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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. 5 stars
    These are the best muffins I’ve ever had. We make them all the time and they’re always a hit. Triple bonus for the ingredient list!

    1. Hey Danica,
      Happy Friday!!🌟 Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your review, I am so glad it was a hit! xT

  2. Hi Tieghan! Just curious if you’ve tried this recipe with any gluten free flours? Almond? Coconut? I know so many of your recipes state when it can be swapped but this one doesn’t! Thanks!

    1. Hey Kristi,
      An equal amount of gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill would work well for you here! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hi Zara,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  3. 5 stars
    I have to admit I was hesitant about this one with the extra virgin olive oil, but I needed to use up the ricotta in my fridge. They turned out to be delicious! I did make a lot of substitutions based on what I had on hand (no going to the store in the snow for me). I used all-purpose flour, low-fat ricotta, 3 T. half and half (to make up for the low-fat and as a liquid sub for the lemon juice), and doubled the chai spices. A friend had given us vanilla bean honey butter, which was perfect. Even my husband (who was very hesitant when I told him there was no actual sugar) thought they were great. Very cozy for a cold winter morning. We’ll definitely make these again.

  4. Made these and they are really good. I made a few changes though based on comments here. Omitted the lemon entirely, used 3 tbsp of milk instead. I added 75g of sugar as I have a bit more of a sweet tooth. Increased the cardamom to 1/2 tsp, all spice to 1/2tsp, ginger and cinnamon to 3/4 tsp. They are really nicely spiced with the extra. I put a vanilla glaze on them instead of the butter. Absolutely delicious for a afternoon treat.

    1. Hey Annie,
      Awesome! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a go! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Melissa,
      The muffins do not need to be refrigerated, you can keep in an airtight container on the counter. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Just made these, and they’re pretty tasty. I did use Manuka honey in mine, so perhaps that added more flavor. Froze most of them to eat later too!

    1. Hey Julie,
      Awesome! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    These are so delicious! I had some ricotta I needed to use up and this was the perfect recipe for it.

    1. Hey Jenn,
      Happy Wednesday! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Laney,
      I have not tried this, but I would probably add about 5-10 minutes onto your baking time depending on the size of the muffins. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. I wanted to love these so much. The texture of the muffins was wonderful; dense, but not too dense. However, the taste was just not what I was hoping for. As others said, they were quite bland, which wasn’t what I was expecting at all. For me personally, the lemon and chai just didn’t go together. As someone else stated, in the future, I would use this base, but stick with lemon (and more of it) or just chai spices (and more of those). I do love having another great muffin base recipe to add to my repertoire, but I would change the flavor profile.

    1. Hey Cassie,
      So sorry you did not enjoy this recipe, was there anything you may have adjusted? Let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

    1. Hey Stef,
      You can use maple syrup in place of the honey. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  8. These are seriously amazing! Like, delectable, scrumptious, delicious. The bright notes of the lemon perfectly balance the chai spices. And the ricotta, olive oil, eggs and vanilla add a creamy richness so the muffins aren’t dry. These are my new “go to” for coffee and tea snacks. Love them!

    1. Hey Renee,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have the best week. xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I just made these this morning and I am in love! I did sub Greek yogurt for the ricotta, only because that’s what I had, but I’ll need to get ricotta at some point to try all your other ricotta baked goods. Thank you for all of your yummy creations!

  10. 5 stars
    Just made these and they are so tasty! I switched to a teaspoon of poppyseeds because the butter seemed a bit chunky and it was absolutely perfect! Thanks Tegan xo

    1. Hey Beatrice,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Beatrice,
      I used 1 tablespoon, but if you feel like that was too much you can always reduce that amount. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan