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).

Ingredients

    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

Directions

  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.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/lemon-sugar-crusted-blueberry-muffins/

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Blueberry Muffins

114 Responses to The Best Blueberry Muffins

  1. Melanie says:

    Hi Jo – this recipe makes about 12 muffins (possibly 14 if you stretch the batter).

  2. Jo says:

    how many muffins does this recipe make? i would love to try it for a breakfast meeting but i need ot know if i should double it. Thanks!

  3. melanee says:

    We have a whole freezer full! I made pancakes with them this morning and they were awesome. Such a great blueberry substitute :)

  4. Melanie says:

    Melanee – oooh, I am VERY jealous about the huckleberries. Did you pick a lot this year??

  5. Melanie says:

    Molly – these were the best homemade muffins I had ever come across, too, so I’m really excited that you liked them as well. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Molly says:

    Best homemade muffins I’ve ever made!! So moist and the crunchy sugar with lemon zest on top…mmmm

  7. melanee says:

    I made these with huckleberries :) They were tart but very tasty!

  8. Melanie says:

    Michele – thanks for your comment. I’m glad you tried and loved these muffins. They are some of my very, very favorites. I need to remake them so I can take a better picture! Anyhow, thanks for letting me know you liked them.

  9. Michele says:

    I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and this is the first recipe that I have been able to try out. They were delicious! There will be many more made in my house. Thanks for sharing this great recipe with us!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I love these muffins! Made them twice in one week. I did add lemon zest to the muffin the second time and liked it better. It made it so the muffin wasn’t so sweet. But very popular around our neighborhood!

  11. Sophie says:

    MMMMMMM..Looks really lovely & yummie 8)!!!

  12. Katy says:

    Smacking my lips. Definitely saving this to try soon. I love blueberry muffins. And I hear you about the high cost of fresh ANYTHING in our little city!

  13. Leslie says:

    These DO look out of the world. I have had the recipe printed from CI for a while now and have yet to bake them.

  14. Colleen says:

    Hi Melanie! I just posted these – they were delicious!

  15. Amber Omer says:

    My husband & I LOVED these muffins! The best blueberry muffins we’ve ever eaten! Thanks for sharing! I hope it’s ok if I blog about them to share with my family! Thanks!

  16. grace says:

    i love the idea of a crispy topping on a muffin, and the fact that it’s lemony is just delightful. excellent blueberry muffin, melanie. ci has disappointed me before, but this is clearly a winner.

  17. Sierra says:

    mmmm just made this :) they’re delish!

  18. teresa says:

    I always thought lemon and blueberries were a great combination, these look wonderful!

  19. Psychgrad says:

    I’m all for frozen blueberries at this time of year. This looks delcious! Starred!

  20. Supriya Nair says:

    These are amazing and so tempting…:)

  21. Heather says:

    ohhhh I am going to make these soon. I can’t wait to try them, thanks!!

  22. Shirley says:

    I love the addition of the lemon zest with the sugar. I can’t wait to try these.

  23. Melanie says:

    Sierra – glad you liked these!

    Amber – that’s not a problem at all if you want to blog about them – that’s the best part of trying a new great recipe…sharing it!

  24. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – what a great idea to add lemon zest into the batter. I bet the zing of the lemon helps cut the sweetness of the muffin. Thanks for letting me know!

  25. Melanie says:

    Colleen – glad you liked these. I’m on my way over to check out your post.

  26. Melanie says:

    Angie – thanks for letting me know your changes on this recipe and that you liked it. I think it’s awesome they turned out so well with whole wheat flour, I’ll definitely have to try that next time!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I made these with all white whole-wheat flour and used 2 T. less of sugar — amazing. I thought they were better this way than when I made the original recipe. The magazine also had a recipe for an Almond version and they also were magnificent!

    Angie

  28. Angie says:

    I made these yesterday. They turned out WONDERFUL. My husband came home and while stuffing it in his mouth managed to say "these are the best muffins ever!" So thank you!

