The Best Blueberry Muffins

I have another recipe for blueberry muffins on this blog. They are good. But these? These muffins are phenomenal. The crumb is so moist and tender. Honestly – I’ve never had a from-scratch muffin turn out as delicious. This could be helped along by the fact that these muffins are topped with a divine concoction of lemon zest and sugar. But really, the muffin itself takes the cake and I am excited to try the base muffin recipe with other add-ins (think: chocolate chips). The great thing about these delectable morsels is they can be made with fresh or frozen berries. Living in a winter tundra with a poor selection of fresh produce and unwilling to pay $36 for a pint of sub-par fresh blueberries, I chose to use frozen…and the result was stellar.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Yield: Makes 12-16 muffins

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Note: I’ve made these with fresh or frozen blueberries…both work great but use fresh, if you can. I’ve also made them eliminating the blueberry syrup step and tossing both cups of blueberries in with the flour mixture. You don’t get the delicious blueberry syrup effect on top of the muffin, but they do come together more quickly and are packed with blueberries (still top them with the lemon-sugar mixture).


    Lemon-Sugar Topping:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • zest from one lemon
  • Muffins:
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (or 2 cups fresh)
  • 1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. For the topping, stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. For the muffins, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse one cup frozen berries under cold water and spread on a double layer of paper towels to dry well. Bring remaining one cup berries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss the berries that have dried on the paper towels in with the flour mixture. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry spots of flour – don’t overmix. This is the key to moist and tender muffins.
  4. Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full. Spoon a teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter. Using a skewer (or a chopstick), gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
  5. Bake until the top of the muffins are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Blueberry Muffins

139 Responses to The Best Blueberry Muffins

  1. Kristen says:

    Hi, I just made these but I made one mistake. I accidentally added the sugar into the flour bowl. Then in a different bowl I did the egg mixture. My muffins turned out pretty thick-even the batter was really thick. Could the sugar mistake be why? I want to make these again knowing that putting the sugar in the egg mixture bowl will give me moist muffins.

    • Mel says:

      Kristen – The order of ingredients can definitely make a difference in the consistency of a batter like this. Did you bake the muffins? If they came out light and moist it sounds like it was ok. If not, I’d wager another try mixing it the other way will make a better difference. Good luck!

  2. elizabeth says:

    hi Mel, a quick question ! way back in the spring( I believe) I requested if you could come up with or have your own personal recipe “cream of wheat” that you would share with us .. the box version is going against all my kitchen rules.-its coming up to that time of year again and we live in northern Ontario–Very,very cold !!! 6 hr drive to quebec (were my n-laws live).True Canadians. This is one comfort dish that I would love to refer to and give to my daughter before getting on the school bus in the morning -lol just think some brown sugar on top with piping hot creamy cream of wheat & some plump raisins. Mel, considering how busy you are do you think it would be possible to address my otherwise patient adrenaline????thank you mel so far for all your hard work & recipes,they are awesome. your the best !!!!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t forgotten about your request; promise! I’ve actually been experimenting with how coarse/fine to grind the wheat and toasting it. I hope to post a version soon but only when it is just right. Good luck with that brutal cold!

  3. cyndi says:

    ohhhhh, Mellll….we sure do love you around here!! I was wondering if you think I could make this recipe in a 9×13 pan and if so would i need to double it??

    • Mel says:

      Thanks Cyndi! That’s a great question but I’m afraid I’ve never tried it. I do think just looking at the recipe that it would probably need to be doubled for a 9×13. Good luck!

  4. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel,

    I made these this morning, but accidentally left out the oil…they were still very good…but can you tell me what the difference would have been had I not forgotten? Moister? I also left off the sugar coating on top as my wee one is having them too – but all in all, I am very pleased…thank you!! I just wondered about the oil…I like to understand these things 😉

  5. Quintin says:

    Have you ever baked this in a loaf pan? So like a blueberry muffin bread? Just wondering if you have and how it turned out 🙂

    • Mel says:

      No, but I think someone in the comment thread above may have tried it.

    • Whitney says:

      I have done this! It turned out really well actually, I made it that way after I ran out of cupcake liners but still had tons of batter left. It disappeared in seconds! 🙂

    • barbara says:

      Yes, I did bake it in a loaf pan. AMAZING. I think I doubled the recipe and came up with 2 standard sized loaves and one mini loaf. I don’t remember exactly though, but I do remember it was awesome. Making it again for teacher appreciation week!!

  6. Is this a recipe that can be used in a high altitude

    • Mel says:

      Sure – most of the recipes on my site I’ve made at high altitude but I can’t guarantee 100% results, of course, as everyone’s climate/altitude is different.

  7. Katrina says:

    Made these for “breakfast for dinner”. My five yr old declared them “Muffin candy!” 🙂 they were delish!

  8. Sabina says:


  9. Catherine says:

    Are these muffins good the next day?

  10. Elaine says:

    How much is the measurement of 1 cup equivalent to in metric terms please? Also is powdered sugar, caster sugar? Than You

    • Mel says:

      You can google a conversion calculator if you need the measurements a different way – I don’t use metric measurements so I don’t calculate them. Sorry!

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