffins! lol

  25. Sharlene says:

    The crumb on these muffins looks amazing. I love these and the addition of olive oil and ricotta make them sounds really interesting!

  26. Kelsey says:

    The calories on those aren’t bad at all! I love muffins… better than cupcakes. But don’t tell anyone.

  27. Audrey says:

    Wow! These sound and look amazing. I never thought to add ricotta cheese and olive oil to a lemon muffin. Sounds sweet and savory. I can’t wait to try them.

  28. Aimee Shugarman says:

    I’m a huge lemon lover, so these are perfect. LOVE the ricotta!

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