  29. Melanie says:

    Angie – I have to agree with your husband, these are probably my favorite muffins ever. So glad they were a hit!

  30. Stephanie says:

    Yum. That’s all I have to say. Just made them and they are just as fabulous as everyone else has said! Thanks Mel!

  31. Mel says:

    Thanks, Steph! I’m glad you liked these…they are definitely my favorite blueberry muffins of all time.

  32. Chavah says:

    I made these muffins this morning… I felt like I just bought gourmet muffins from the bakery, they were THAT good! I love the lemon flavor and the crunch layer at the top, just so yummy. Definately my go-to recipe for blueberry muffins–amazing texture and taste! Thanks Melanie!

  33. Mel says:

    Chavah – I agree, these are absolutely gourmet! I’m so glad that you liked them…thanks for letting me know!

  34. Brittany says:

    “The world’s most perfect muffin” is really the title I would give these. I made them the first time following the recipe and they were delicious and disappeared fast. However, I didn’t get the same amount of lemon in each bite and really was left wanting a little more lemon. So I made them again this morning by the recipe except that I added the zest of a second lemon to the wet ingredients. The result: balanced lemon flavor in a sea of blueberry delight. Definitely the most perfect muffin in the world. How do I really say thank you for such a recipe? I don’t know, but for what it’s worth THANK YOU MEL!!!!

  35. Mel says:

    Brittany – more lemon is always better and I’m glad you made the adjustment that helped you love these even more!

  36. Jeanette says:

    Hi~ I bought the ingredients to make these for this coming weekend. Our youth group is hosting a bake sale and I thought these would be perfect. Do you know if they can be made ahead of time and frozen without compromising the taste? Thanks for all the great recipes!!!

  37. Mel says:

    Hi Jeanette! I have never frozen these but my gut instinct tells me you could probably get away with it and be fine. I don’t see why they wouldn’t freeze well. Let me know if you try it!

  38. Jeanette says:

    Melanie, these were so good… and really pretty too. i’m sure they’ll be a hit at the bake sale tomorrow! i also made your cream cheese pumpkin muffins that were delicious….but i’ll leave a comment there as well~

  39. Mel says:

    Jeanette – you’ve been on a muffin kick! I’m glad you liked these, too! I hope they sell well at the bake sale.

  40. Ariane says:

    I’m not a huge fan of blueberries but when I saw these I had to make them. And boy was I pleasantly surprised. Seriously, they are amazing and very moist.

  41. Mel says:

    Thanks Ariane – so glad you liked them!

  42. Veronica M. says:

    These are the bomb-diggity! I made them last night since I never get up early enough to bake in the morning. So of course we had to have a few as soon as they were out of the oven. I thought they were wonderful but was sure that by morning, the nice texture would have turned dense and less moist as so many muffins do. Not so! This morning they tasted even better, IMO, even at room temperature, which is amazing. Still sooo moist and tender, it’s amazing. BTW, my muffin cups were so full that they all sort of baked up and over and into each other. I think next time I will make 14 muffins.

  43. Mel says:

    Veronica – these are hands down my favorite muffins and I’m glad you liked them, too (even the next day!). Thanks for the comment.

  44. That crust looks incredible! What a treat these would be with a cup of tea.

  45. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…these look perfect! I love to see how moist they are and all the blueberries there. Blueberry muffins are my favourite. Thanks very much for sharing.

  46. Janel says:

    These are the best muffins ever! The lemon compliments the blueberries perfeclty and the sugary stuff on top – divine!

  47. Susan says:

    Just made these… LOVE THEM!, me, hubby, and friends tried it and loved the lemon addition! I will surely make them again… SOON!!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  48. Mel says:

    Thanks, Susan and Janel! I just made a double batch of these the other night, too. Love them!

  49. Stacie D. says:

    Love the new pictures. These blueberry muffins have become our favorite too. They are fabulous!!

