How do you make blueberry muffins better? Make Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins! Brown butter is absolutely worth it in this muffin recipe as it adds such a rich nutty flavour. They are soft and moist with the most dreamy spongy texture. You will absolutely love them!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Moist and tender muffins - this recipe makes muffins that are so moist and not crumbly nor dense.
- Soft and fluffy texture - these muffins have the most wonderful spongy, moist and soft texture!
- Brown butter muffins - brown butter really amps up the flavour! You can make these with regular melted butter, but I highly suggest you take the time to brown the butter for that extra rich nutty taste.
- Lemon blueberry muffins - lemon is optional, but I really love the flavour combination of lemon, blueberry and brown butter together.
- A hint of mixed spice - not TOO much. It's enough to make these taste well rounded and fragrant. A touch of nutmeg takes these NEXT LEVEL!
- Easy to make - all you need is a whisk, a bowl and a spatula to make this recipe. It is so super simple.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MUFFINS AND CUPCAKES?
The difference between muffins and cupcakes is the method! If you are creaming butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then you are making cupcakes my friend! Muffins are quick breads, NOT cake. Muffins have a soft, moist open, spongy texture instead of a fine, tight crumb structure like cake.
Quick breads are batters that are made by first mixing wet ingredients in one bowl. Then, mix dry ingredients separately in another bowl. Simply combine the two with minimal stirring to form the batter. It is a very simple method.
INGREDIENTS FOR BROWN BUTTER BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great for open-textured muffins. If you have bleached cake flour, then you can replace half of the unbleached all-purpose flour with cake flour and it will actually give you an even more exaggerated muffin top. That's because bleached flour absorbs moisture more readily and sets more quickly.
- Unsalted butter - for this recipe you can use unsalted or salted butter. If you use salted butter, then reduce the added salt by half. You will also need to brown the butter which makes these muffins taste INCREDIBLE! It has a rich, nutty, butterscotch flavour that really adds so much depth.
- Granulated sugar - simple granulated sugar keeps these muffins moist and helps develop the golden crunchy top.
- Eggs - Two large eggs will add nice structure and help with the moist spongy texture.
- Brown sugar - you can use light or dark brown sugar here. It adds to the caramely flavour coming from the brown butter.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will elevate and complement the lemon flavour. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Sour cream - Use full fat sour cream or full fat plain Greek yogurt to add tanginess to this recipe.
- Blueberries - You can use fresh or frozen blueberries in this recipe, but beware that frozen berries tend to bleed too much into the batter so be sure not to thaw them. Also, you may need to add a few minutes to the baking time since the frozen berries will cool down the batter.
- Lemon zest - Lemon is optional, but I highly recommend it! It pairs so well with blueberry and brown butter!
- Spice - nutmeg and brown butter are such a great combination! The aroma will make your house smell incredible as the muffins are baking.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Brown the butter. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until it starts to bubble and crackle. This is the moisture boiling and evaporating. As all of the water leaves the butter it will begin to foam and the milk solids will turn golden brown. Pull it off the heat and pour it into a clean bowl to cool slightly.
- STEP 2). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt into a large bowl. Add granulated sugar and whisk it to blend evenly.
- STEP 3). Combine wet ingredients. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, sour cream, milk, brown butter and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- STEP 4). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture. Fold gently to combine the ingredients until mostly combined, but a few streaks of flour still remain (i.e. before completely combined).
- STEP 5). Add blueberries. Add the blueberries and fold them in gently. Do not over-mix. A few small lumps are just fine.
- STEP 6). Bake. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling them to the rim. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven to 350°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let muffins cool for 5 minutes before transferring individually to the rack to finish cooling.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR BROWN BUTTER BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the batter is ready for baking. Since muffin batter is more lean with less sugar than cake batter, it is more likely to develop gluten and result in a tougher texture.
- Fold the berries in gently. Mixing too vigorously will cause juices from the berries to bleed and can cause the batter to turn grey.
- Top with some coarse sugar before baking! It provides a lovely crunchy top and really makes a difference.
Can I make these muffins with regular melted butter?
Yes, you can skip the step of browning the butter and the recipe will still work, however I highly recommend it since the nutty browned butter flavour really comes through here and makes these muffins special.
How can I achieve a domed muffin top?
Muffins with super tall pointed tops look nice but are often dry. That's because the batter needs to be quite dry and dense to get that way. A denser batter will dry out quickly on the surface and crack. Nice soft moist muffins will have a flatter top and be DELICIOUS! If you want a pointed top for these muffins, there are two things you can do:
- Rest the batter for 1 hour, covered, before baking. This will allow the flour to hydrate further so there is less evaporation through the surface during baking.
- Bake at a high temperature - bake at 400°F for the first 5-10 minutes. This will give the batter an initial bolt to kick-start that baking powder and set the surface quickly.
What can I use as a substitute for sour cream?
If you don't have sour cream, you can make these muffins with full fat Greek yogurt.
Can I use fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe?
You can use either! Fresh blueberries are ideal because their cell walls are still intact and the juices are kept inside until they are penetrated by heat. They also won't bleed into your batter like frozen blueberries would.
Frozen blueberries still work wonderfully though! Just make sure that you do not defrost them because all of the juice will leach out. You may need to add a couple more minutes to the baking time since your batter will obviously be very cold. In these photos, I used frozen blueberries.
Why did my blueberry muffin batter turn grey?
When using frozen blueberries it is important not mix too much after adding adding them because the reaction of baking soda (which is alkaline) with the antioxidants (the colour compounds responsible for that vibrant violet colour of blueberries) will actually cause the colour compounds to turn more blue and make the batter look grey since baking soda will increase the pH of the batter. To prevent this, just scatter the blueberries evenly over the surface of the batter and fold them in with just a few strokes.
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Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins
- 6 tablespoon 84g unsalted butter browned
- 2 cups 284g all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 100g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅓ cup 75g packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup 120ml sour cream
- ⅓ cup 80ml milk
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups 200g frozen blueberries
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- First brown the butter. Place it in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until it is melted. Continue to cook until it comes to a boil and starts to crackle as the moisture evaporates. Stir frequently until you see the solids turn golden brown. A dense foam will form at the surface when most of the moisture is evaporated and this is a sign that it is almost ready. When you see golden brown solids and it smells super nutty and fragrant, pour it out into a bowl to cool slightly.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl. Add granulated sugar and whisk it to blend evenly.
- Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, milk, browned butter, vanilla and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture. Stir gently until just combined with some streaks of flour left. Add blueberries and fold them in gently. Do not over-mix. A few small lumps are just fine.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling them to the rim.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven to 350°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let muffins cool for 5 minutes before transferring individually to the rack to finish cooling. Enjoy while still warm, but they are still so lovely at room temperature!