Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan(s) with liners (the batter makes 18 muffins).
In a bowl mix together buttermilk, water, canola oil and egg. Mix well.
Next add the lemon zest, flour, sugar, and baking powder and stir until well incorporated.
Lastly fold in the cherries and stir until just combined.
Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop (or just using a spoon), scoop batter into muffins cups so that each muffin cup is about 3/4 full. Sprinkle a little sanding sugar on top of the muffin batter, and then bake for 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let rest for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire cooling wrack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.