  50. Colleen says:

    These sound so yummy! Can I substitute the buttermilk with anything? Thanks!

  51. Tobi says:

    oh mel….finding this muffin recipe is both a blessing and a curse ;) a blessing because i can now finally say i’ve found the perfect blueberry muffin recipe! it’s been a LONG pursuit, believe me! a curse because after trying these this morning i ate 2…………. and 3/4 of 1, shhhhhhhh! don’t tell anyone….(willpower is something i struggle with when it comes to baked goods)…so now the bridesmaid dress i have hanging in the closet that i’m supposed to wear in 9 days might be a little snug…lol…oh well….totally worth it! these are AMAZING! you never let me down girl!

  52. Mel says:

    Tobi – I guess I should say I’m sorry! But really, I’m glad you’ve found “the one” when it comes to blueberry muffins. I feel exactly the same way you do about these beauties (and incidentally, it sounds like I have about as much self-control!).

  53. Mel says:

    Colleen, I can’t guarantee the results without actually using buttermilk, but you could try subbing plain yogurt or making your own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice (I think the sub is 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 cup milk).

  54. Katie S. says:

    Mel- I’m new to the whole fresh zest thing… how much lemon zest did you use approx? Like 1 T, 1 tsp? Help a girl out :)

  55. Mel says:

    Katie – it is probably about 1-2 teaspoons zest from one lemon.

  56. Lisa says:

    Would it be possible to substitute the milk powder for regular milk?

  57. Tiffiny says:

    A friend of mine told me about your blog a few months ago and this was the first recipe I tried. I made them twice in one month (two weekends in a row, I think). Oh my goodness! These really are the best blueberry muffins! The cooked berry mixture and the lemon sugar topping really take these to the next level. Don’t skimp on that topping! I loved how it made a nice, crunchy crust on top. I was floored when I took that first bite – right out of the oven! I couldn’t resist.
    My first batch was very slightly overcooked. I dropped the second batch to just 16 minutes and that was perfect for my oven. I almost always err on the side of under baking and that’s definitely key for these little beauties. They were so moist and delicious. Thanks for sharing these!

  58. Mel says:

    Tiffiny – I’m glad you found your way to my blog! And I’m even more happy that you loved these muffins. Thanks for letting me know!

  59. [...] found it over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, which is great for other classic recipes as well (ahem, Lemon Sugar Crusted Blueberry Muffins), but her Buttermilk Banana Bread is to die [...]

  60. Rosalee says:

    Amazingly delicious! I’ve been looking for a better blueberry muffin recipe for quite a while and I’ve finally found one! I love your blog! Now when I sit down to plan out my menu I go to your blog first for ideas. Thanks!

  61. Mel says:

    Thanks, Rosalee – what a nice comment!

  62. Megan H. says:

    probably a silly question BUT… could i use muffin/cupcake liners with these or would they stick to the paper? I do have some of the oh so fabulous bakers joy if the liners are no bueno with this recipe… :)

  63. Mel says:

    Megan – I’m not sure why but your “no bueno” made me giggle. Anyhow, onto your question – yes, you can definitely use muffin liners. I do it both ways – liners or sans muffins liners – and works great both ways!

  64. Heather B. says:

    I have made these with assorted frozen berries and chocolate chips, blueberries and now peaches. The are soo yummy! I did frozen peaches that I had partially thawed and mixed into the flour. I sprinkled the top with sugar. The kids LOVED them! Thanks for yet another “Best” recipe!

  65. Heather Miller says:

    I read this recipe the other day and having been thinking about it ever since. Well I had a lot of raspberries in my fridge that I was worrying about going bad so after dinner tonight (which incidentally was your roasted garlic and cauliflower pasta recipe…fabluous as well!) I made these with raspberries instead and they turned out phenomenal! Your recipes are always incredible! Thanks for sharing them!

