I don't know about you guys, but as we enter Spring and warmer days, my strong chocolate cravings are getting overtaken by fresh, light dessert cravings, and I just had to get into the kitchen and make something with lemon and blueberry. If you're like me, try this easy, one bowl, no fuss recipe that makes the most delicious, tender and moist bakery style lemon blueberry muffins.
THE STORY BEHIND THESE LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
I've been in love with blueberry muffins since my undergrad days, when they used to be sold at the Munchie Marts and made a perfect afternoon snack. But somehow, I have never made them myself.. until now.
The inspiration came from my fantastic Starbucks copypcat Lemon Loaf Cake recipe. It was an incredibly simple recipe that made a moist and soft cake bursting with lemon, and received way more love on Instagram & TikTok than I had anticipated.
Even though I love that recipe, I wanted to improve it further (I am just never fully satisfied..). I wanted to keep the recipe simple and no fuss, but make it tastier and even more moist and soft. So I made two changes:
- I swapped the oil for a mixture of butter and oil, as butter tastes better. Instead of softened butter, I opted for melted, as that removes the need for creaming. Butter also makes for a more tender crumb
- I replaced the all purpose flour with cake flour to achieve an even lighter texture than before
And inspiration struck me: instead of making another loaf cake, why not make muffins!? They're cuter, quicker to bake, and can be made even softer as they don't require as much structural integrity as a loaf cake.
Threw some blueberries into the mix and... the result is in front of you. 😉
Let's quickly go over the ingredients required to make these easy lemon blueberry muffins:
- Granulated sugar (also called white sugar; can be substituted with caster sugar): I kept the sugar on the lighter side as I didn't want these muffins to be too sweet. If you want them to be sweet, or if you have blueberries that are more sour, you can increase the sugar quantity to 1 cup
- Lemon zest: This adds a lovely lemony aroma to the muffins without being overpowering. If you want a more pronounced lemon flavor, add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice to the batter
- Melted butter: Melting the butter means you can mix it into the sugar along with the oil without needing to whip out an electric mixer
- Oil: Oil helps keep cakes and muffins moist for longer. Use any neutral tasting kind, like canola, vegetable or avocado
- Eggs: Ideally, they should be at room temperature. But since we have melted butter, you can also use cold eggs and the batter will be okay
- Vanilla: Honestly, this is optional. I personally am not a fan of vanilla, so I skipped it and let the lemon zest be the star instead
- Cake flour: Cake flour has lower protein content than all purpose, which means it makes more tender cakes. Don't have cake flour handy? Don't worry! You can make your own using all purpose flour and cornstarch (see the FAQs)
- Baking powder and baking soda: A mixture of the two raising agents gives the muffins a beautiful rise
- Sour cream: Sour cream adds a beautiful flavor and richness to these muffins, and reacts with baking soda to create the perfect texture. If you don't have access to it, you can make your own (see the FAQs)
- Fresh blueberries: The sweeter, the better! You can also adjust the quantity of the blueberries both up or down depending on your preference
- Cinnamon sugar: Sprinkled on the top of the muffins, this helps create a beautiful crispy texture, and is an easier version of a crumble which takes a bit more effort. If you have turbinado sugar, you can use that. Otherwise just use plain granulated sugar like me
And that's it! Hopefully all ingredients you already have in your pantry.
HOW TO MAKE THESE LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
As I promised, this is a no-fuss, one bowl recipe - and the method is as easy as it gets! Let's get into it - first, check out my video here:
1. Preheat oven to 375F (conventional), and prepare a muffin tray by brushing butter into 8 cups. Add liners if using
2. Massage lemon zest into the sugar in a large clean bowl. This will bring out the lemon extracts and create a beautiful lemony scent
3. Add the melted butter, oil and vanilla (if using) to the sugar, and use a hand whisk to combine. Whisk for 1 minute. The mixture will still be grainy - move on to step 2
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk rigorously for another minute. At this stage, we want to both aerate the batter and dissolve the sugars. Don't worry if the sugar isn't all the way dissolved
Sugar, butter and oil
After the addition of eggs
5. Sift in the cake flour (or all purpose flour and corn starch), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold until combined. The batter will be quite thick, don't worry and don't over mix
6. Add in the sour cream, and fold gently until incorporated. Now the batter will be a pourable consistency
Folding in sour cream
Batter after addition of sour cream
7. Now, before adding the blueberries, add a tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup. This will form the bottom of the muffins, and make sure blueberries don't sink to the bottom (they can cause the muffins to stick if they do)
8. Fold in the blueberries, gently! This step is kind of fun for me, not sure why. If you have one of the phobias where you can't see circular things.. maybe not the best recipe for you :p
Folding in blueberries
Final consistency of the batter
9. Now fill the cups all the way! I got 8 muffins from this recipe, but the exact number you get will depend on how large you want your muffins to be. I filled by cups almost all the way up, so I would get nice domed tops
A fun tip is to use alternate muffin cups in a tray instead of filling them all (if possible). This helps ensure each muffin gets heat from all directions in the oven, and they rise more evenly!
10. Make a simple mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle it generously over each muffin! This will create a lovely texture on the muffins. If you want, you can make a proper crumble, or use turbinado sugar.
11. Bake! Mine were done in ~25 minutes.
Right before baking, with cinnamon sugar on top
Right after baking!
12. Dive right in!!!
Here are the substitutions for the most common questions I anticipate getting:
- Cake flour - instead of cake flour, you can a mixture of all purpose flour and cornstarch. In this instance, it will be roughly 1.5 cups of all purpose flour and ¼ cup of cornstarch
- Sour cream - you can either make your own sour cream (see FAQs), or use half yogurt and half heavy cream!
This is a great muffin base recipe which you can use to make different variations! Some ideas that come to mind are:
- Replace blueberries with any other berries of choice (raspberries would be delicious!)
- Add a proper brown sugar crumble instead of cinnamon sugar to make crumble muffins
- Replace lemon zest with orange zest
- Omit blueberries and add lemon juice and poppy seeds to turn into lemon poppy seed muffins
- Omit the cinnamon sugar topping and top with a lemon glaze instead
- And so on!
I promised no fancy equipment, and I meant it! Here's what you need:
- Measuring cups or kitchen weighing scale (mine is under $10 from Amazon and has lasted me years!)
- A large mixing bowl (I love using these glass ones)
- A hand whisk (see this)
- Rubber spatula (honestly a must have for baking! I adore mine from Target)
- Muffin tray (this is the exact one I use)
You can store these muffins in an airtight container (I have this big one which works wonders) at room temperature for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for a week!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can make your own cake flour by mixing all purpose flour and cornstarch. Typically, for 1 cup of cake flour, take 1 cup all purpose flour, remove 2 tbsp, and add 2 tablespoon of cornstarch. In this recipe, you can replace 1 ¾ cups of cake flour with 1 ½ cup all purpose flour and ¼ cup corn starch
You can make your own sour cream by mixing 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ¼ cup, and keeping at room temp for 1 day in an airtight container. This will make 1 ¼ cups of sour cream, and you will use ¾ cup in this recipe.
Alternately, use a mixture of heavy cream and yogurt (the muffins will have a yogurt-like flavor, though).
Yes! Once the muffins come to room temperature, cover them in cling wrap individually, and place in the freezer. They will last months, and can be thawed overnight in the fridge for you to enjoy (although they taste best at room temperature).
The muffins should have a nice golden crust on the top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin should come out with moist crumbs attached.
Ready? Let's make this easy lemon blueberry muffins recipe now, shall we?Print
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