Coconut Lemon Muffins with Cashew Ricotta Centres

January 6, 2010 at 6:52 am 1 comment

cuppa tea?

The impetus to develop this recipe came from my need to veganize Caffe Artigiano‘s Lemon Ricotta Muffins, which used to be my dear study-buddies and travel companions back in the day.  For those of you not familiar, Caffe Artigiano is a local coffee house in Vancouver that woos its clientele with premium beans and stunning artwork on their lattes.  They’ve won numerous awards at the World Barista Championships, and lately have been colonizing some prime real estate in anticipation of 2010 Olympics.  Anyway, I used to spend a far share of time there, developing an intimate relationship with their muffins.   The lemon ricotta muffins were always in short supply, and you could pretty much forget getting you paws on one after the 11:30 Corporate Coffee Rush.  I trained myself to get there early, and get my muffin(s) before the Suits did.  I’ll never forget the time that I opened the door for one of these Wall-Street dudes, and he took the very last lemon-ricotta right before my eyes.  The nerve.

But now, I’ve figured out how to make my own lemon-ricottas, and I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of this one.  I adapted VeganYumYum‘s cranberry-lemon muffin recipe to suit my needs by doubling up on the lemon, and using coconut milk instead of soy in order to round out the acidity of the lemon.  I also lessened the amount of oil, since coconut milk kills that bird, too.  The ricotta recipe is an adjustment of Tal Ronnen’s cashew ricotta filling for his Tempura Beets in The Conscious Cook (of Oprah fame).  And for those of you wondering what the hell tofu is doing in a muffin, just trust me on this- it’s the key to getting the ricotta texture.  These muffins are light, fluffy, and …gone already!

Laurakins’s Coconut-Lemon Muffins with Cashew Ricotta

Dry ingredients:

2 C All-Purpose Flour

1/2 C + 1 Tbsp. white (or light brown) sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbs cornstarch

zest from 2 lemons (make sure they are organic)


Wet Ingredients:

3/4 C coconut milk

1/2 C Lemon Juice (about 2-3 lemons)

1/3 C vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp of lemon extract (optional)



1/4 C thick cashew cream

4 oz. firm tofu, diced

1 Tbs. Nutritional yeast

2 1/2 Tbsp. Lemon juice (About 1-2 lemons)

1 1/2 tsp. white miso paste

pinch salt


12 regular muffin cups or 6 jumbo.


1. Night before: soak cashews in water overnight and follow these directions the next day.

2. Zest 2 lemons, and then juice enough lemons to produce 3/4 C of lemon juice (4-5 lemons)

3. Preheat oven to 400 F, and either grease muffin pan or prepare muffin pan with paper liners.

4. Make the ricotta: in a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients until mixture is well mixed and resembles a wet ricotta texture.  Do not over-process.  (You don’t want it to be completely smooth, but you don’t want big chunks, either.)  Taste and adjust tartness and salt, if necessary.

5.  In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Gently fold wet into dry until “just mixed”.  Mixture will begin to “fluff up,” so try and work as quickly as you can…

6. Using 2 spoons, place enough batter to fill muffin cup slightly less than halfway.  Place a small ball of ricotta on top, and top this with another scoop of muffin batter.  (You can fill these muffins all the way to the top of the paper )Repeat Process.  Sprinkle tops with light brown sugar, and bake in centre of oven about 15-17 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden, and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the muffin.

7. Let cool at least 20 minutes (otherwise they stick to the paper!) and enjoy!


Entry filed under: Muffins!. Tags: , .

HAPPY 2010! Guacabouli!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Olivia  |  January 6, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Oh my goodness. These look divine. I can’t get most of these ingredients here in Seoul, but I will be trying a gluten free version at some point when I’m back Stateside.

    (If you’re wondering how I comment so quickly, I follow you in my RSS feed so I never miss a morsel. And thanks for visiting The View from There, too!)


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