  66. n82 says:

    These were so moist! Loved them! Thanks Mel for another great one.

  67. Lucy says:

    I made these today only I had to sub orange zest for lemon since that’s what I had. They were so delicious. The citrus adds a great flavor. I want to try these with lemon now because I bet they are even better with the lemon.

  68. Millie says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…………………………….
    I wish I had some of those soft-tasty-fluffy-looking muffins in my mouth right now!

  69. [...] adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in [...]

  70. Nikki says:

    I just made these muffins today, step by step and they were fantastic! I made 12 huge muffins, and now three hours later, only 4 are left! This will be my ultimate go to blueberry muffing recipe and thank you for sharing it :)

  71. Marie says:

    I’ve seen this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen and I’ve wanted to try it. They were so good! For some reason my batter made 23 muffins but I’m not complaining. I especially loved the lemon zest. It was a great combination with the fresh blueberries.

  72. Melanie says:

    I LOVED these muffins…and the zest was a gourmet touch!!

  73. Heidy says:

    So tasty! I love the lemon-sugar topping! Mmmmm!

  74. Bri says:

    These are so yummy. I subbed half of the flour with whole white wheat, and used applesauce instead of the oil. They turned out delicious! Another great recipe! I plan to freeze them so I don’t eat them all in one day, which is very possible. Hope they freeze well!

  75. Ali K says:

    These are so delicious! Made them again with coconut & white chocolate chips sprinkled with toasted coconut for another yummy hit! Love your website – always know I can trust your recipes!

  76. mikel says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for your recipe. My mom shared with me and it was amazing! These have it all.. The look, the taste, the texture.. Bravo! One question for those of you cooks who are WAY more experienced than myself.. If I were to prepare everything the night before (the batter, the blueberry topping, and the sugar topping) then assemble and cook the next morning, would I have the same results? Obviously trying will be an easy way to find out but I wanted to see if anyone else had tried this before I wasted my time. Thanks!

  77. Nat says:

    Nice recipe :) I love blueberry muffins… Such a great snack.
    Here’s another recipe you might like.
    http://www.wascene.com/food-drink/recipes/blueberry-muffin-recipe/
    Thanks for sharing.
    Nat

  78. Alli says:

    This recipe is amazing! I worked as the lead pastry chef at a bakery for four years, and this is by far one of the best blueberry muffin recipes I’ve tried. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!

  79. Kyra says:

    Have these in the oven right now—I live in FL and we went blueberry picking today, got 2 lbs for $5. That’s always the best, because we make sure the full two pounds are only the fattest, bluest berries. But don’t worry, we are punished here with heat and humidity so don’t be too jealous. I’m crazy for this lemon sugar topping—thanks for a great recipe!

  80. Jaime says:

    That lemon zest sugar mixture was genius! It gave the muffin that extra boost of flavor and texture. Soooooo good!

  81. Ali says:

    Just went to the blueberry farm yesterday and picked 18 lbs. (at $2/lb. I HAD to stock the freezer!) so I have been searching for a different muffin recipe to try. Do believe it will have to be this one!! Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow!! :)

  82. Kim says:

    I made these today with fresh blueberries. Amazing!
    I used regular sized muffin tins with cupcake liners and filled them 1/2 way full so as to not have them too large and that was just right to yield 21 muffins. Also, I used one extra large lemon and ended up with 2 teaspoons lemon zest so I put one in the batter and one in the topping. Because I ended up with more muffins than the recipe calls for, I think I would double the lemon topping next time to get more of the crumble effect on top. Besides, it is just that delicious! I also used reduced fat buttermilk to save some calories and the results were good (my husband ate four in one sitting). I, too, reduced the baking time to 15 minutes for my oven and sized muffins and that was perfect.
    Finally, I was wondering if you could reduce the amount of vanilla extract and replace it with some lemon extract instead for some additional lemon flavor. Just curious if you have ever tried that, Mel.
    I’m gonna definitely make these again and also try substituting the blueberries with raspberries. I think that would be heavenly with the lemon topping. Anyway, thanks for another great recipe! I *heart* your blog and am slowly working through your recipes! My husband and I thank you for making me a better cook!

