Is there anything better than perfect blueberry muffins and easy blueberry muffins in the same recipe? Well yes, lots of things – the perfect hair-day, the perfect job, the perfect date-night – important things. But let’s limit this discussion to perfect breakfast goodies.
Haven’t we all gone through the Sunday brunch buffet and found and placed that beautiful, perfect blueberry muffin right on top of everything else we piled on our plate, like the crowning glory? Then we triumphantly carry it back to our seat knowing everyone around us is eyeing it, too. And, if you overdid it on the bacon, sausage and ham, well, here’s your fruit to balance that out, right?
And since we know what that perfect blueberry muffin should look like, can we also agree how the perfect blueberry muffin should taste? Like how it has a barely crunchy bite outside but is moist and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside, and the perfect muffin tastes like a dense, velvety cream-cake while not being too sweet because much of the sweetness should come from juicy-ripe blueberries. Oh and if we’re making the muffins ourselves, the whole process should be simple and not require a lot of extra ingredients that we don’t have in the pantry. This recipe is all those things.
I tested, ‘trial and error’-ed and started over until I was finally happy with these lovelies. If you’re interested, here are some conclusions from my experiments – Cinnamon in the batter distracts from the berries, but is perfect in the streusel topping; and speaking of the streusel, the crumb topping makes the muffins look fancy and adds a great texture but too much topping gives a hard crust; buttermilk adds a heavenly flavor to the cake, and is equally good with real buttermilk or buttermilk substitute; and this last one really surprised me, but a lot of blueberries is just too many blueberries because nothing else gets noticed. And most importantly, I was most satisfied to create a recipe that is simple with handy ingredients.
A final note – I like to make my muffins in jumbo muffin tins for that “gourmet bakery” or “brunch at a high-end eatery” presentation, and though impressive looking, this option only makes six muffins and they’re big. That being said, no one has asked if they can split a muffin with me because they are too big. If you’re feeding a crowd, they’re still great in regular muffin tins or the recipe is easily doubled.
The other day, I made a batch mixing blueberries and raspberries. Delicious! I think the base for this recipe would be great for cranberry muffins or even chocolate chip muffins. Give it a try and I think you’ll agree, the perfect blueberry muffin is perfectly simple.
- For the crumb topping:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the muffins:
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅓ cup vegetable or avocado oil
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 6 oz. fresh blueberries (about 1¼ cups)
- 1 teaspoon flour for dusting on blueberries before adding to batter
- Make the crumb topping:
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Press butter into dry ingredients with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated. Mixture will be lumpy. Set aside.
- Make the muffins:
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Butter muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, egg and buttermilk. Whisk to incorporate.
- Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir just to combine. You will have a lot of flour that is still visible. This is okay.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over the blueberries and toss to coat. Gently fold blueberries into batter.
- Fill muffin tins ¾ full.
- Sprinkle desired amount of crumb topping over each muffin (less is more here).
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops are golden. Do not overbake.
- Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes on cooling rack before serving.
- Note: This recipe makes 6 large muffins or 12 regular size muffins. The crumb topping adds a nice delicate crunch but for best results, don't add too much. If you add too much topping, the muffin tops may burn. A good amount is about 1 teaspoon topping per muffin.