There is nothing more quintessentially breakfast than blueberry muffins.
For me a blueberry muffin has to be chock full of contrasts. It should have enough sweetness to feel decadent, but balanced by the tartness of the blueberries and lemon zest. A perfect muffin also has a top that has a thin crust of spiced streusel and under it is the tender muffin, stuffed with fruit.
I tried to put as many blueberries in this muffin as it could possibly hold without losing its structure. Blueberries alone have a subtle flavor, so they are there to add some flavor, but even more moisture to the muffin.
Muffins are super easy to make, but to have a tender crumb, that doesn’t become tough, you need to mix it just enough to incorporate everything evenly, but stop before you develop too much gluten. You can watch me make them in my instagram video. I baked the BIG blueberry muffins in 7 tulip muffin papers and used individual, straight sided, molds, but they are just as good in regular muffin cups* baked in traditional muffin pans.
Frequently Asked Questions: Blueberry Muffins
Question: Can I use gluten-free flour in these blueberry muffins?
Question: What can I use instead of buttermilk or sour cream?
Answer: You can use any kind of yogurt or crème fraîche for this recipe.
Question: Can I use sourdough discard in this recipe?
Answer: I have not tried it myself, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it for your leavening. It will require that there is some time for the sourdough to do its work to make things rise, which means it won’t be a quick bread. If you try this, please let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Question: Do I need to use lemon zest in my blueberry muffins?
Answer: If you aren’t crazy about lemon flavor, just use a small amount of lemon zest—maybe 1/2-1 teaspoon. If you omit it completely the flavor will be a little flat. You can also use orange zest.
Question: Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh?
Answer: Yes. Just keep them frozen until the absolute last moment before you stir them in to the batter. If you use frozen berries, the bake time will need to be adjusted. Tip: Toss your frozen berries in a little flour before stirring into the batter and it will help them suspend in the muffin mix.
Question: I don’t have a muffin pan, what else can I bake these in?
Answer: You can make them in mini soufflé pans (like the copper molds in my photos above). You can also make them in ceramic ramekins. Use parchment paper inside both. The bake time does change based on the size of the container you’re baking in.
Question: Can I use any other fruit?
Answer: Yes. You can use any berries. I’ve also made them with peaches and rhubarb. You can use any fruit you want!
Question: Can I freeze these muffins?
Answer: Absolutely. Thaw them out and then pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm them up.
- 1/2 cup (56g) all-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached will work)
- 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, well packed
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups spoon and sweep (225g) all-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached)*
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp (86g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30g) brown sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 tsp vanilla extract make your own
- 1 whole egg room temperature
- 1 yolk room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (135g) sour cream or buttermilk** crème fraîche or yogurt work too!
- 1 1/2 cups (175g) fresh or frozen blueberries***
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare the topping by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl until it turns into uniform clumps. Refrigerate until ready to sprinkle on muffins.
- Prepare regular muffin tins with 7 LARGE liners. (You can bake regular sized muffins by dividing it into 12) I used mini copper soufflé moulds, but they are just as good made in regular muffin tins.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.
- Cream the butter, sugars and zest together on medium speed, in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla. Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, mixing on low just until combined. It may seem a bit curdled, because it is a lot of liquid to add to that amount of butter. It will all come together in the end.
- Add half the flour and half the sour cream. Mix on low until combined. Add the remaining flour and sour cream.
- Toss the blueberries with flour and if using frozen berries immediately fold them into the batter with two or three gentle stirs. If you over mix, the batter will turn purple and then gray. Scoop into the muffin liners.
- Sprinkle the topping over the muffins. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out with moist, but not wet, crumbs. If you are baking smaller muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.
**You can use creme fraiche or yogurt if you can’t find sour cream.
***If you use frozen blueberries, keep them frozen until the last minute. These muffins can be frozen. Thaw them out and reheat in a warm oven for about 10 minutes to serve. What is spoon and sweep? If you use measuring cups instead of weighing your ingredients with a scale, you need to be sure to use the spoon and sweep method of measuring so you don’t use too much flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then sweep the top clean with a knife. Spooning the flour into the cup aerates it, so it isn’t so densely packed.