Blueberry muffins are quite the classic. When I think of muffins, they’re usually one of the top three flavors I envision. The only problem is that, until now, I could never get just the right recipe figured out for them. They can be a bit tricky, what with those luscious berries that are known to sink to the bottom. So many recipes thicken the batter, but then the muffin itself is a bit dense. One time I tried fixing that by adding brown sugar to the mixture, but when the blue color ran through the batter it ended up turning a bit greenish. They tasted good, but not pretty for photos. After more than a few tries, I’ve finally gotten my recipe for these light and fluffy blueberry muffins just right.
The muffin is light… and fluffy… and the blueberries give just the right texture and color. With the addition of orange zest, vanilla extract and cardamom and nutmeg, they’re flavorful and far from boring. I might even venture to say that you could even add another 1/2 cup of blueberries if you really like them bursting with berries.
I actually whipped these up recently because I’ve been having a hard time these past few months. I was in a pretty bad car accident last October and the healing has been slower than I’d anticipated. Residual trauma and pain, coupled with the busy holidays and the stress of this election season left me stress baking earlier this week. There’s nothing more soothing to my soul than baking up something delicious, and I happened to have just enough blueberries that I’d stored away in the freezer to make these little treats.
Of course, I love to do things a bit differently, so I thought adding some orange zest would liven up the flavor a bit for these traditional muffins. Tossing them in with the sugar before adding the other ingredients is a great way to get a citrus-sweet base. Instead of using room temperature butter, I also melted it and let it cool just a bit before adding it to the sugar. This helps to switch up the consistency of the muffins.
This is also the part where you add the milk. Any percent of milk is fine, you could even use buttermilk if you like. I used good ol’ 2% because that’s what’s in my fridge. You also want to separate your eggs. This is what helps make this recipe nice and fluffy. Add the yolks after the milk with the vanilla extract and save the whites for a few steps down.
In addition to the usual ingredients, you know, flour, baking powder and salt, I also added some ground cardamom and nutmeg for some depth. Trust me on this. You’re going to mix these together and then mix them up with the wet ingredients (don’t overmix!).
Now it’s time for those egg whites! Mix them on high speed until they get really thick and frothy, usually about 2 minutes or so. This will be what makes the muffins super fluffy and not so dense. Now fold it into the batter and add a little bit of the batter to each muffin cavity in your muffin pan. This helps prevent the blueberries from sinking too far.
Now we’re ready for the star of the show, those delicious, beautiful blueberries! I often like to buy fresh fruit like berries and bananas and freeze them for later use. They’re perfect for smoothies when they’re frozen, because you don’t have to add any ice, just toss them in and add some liquid. For these muffins I kept the berries frozen, but I did rinse them just a bit before adding them to the batter so the color wouldn’t run too much into the batter. Fold them in and fill up that pan, then sprinkle the tops with some raw sugar!
Once done the berries will burst inside the muffins and you’re left with these beautiful and surprisingly fluffy berry-full muffin. Cut them open when they’re still warm and slather a bit of butter to take it over the top! These are the type of muffins you can throw together when a friend pops in for coffee or when you need something to grab on the go for breakfast that week. They’re also great for stress baking, just saying!
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, separate the yolks from the whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ cup (fresh or frozen) blueberries
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar with the orange zest.
- Add melted butter, then whisk together until smooth. Add milk and do the same.
- Separate the eggs (yolk from whites) and put the egg whites aside for now. Whisk the yolks in with the sugar and butter mixture, add the vanilla extract.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom and nutmeg.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking until just combined.
- Take the egg whites that you had set aside, and beat them on high with a stand or hand mixer until stiff peaks appear. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Prep your muffin pan by spraying with non stick baking spray (or use muffin liners) and add about a tablespoon of the batter to each muffin cup.
- Carefully fold the blueberries into the batter, then divide evenly into the pan.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse sugar (turbinado sugar) before baking.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 and continue to bake for about 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow a few minutes to cool, then remove each muffin from the pan and place on cooling racks.
- When ready to serve these muffins are delicious sliced in half and spread with a bit of butter. Enjoy!
Do you stress bake too? What’s your favorite thing to bake when stressed?
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