Freshly baked blueberry muffins with golden brown domed tops are an irresistible breakfast treat. Each perfectly portioned muffin is sprinkled with a little sugar and baked until the surface has a light crunch with jammy berries inside.
Each one of these blueberry muffins has just the right balance of sweetness, fruit, and a modest crunch. Using simple pantry ingredients like butter, flour, eggs, sugar, and baking powder creates a nice rising structure that holds together, but delicately crumbles apart when eaten.
Quick bread is the answer to satisfying muffin cravings in under an hour. Leavening agents like baking powder reacts with the acid in the buttermilk and moisture in the batter to create bubbles that help lift the batter as it bakes.
The hallmark of great muffins is the stunning curved top. Using just the right amount of each ingredient ensures this recipe will delight and be devoured the moment it leaves the oven.
How to make blueberry muffins
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).
- Melt butter and then cool.
- Whisk together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk sugar and eggs together until smooth.
- Whisk in butter, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla to the egg mixture.
- Add the wet ingredients and blueberries to the dry ingredients.
- Gently fold the ingredients until batter is just combined.
- Grease the muffin pan with cooking spray or use paper liners.
- Use a measuring cup to measure out about a ⅓ cup of batter.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar over each muffin.
- Place a few blueberries on top.
- Bake for 16 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through cooking.
- Cool muffins in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove.
The perfect muffin top
Double-acting baking powder and eggs provide gas and air that gets trapped as the muffins bake. The result is a batter that has risen, with a structure that solidifies and stays arched on top. Baking at a high temperature of 425ºF (218ºC) causes the proteins in the egg and flour to harden on the outside, ensuring that the gases stay inside the quick bread. Baking powder also helps speed up browning.
Use double-acting baking powder
Baking powder is a powerful chemical leavening agent that comes in single or double-acting types. I use the latter for insurance and guarantee of a proper rise in the muffin. The moment that sodium bicarbonate and acids in the buttermilk combine, gases form. Some are lost, so a secondary gas reaction occurs in the oven as the temperature rises, for extra pretty peaks.
Fat and sugar helps the texture
A combination of butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar makes muffins tender. Without them, the texture would be dry and tough. The fat coats the wheat proteins to prevent some water absorption and gluten formation as the batter is mixed. Sugar not only provides sweetness, but it also is a tenderizer to slow down protein bonding.
Do NOT overmix the batter
Overmixing causes muffins to become hard and rubbery, minimal physical agitation is ideal. This is due to excessive gluten formation and bonding of the proteins in the wheat flour and liquid in the batter. Instead, gently fold until wet ingredients are moistened by the dry ingredients. There should be a little bit of dry flour remaining for a moist and tender muffin.
A sprinkle of sugar
Sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top of each muffin before baking to create a delightful, light crunch. The high temperature of the oven gradually melts and hardens the sugar. The extra golden crust and surprisingly sweet layer make each portion tastier.
Use fresh or frozen blueberries?
Fresh blueberries are ideal, but when the fruit is not in season frozen can save the day. Make sure to defrost and rinse under cool water until noticeably lighter in color. Then dry the berries between paper towels. There will be some inevitable streaking of blueberry color because the cell walls have been ruptured during the freezing process. However, the color bleed is minimal if you follow the recommended prep steps.
Freeze and eat later
The best part of this blueberry muffin recipe is that they freeze and reheat really nicely. Once cooled, I recommend individually wrapping them in plastic wrap, and then place in an airtight container or large resealable bag. When ready to eat, unwrap, place on a paper towel, and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds for a steamy muffin whenever you need a quick breakfast or when the craving hits.
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Testing for doneness
The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, any wet batter is a sign that’s still raw in the center. For a more precise measurement, use an instant-read thermometer and probe the center. When it reaches around 210ºF (99ºC), it’s ready. The muffins are left in the pan for 5 minutes, so some carryover cooking will occur.
- 1 ½ cups (253 g) blueberries, divided
- 2 ounces (56 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ cup (345 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons (13 g) double acting baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
- 1 cup (206 g) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the oven rack in the upper middle position. Preheat to 425ºF (218ºC).
- Melt the butter in a pan or microwave, then cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth and pale yellow in color, 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the melted butter and vegetable oil into the egg mixture until incorporated.
- Whisk the buttermilk and vanilla into the egg mixture.
- Add the egg mixture and 1 ¼ cups of blueberries to the flour mixture. Gently fold the flour mixture until just moistened, with some lumps and flour spots remaining. Do not over mix the muffin batter.
- Grease the muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil, or line with paper cups. Fill each cup to the top and mounded slightly, about a ⅓ cup per muffin.
- Sprinkle some sugar over the top of each muffin.
- Evenly distribute the remaining ¼ cup of blueberries on top of each muffin, lightly pressing in 2 to 3 berries per muffin.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until muffins are golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Cool muffins in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully release them from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack.