Cherry lime muffins made healthy (or not!) with whole wheat flour and reduced sugar options. Use fresh or frozen cherries in this easy cherry limeade-like muffin recipe.
I've had cherry limeade as a flavor profile to work with on my idea list for months now. It also seems I am always looking for new recipes to utilize all the cherries we manage to pick in the summer months! Sweet, juicy cherries combine with tart lime for an easy new breakfast bake.
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what makes these cherry lime muffins healthier?
These muffins are more healthy than the average coffee shop muffins. They are made with 50% whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour brings more fiber and nutrients.
I also tested this recipe with different sugar options. I used Purecane, which is a zero calorie 1 to 1 replacement for sugar (Big E claims it tastes even better than granulated sugar). The muffins came out incredibly delicious with no strange aftertaste and were devoured by my family. This option cuts about 45 calories and 12 grams of sugar per muffin! That's a healthy win in my opinion!!
I also introduced you to Domaine Santé grape nectar with my baked donuts with two glazes recipe. Their Bored-O Blanc tested beautifully in this cherry lime muffin combination! The grape nectar yields a slightly softer crumb and a less sweet muffin.
how to make these easy cherry lime muffins
You can make this healthier muffin recipe with basic grocery store ingredients and no special equipment. Yay for the simple things, right?
Then prepare your dry ingredients ~ whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and lime zest. If using granulated sugar or a 1 to 1 sugar replacement, add it to the dry ingredients as well.
In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, melted coconut oil, egg, and lime juice. If using grape nectar, add it here.
Then add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in the cherries. The batter is quite thick! The photo below has grape nectar as the sweetener, the batter will be even thicker if using sugar.
Finally, distribute the batter equally between the 12 liners and bake.
can I use frozen cherries?
Yes, frozen cherries can be used in this recipe (although I like them best with fresh). If using frozen, allow the cherries to fully defrost and pat them dry. Then chop the cherries and pat them dry again. Frozen fruit contains a lot of extra moisture and can make the muffins too wet if you don't pat them dry.
why start the oven at 425° and drop it to 350° while baking?
This method gives muffins a nice blast of heat to start, which creates a muffin top quickly. Then leave the muffins in the oven to continue baking the centers at 350°F for the remainder of the time. I use this technique with almost all my muffin recipes.
what is the best way to store muffins?
These healthier muffins will stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
You can also allow muffins to cool completely and then freeze for up to three months. Allow the muffins to defrost overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for 30 minutes or so and warm to your liking. I love heating the defrosted muffins for 3-5 minutes in our Breville toaster oven.
more healthy muffin recipes to try
- Cherry Crumble Muffins
- Gingerbread Muffins with a Cream Cheese Cinnamon Drizzle
- Small Batch Banana Bran Muffins
- Whole Wheat Blueberry Oat Muffins
- Zucchini Oat Bran Chocolate Chip Muffins
Remember to snap a picture and tag me @twosugarbugs on Instagram if you make these healthier cherry lime muffins. It warms my heart to see you bring these recipes to life! Thank you for being here and happy baking!
If you make this recipe (or any recipe!) from two sugar bugs please come back and leave a review and a star rating. I read every comment, and I LOVE hearing from you!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (or Purecane or Domaine Sante Grape Nectar)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom*
- Grated zest of one lime
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ cups cherries, fresh (pitted and chopped) or frozen**
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine both flours, sugar (or dry sugar substitute), baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom* and lime zest. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, melted coconut oil, lime juice and egg (add grape nectar to wet ingredients, if using) .
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be quite thick. Gently fold in the cherries**.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 12 prepared liners. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then turn the oven down to 350°F (leaving the muffins in the oven the whole time) and continue baking for another 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
I’ve tested these muffins with granulated sugar, Purecane (1 to 1 no calorie baking sweetener) and Domaine Sante Grape Nectar for low sugar alternatives. All varieties come out delicious; the version with Domaine Sante is less sweet and the batter is not quite as thick. Using a 1 to 1 sugar alternative reduces the calories by approximately 45 calories per muffin and drops the sugar to approximately 3 grams per muffin.
*if you don't have cardamom, you can use ½ cinnamon and ½ nutmeg as a substitution
**If using frozen cherries ~ allow cherries to defrost completely and pat off most of the moisture. Then chop the defrosted cherries and pat off the moisture again.
If whole wheat flour is unavailable, you can use all-purpose flour in its place.
Muffins will stay fresh at room temperature for a few days or for up to one week in the refrigerator. Completely cooled muffins can also be frozen for up to three months.
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- USA Pan (1200MF) Bakeware Cupcake and Muffin Pan, 12 Well, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
- (2 Pack) Standard Paper Cupcake Liners/Baking Cups, 60-ct/Box
- Wire whisk
- Microplane 38004 Profesional Series Fine Grater, 18/8, Stainless Steel
- Duralex 100010 Made In France Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g
This nutrition estimate gives calories with granulated sugar. If using a sugar alternative; calories can be reduced by up to 45 calories per muffin and sugar content reduced to up to 12 grams per muffin.