Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins
These Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins are bakery-style muffins filled with juicy berries, lemon zest and vanilla, and topped with crunchy sugar!
What makes a great blueberry muffin? We’ve all had a lot of them. Most blueberry muffins I would consider fine, maybe ok, maybe even kind of good. But very few are truly GREAT.
While I don’t make a TON of muffins, there are a few varieties in my repertoire. Pear muffins are frequent breakfast items around here, and cranberry sauce muffins are sure to be made every year after Thanksgiving, with the leftover cranberry sauce.
But most often, I make blueberry muffins. And after perfecting this buttermilk blueberry muffin recipe over many years, I consider them GREAT. The perfect accompaniment to a sweet potato breakfast casserole and some bacon in the oven, or biscuits with my bacon gravy recipe.
I’ll explain why I make this blueberry muffin recipe with buttermilk below, and I hope they’re the best you’ll ever make, too! Make yourself a caramel coffee, and let’s get started.
Fresh or frozen blueberries?
First things first, I bet you’re wondering whether you should make these blueberry buttermilk muffins with fresh or frozen blueberries. I’m happy to report that either is perfect, and they both bake up exactly the same.
If using fresh, be sure to wash the berries and pat them completely dry before stirring them into the batter.
If using frozen, no need to thaw! Just throw the frozen berries right in, and you’re all good.
No matter which kind you use for these buttermilk blueberry muffins, be sure you fold the berries in by hand, with a rubber spatula.
You’ll want to use a stand or hand mixer to make the rest of the batter, but when you get to the addition of the berries, switch over to a spatula so that you don’t crush the berries.
Optional quick tip:
If you want to keep the color of the berries from bleeding into your muffin crumb, roll the blueberries in a small spoonful of flour before adding them to the batter.
This also keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins while baking. Honestly, I usually skip this step, but thought I would include it here for anybody who wants it.
Trust me, if you’ve never made blueberry muffins with buttermilk, now’s the time to try.
There’s just something magic about buttermilk. Not only is it the perfect tenderizer in buttermilk chicken marinade and buttermilk fried chicken tenders, but it shines in bake goods like Black Forest cupcakes, chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, and these blueberry buttermilk muffins as well.
Buttermilk serves two purposes in baked goods – flavor and function.
It has a nice tang to it, kind of like sour cream or yogurt. This satisfying tang pairs really well with rich, sugary baked goods.
And thanks to acidity from the lactic acid, buttermilk helps break down long strands of gluten in baked goods. What does this mean? A more tender final product when you make your blueberry muffins with buttermilk.
Two extracts are also key to these buttermilk blueberry muffins.
Most blueberry muffin recipes only call for one type of extract, and it’s almost always vanilla. But I really encourage you to invest in a bottle of almond extract for your baking cabinet.
One bottle will last forever, and the signature flavor that almond extract adds to baked goods like these buttermilk blueberry muffins and lemon curd cake cannot be replicated any other way.
Almond extract is often used in wedding cakes, so adding almond extract to anything instantly makes me think of cake. Make your blueberry buttermilk muffins taste more like cake, with one little splash of extract!
A little lemon zest goes a long way in this blueberry buttermilk muffin recipe.
It wouldn’t be Foxes Love Lemons without adding a little lemon zest, but lemon pairs particularly well with blueberries.
It’s one of those classic combinations that bakers the world over recognize and revere. Something about a pinch of fresh lemon zest makes the blueberries really sing.
Finish with demerara sugar for that bakery-style flair:
My #1 trick for making homemade muffins look and taste more like the muffins from your favorite bakery or coffee shop is sprinkling the tops with demerara sugar.
Demerara sugar is a very coarsely ground cane sugar with a light tan color. Because the crystals are so big, they don’t fully melt in the oven, which means that when you bite into your muffin, you’ll get a little crunch of sugar.
If you do purchase a box of demerara sugar for these buttermilk blueberry muffins, you can also use it to sweeten coffee, tea, and even make brandy old fashioneds with it.
Some baking supply companies will also sell a similar product called “sanding sugar,” and that is usually large sparkly grains of white sugar. Either kind is great.
Do I need fancy muffin liners?
Absolutely not. While I happened to have tulip muffin liners on hand and used them for these photos, standard paper muffin liners work perfectly fine. The batter will go almost all the way to the top of a standard liner, and that’s OK.
Can I use a different type of berry?
Certainly! This base recipe can be used with any type of berry. I’ve tried this blueberry buttermilk muffin recipe with strawberries, fresh cranberries and raspberries, and all have turned out great.
One change I make is that for strawberries and very large blackberries, I will chop them into bite size pieces for baking. Or, I’ll just smash the blackberries into a tequila mojito instead, but that’s another story.
I actually have a separate blog post for blackberry muffins that includes all of my tips and tricks for that flavor (I use a different type of citrus zest, too).
How long do blueberry buttermilk muffins last?
These muffins will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container, at room temperature. Quick tip – if you have one on hand, add a piece of white bread to the container.
This will help prevent the muffins from getting sticky and overly soft. But if not, no worries. Your muffins will still be just fine!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) room temperature unsalted butter
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 12 ounces (about 2-1/4 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon zest, almond extract and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
- Add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and mix on low until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in blueberries.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin cups and sprinkle tops with demerara sugar, if using. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Home Chef Tip: If you want to keep the color of the berries from bleeding into your muffin crumb, roll the blueberries in a small spoonful of flour before adding them to the batter. This also keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins while baking.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.