A cinnamon sugar topping crowns these gorgeous berry muffins made with assorted berries and lemon zest.

Fresh Berry and Lemon Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Tops
Fresh Berry and Lemon Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Tops

There is not much to say about these berry muffins except that they are PRETTY DAMN DELICIOUS! I used to make these in yachting and they were loved by the guests and crew alike. This week, during our confinement, I had the pleasure of making them with my girls.

Fresh Berry and Lemon Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar..

It’s hard to find a good muffin in France. It’s not their thanngg. Croissants and brioche galore but no muffins. And who doesn’t love a muffin?? Blueberry muffins are classic but this recipe is great with raspberries, blackberries or a mixture of all. Added lemon zest gives them just a hint of citrus tang.

Notes on making muffins:

  • When building a berry muffin I am reluctant to fold the berries right in to the batter for two reasons. With soft berries they tend to break apart as you stir the batter so you don’t get whole berries in your muffin. And blueberries are heavy. They like to sink to the bottom of the batter. This can be problematic if you are baking without paper muffin cups. If all the blueberries have sunk to the bottom of your muffin it is likely to fall apart as you take them out of the muffin tins.
  • If you have a muffin tin for 8 muffins but only have enough batter to make 6 you should fill the empty 2 muffin cups half way with water so that the heat of the oven distributes evenly over the whole pan.
  • Even if you are using a silicone muffin pan you should grease the pan. Silicone pans are excellent for baking and make unfolding your cakes much easier but they still need to be greased!
  • The temptation to pop these muffins out of the pan right from the oven will be overwhelming given how amazing they smell!! But allow them to cool a bit before trying to remove them from the tin. Otherwise they will most definitely fall apart.

We are on our 11th day of lockdown here in France. I should be going stir-crazy but, to be honest, I’m not at all! I’m actually enjoying this compulsory time with my children. As a single mum I spend a lot of time with my girls but so much of that time I am only half there. My thoughts are elsewhere. I’m working from home, only half listening to their wines and excitement. I’m present… but but not always engaged. But now, there is nowhere else to be but home! I’m their teacher, their mum, their cruise director, their employer, their personal trainer…..I’m all there with nowhere else to go! And I’m loving it. (I do also have the world’s most amazing au pair who is helping to keep me sane so I am not claiming to be Supermom!)

Homeschooling in French is a headache for everyone involved but I think we are excelling in our domestic lessons – gardening, house cleaning, and of course, plenty of baking! My little girls loved making these berry muffins almost as much as they loved eating them!

And, you get the muffin addiction but want a recipe that’s a wee bit healthier you can try these Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins.


Fresh Berry and Lemon Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Tops

Fresh Berry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar
  • Author: Jessica Verity
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 muffins 1x


  • 1 1/3 cup fresh berries – raspberries, blueberries or black berries all work well.
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons/85g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup/60g packed soft light brown baking sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups/240g flour 
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Half&Half (available only in the US so in Europe you can use 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 cup cream)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place the berries and sugar in a small bowl and toss to gently coat the berries in sugar
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and grease a muffin tin. You can line it with muffin cups if you have.
  3. With electric beaters or in stand mixer cream the butter together with the brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and whisk to combine.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the half&half to the mixing bowl with the butter, mixing until just moistened. Repeat 2 more times until everything is well combined.
  6. Fill the muffin cups until half full (it depends on the size of your muffin cups how many muffins you will make so the first time you make these do 2 complete muffins at a time to ensure you have enough batter to fill all of your cups. I have medium/large muffin pans and usually make 8 muffins.)
  7. Scatter some berries on top of your half-filled cups. Top the muffins with more batter until level with the pan. Repeat until you have used all the muffin batter. I like to reserve a few berries to stick in the top of each muffin. Fill any un-filled muffin cups halfway with water.
  8. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon sugar.
  9. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tins.

Keywords: berry muffins, blueberry muffins, raspberry muffins