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11.8.13 Lemon Cranberry Muffins with Almond Streusel

11.8.13 Lemon Cranberry Muffins with Almond Streusel

When life gives you lemons, throw a flavor tripping party! At least that’s what I did last week. Flavor tripping is made possible by the diminutive miracle fruit berry, Synsepalum dulcificum. This little red berry is pretty amazing - it contains a protein called Miraculin, which, when eaten, binds to your tongue’s taste receptors and changes with the way you perceive flavors. Specifically, sour foods will taste incredibly sweet until the miracle berry’s effect wears off after about an hour. So cool!



After learning about this amazing fruit, it was clear that I needed to purchase some and try out its effects. And so, 3 days later, equipped with 20 miracle fruit tablets, copious amounts of lemons, limes, and other sour foods, and lots of people eager to experience the effects of miraculin, a flavor tripping party was underway. And let me just say, it was crazy fun. Lemons and limes tasted like candy. As did cranberries, grapefruits, and interestingly enough, cherry tomatoes. Guinness beer tasted like chocolate milk. Bleu cheese just tasted really strange. It was quite the party.



The moral of this story is that you should probably throw a flavor tripping party of your own. It’s really pretty fantastic. However, should you throw one of these parties, it’s quite possible that you may end up with some leftover sour foods like lemons and cranberries. After all, you can only eat so many before the miraculin effect wears off, and then you’re just eating… lemons.  Should this be the case, however, never fear. Your excess lemons and cranberries may be put to good use in this delicious muffin recipe I came up with. And you won’t even need a miracle fruit to enjoy it.



Lemon Cranberry Muffins with Almond Streusel

makes 12


  • 1 ¾ c flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ c (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp flour


  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, both sugars, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.

4. Mix the chopped cranberries with 1 Tbsp of flour until evenly coated (this helps keep the cranberries from all floating to the top of the batter during baking). Add floured cranberries to the batter and mix until they are evenly distributed in the batter.

5. Spoon batter into a greased or lined muffin pan - you should have enough batter for 12 regular sized muffins.

6. Combine all streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix until a coarse texture is achieved. Top each muffin evenly with the streusel mixture.

7. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean. Cool slightly, then remove from muffin pan.


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