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Satisfying my sweet tooth the healthier way with these Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins. Extra light and moist, these whole wheat muffins are made with fresh Meyer lemons, ricotta cheese, and hinted with warming chai spices. Lightly sweetened with a touch of honey, and kept moist with heart healthy extra-virgin olive oil. You’d never guess these delicious muffins are made on the healthier side. Every last crumb is SO GOOD. Enjoy for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack with a latte on the side and a good pat of lemon poppyseed butter.

side angle photo of Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins with honey being drizzled on

I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a muffin more than these. I know strawberry muffins are great, bakery style muffins are so delicious, and sure, pumpkin muffins are sin worthy. They all have their place in the muffin world, and are loved for very different reasons. BUT, I don’t know, these lemon ricotta muffins feel extra special.

And they taste just as special too.

These muffins are moist, light, fluffy, lemony, and hinted with the flavors of chai. I mean, these muffins are pretty healthy. See why I think I may just love these most. And yes, I’m being very dramatic here. Please forgive me. It’s been a long few days. And to be quite honest my brain is far, far past it’s ability to think straight.

Also, it’s currently the coziest situation outside my windows. The snow is making everything just that much better. That makes no sense, but basically what I’m saying is that I love writing about cozy muffins when it’s snowing. Apparently, it makes me over dramatic.

OK. And moving on now.

Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins batter before baking

These muffins encompass everything I love. They’re made using my favorite fresh ricotta cheese, which makes them light and fluffy. They’re scented with Meyer lemons (winter’s delicacy), and they have warming chai spices too.

They also couldn’t be easier to throw together. And while they could potentially be healthier, they’re healthy enough for me. I think you can tell that I’m pretty into them.

I used heart healthy extra virgin olive oil to keep the muffins moist. And while you might think you’d be able to taste the oil, you really can’t. It only leaves the muffins with a moist texture and not much else. To keep the muffins sweet, I used manuka honey And while I know some of you might argue that honey is sugar, and all sugar is the same. I’m looking past this, and instead focusing on that benefits manuka honey is said to have…

Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins after baking in pan

poppyseed butter

Go with me on this. Please.

PS. you can totally use regular honey too!

overhead photo of Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins

And then, as if these muffins weren’t cozy enough, I spiced them with my favorite winter flavor, chai.

So, a little cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. All spices known for fighting off winter colds. Especially ginger. It’s true.

Maybe we should really just be calling these, Cold Fighting Muffins? What do you think? Taking it too far? Yes, surely. But as you can see, my mind is all over the place tonight (it’s Sunday night as I type this).

side angle photo of Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins

And with that, I say we make this a muffin baking kind of Tuesday. Bonus points if you also make the poppyseed lemon butter. Which may sound a bit odd, but works really well. Especially when slathered onto a warm muffin. Oh yeah, it’s the BEST!

Enjoy everyone! Tomorrow, I should have a clearer mind. See you then!

side angle photo of Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins broken in half with butter on muffin

If you make these lemon ricotta muffins, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch the How To Video:

Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories Per Serving: 275 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Lemon Poppyseed Butter


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and juice, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, all-spice, and salt. Mix on low-speed until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
    3. Divide the batter among the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    4. Meanwhile, make the honey butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey, poppyseeds, and lemon zest. 
    5. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature, smeared with chia butter. Enjoy! 
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  1. I wasn’t really a fan of these. I love so many of your recipes and have had a lot of successful meals, but this one missed the mark for us. It seems very bland and lacking any real flavor.

    1. Hey Caitlyn,
      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  2. I have a Penzey baking spice blend, do you think I could sub that for the other spices? Looks like cinnamon, cardamom, anise I think

    1. Hey Jess,
      I think that would work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Yum! These were subtle in flavor but so moist and delicious. I didn’t have supplies to make the butter, but I added some fresh blackberries to the mix for the second half of the batch. Both ways- so good!

  4. 3 stars
    First note, is MY error was upping salt to 1/2 tsp vs the 1/4 tsp called for. Since most of my muffin recipes call for 1 tsp, I was afraid that the 1/4 would just taste flat. So, it’s hard to judge how much the not great flavor is because they are truly too salty (didn’t’ think about 1/2c. honey isn’t much on the sweet side to balance the salt), or it’s the combo of the lemon with the other spices. The moisture level is nice, and they rose well (and I also did not make the special honey butter- since my Christmas extra fluff does not need it!) but the overall flavor is just weird, in a not great way. I also wondered if having both the baking soda and powder was too much and contributed to a bit of a metallic taste. If I tried it again, I’d probably try for lemon, or the chai flavors, but not both.

    1. Hey Kirsten,
      So sorry you did not enjoy the flavors, please let me know if I can help in anyway! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    We have soooo many Meyer lemons so it is always great to get a new recipe to use them up! This one is a keeper. So easy! Took mine out after 17 minutes but my oven might be hotter than yours. Thanks for sharing this one. Can’t wait to try it with oranges.

  6. Delicious!! I made them exactly as written, including the butter and they were fantastic. I will definitely be making these again!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Just made these and they are divine!!! I left out the lemon zest in the butter topping and they were still perfect!

  8. 3 stars
    I tried this recipe because I had some ricotta that i did not know what to do with. I had to make adjustments for the ingredients that I did not have. I skipped the lemon zest and used lemon juice (not fresh). I didn’t have any wheat flour so I used regular AP flour and I didn’t have cardamom so I skipped that. They came out pretty bland. I couldn’t really taste the lemon or the chai spices. It was probably because of the adjustments I made. I was expecting a lot of flavor but they were actual very bland. I hope to try it again with the correct ingredients.

    1. Hi Annette! I am really sorry this did not turn out well for you… Please let me know how it turns out if you are able to get all of the ingredients! If there is anything I can help with, please let me know! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    These light muffins are great! I skipped the ginger, as I’m not a fan, and doubled the cardamom. My husband found them a bit “too healthy” (I didn’t have poppyseeds) but I really enjoyed with a cup of coffee with no butter. Thanks! Will make again!!

  10. 5 stars
    I had leftover ricotta that I needed to figure out what to do with. This is brilliant! They are incredible and the poppyseed butter is a MUST!

    1. Hi Sierra, cottage cheese is chunkier than ricotta so I am not sure how the outcome would be. I am sure they will taste fine, but the texture could be off. Please let me know how it goes if you do tru it. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan