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Lemon Curd Marbled Muffins

You know how when you board an airplane and the seat next to you is empty and the doors are closing and you get all excited because you're going to have all this extra room and space and quiet and then this large-ish guy from another row scoots into the seat and your hopes and dreams of extra space are completely dashed and then he carries on a very loud conversation with the guy across the aisle, and even though you've put in earplugs, it's almost impossible to collect your thoughts and write coherently about some incredibly luscious, lemon-studded muffins?  I just hate it when that happens.  And all this after sitting on the runway for over an hour while we de-ice and wait for runways to open and whatever other delays they can dream up because they know you have an impossibly tight connecting flight.

So here I am jammed into a middle seat, earplugs stuffed in my ears drowning out only the sound of the engines and making this conversation next to me seem even louder.  But as soon as the flight attendant stops screeching through the intercom, I'm going to do my best to gather my thoughts and tell you about these lovely lemon muffins.

And luscious they are... moist, super lemon-y, and just the perfect little muffin for those of us who profess undying allegiance to all things lemon.  I'm pretty much a charter member of that club and lemon curd is our iconic celebrity.


I have only one little procedural complaint regarding this recipe, and that's that as much as I was looking forward to little swirls of lemon curd in these, apparently, either I totally sucked at the marbling step, or the lemon curd just naturally gets absorbed by the batter, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But since the name suggests otherwise, I think we should be able to find little pockets of lemon curd inside. 

To remedy this possible eventuality, I suggest that you simply spoon a little of the lemon curd onto half of the batter in the muffin tin and top that with more of the batter and bake as directed.  Or you could try your hand at marbling the curd a la the original recipe.  And to make things even more wondrous, I think you should also add a little dollop of the curd on top of the finished muffin.  Sigh.

And in case you were wondering (maybe you're not), the aforementioned flight was (in its own special way) whisking us off to the sunny shores of the central coast of California, more specifically, the Western Headquarters of the Circle B Kitchen.  We've left the chickens in the capable hands of our neighbor, who happens to also be our daughter, and for the next few weeks they will be working on their yoga postures and we will be trading 19 degrees for 60. 

Sounds pretty nice, no?  Almost as good as a lovely little muffin filled with lemon curd.  Here's the recipe...

Lemon Curd Marbled Muffins

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from River Cottage Every Day

These are wonderfully moist, lemon-y muffins, but it seems that the lemon curd doesn't actually marble that well.  So if you're looking for more of a lemon curd presence in your muffin, I would suggest that you place ½ the batter in the muffin cups and place a dollop of curd in the center of each and then top with the rest of the muffin batter and bake as directed.   I used panettone muffin papers that I ordered from Cupcakes and Swirls.  If you use this kind of paper mold, you will only get 6 instead of 12 muffins from the recipe.

Makes about 12 muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup lemon curd, divided (here's a great lemon curd recipe!)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk lightly to aerate and combine.

2.  Mix the egg, yogurt, milk, and melted butter together in a pitcher. Pour them into the dry ingredients and mix lightly, stopping as soon as everything is combined – it's essential not to overmix or you'll get dense, cakey muffins.

3.  Add 2/3 of the lemon curd in 6 or 7 dollops and quickly "marble" it lightly through the mixture (a couple of light stirs is really add that's needed). If your lemon curd is a bit stiff, just add it in little blobs.

4.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups, to three-quarters fill them. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Eat on the day you bake them, ideally while still slightly warm, topped with another dollop of lemon curd.

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment

Reader Comments (10)

Oh, wow, these look amazing! I am definitely a lemon addict and will be trying these soon!

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

I've been craving a good lemon cake or muffin and I think I just found one. They look so good!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAddison

My store doesn't carry lemon curd. Is this some thing I could make?

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

Enjoy your California vacation! I'm so jealous. It's 17 degrees here in Chicago. I think I need a lemon muffin. Pretty photos!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

I can relate to your experience on the plane LOL!! These muffins look really wonderful. I'm a lemon freak. Thanks for the recipe.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

My Mom makes a muffin similar to these, but she uses a lemon pudding and does as you suggested putting a little dollop inside each muffin. They're so good. I might have to try your version. They look really yummy.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

You can certainly make your own lemon curd, Brittany. You can also order it online from sites like Amazon. I will post a recipe for homemade lemon curd for you. Thank you for asking!

January 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you, Kimberly. It IS pretty cold back home. Stay warm and make yourself a muffin!

January 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

always better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground... leave more room in your itinerary, especially in winter! Impatient Patrice *le sigh* Go. Think about lemon.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Well, now if that isn't the truest thing. Often find myself in the air wishing I were on the ground. Thinking of lemon makes everything better.

January 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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