  83. lisa h. says:

    thanks for posting this! I have been searching for THE blueberry muffin recipe and this is it! I made a double batch of these on Sat (did the part where you boil them w/ sugar also). They were so perfect!! I gave them to several neighbors and got many compliments.

  84. Cammee says:

    Ok, seriously. There are not even words to describe these muffins. Let the fact that in the last 2 days I have probably eaten 8 speak for itself. I have been dreaming up things I can top with lemon sugar. Mel, would you send me a picture of yourself that I can frame and hang in my kitchen?

  85. Lea says:

    OMG! I felt like a pro after i made this muffin.. These are sooooooooooooooo good.. Thanks so much!!

  86. evina, says:

    Can I substitute buttermilk with sour cream? Because it’s hard to find buttermilk in my country. Thank you

  87. Mel says:

    evina – I think that should work, although I’ve never tried it. You might want to thin it down with a bit of regular milk.

  88. [...] for recipes is Mel’s Kitchen Cafe . . . and I was so excited when I found her recipe for the best blueberry muffins.   So [...]

  89. Crystal says:

    I just made these, very delicious – and worth the 20 minute clean up after dumping the blueberry slurry on the kitchen floor!

  90. Cyndi L says:

    I have made these muffins several times, but when I started to make them this morning I noticed I had no buttermilk, so in a panic I substituted sour cream. They turned out awesome just as good as buttermilk. This is such a great recipe and the lemon is the finishing touch. I also mixed blackberries in with the blueberries. Absolutely delicious!

  91. Cindy Hovey says:

    I made these today for a church potluck, but I had to use the ingredients that I had on hand. Mixed frozen berries from Schwans, and lime zest instead of lemon. Delicious!

  92. Laura says:

    This muffin was great – thanks for the recipe! It had a really nice crumb to it, and it tasted delicious. I didn’t have enough blueberries, so I used half blueberry/half cranberry and loved it.

    I forgot to top it with sugar before baking, so instead I poked holes in the muffins once they came out of the oven and used a lemon glaze – so good. I would like to try it with the sugar too, though. Will definitely make these again :)

  93. Laura says:

    And for a buttermilk substitute, I used lemon juice to curdle my milk. It worked great. Just a tablespoon of lemon juice and then fill up to the cup level in a measuring cup and let it stand while you do the rest of the recipe. By the time you’re ready to add it, you have buttermilk!

  94. Nita says:

    Hi Mel, I decided to make these muffins for my husband and kids and they were fabulous! My husband said they were the best blueberry muffins he’s tasted. I don’t usually eat blueberry muffins because I don’t like them but I really liked these. I’ve made 2 batches in 3 days and my kids are begging me to make more. I will be making these often!

  95. [...] Lemon Curd Muffins adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe: The Best Blueberry Muffins [...]

  96. Tommie says:

    I made a batch yesterday and they didn’t even last 24 hours. Tonight I decided to make them again, but instead I used some strawberries… the were wonderful too!! I didn’t do the sugar topping with the strawberry ones, but I will definetly say that I’ll be making them again, both ways!!

  97. Ava says:

    Fantastic!

  98. Stacey says:

    Hi Mel,

    Do you recommed making these in the morning or is it okay to make them the night before? I am taking them to a get together. Thanks!!

  99. nikki says:

    Hi,
    I can’t see anywhere what the temp should be. I would never assume anything in baking. Most recipes say either 375f or 400f. If you could advise that would be great.
    Thanks.

  100. Mel says:

    Stacey – if you have time, I’d recommend making them the morning of. They are best as fresh as can be.

    Nikki – the temperature is stated in the the second paragraph of the instructions: 375 degrees F.

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