Big Beautiful Bakery-Style Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Cupcakes vs. muffins:   How are they different?  How are they the same?  Many before me have attempted to answer – and still, the debate goes on.  Some have approached this issue from a scientific standpoint, pointing out the differences in the ratios of ingredients and preparation  methods.   Others  have taken a more practical view focusing on looks, taste and texture.  The most clever observation I’ve seen  is that  “If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a ‘poof!’ If you threw a muffin, you would hear a ‘thud!’”  As for me, they’re both cake.  That one is usually smothered in frosting and the other isn’t is of little consequence.  Neither is the fact that one is considered an acceptable breakfast food, and the other is deemed dessert.  To me, cake is cake.  Sometimes, I eat cupcakes for breakfast and muffins for dessert.  That’s how I roll. 

One interesting phenomena, however, deals with size.  While the most prized cupcakes are almost always small, dainty and artfully decorated, muffins aren’t judged by the same standards.  They can get away with being big, clunky and craggy.  Oh, yes.  In the world of muffins, bigger is better.  (After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!)    Just walk into your favorite bakery, deli or coffee shop and see for yourself.  The scones, pastries and doughnuts are usually all normal sized, but the muffins are huge! 

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I found the original recipe for these crumb-topped blueberry muffins on Allrecipes.  They were touted as being “extra-generously-sized deli style muffins”.   Of course, any muffin can be big is it’s baked in an oversized muffin cup.  But, the name given to these muffins – “To Die For Blueberry Muffins” – kind of drew me in.   I mean, those are some serious muffin words!   So, I had to try them. 

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Let me tell you, people,  these were some big, honkin’ muffins!   They were the behemoth of blueberry muffins, but in a good way.   Their crumb was moist and dense, but not heavy – although you probably would hear a thud if you flung one against a wall.  The buttery crumb topping was delightfully crunchy and crackly.  And, they were chock full of enough juicy, plump blueberries to qualify them for inclusion in the “Fruits” food group. 

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I did tweak a few things too.  The original recipe called for regular milk, but I used buttermilk instead.  I highly recommend it.  The buttermilk gave the muffins a subtle tang that played against the sweetness of the berries.  I also threw in a few splashes of my homemade vanilla extract, because.… well. … because everything tastes better with good vanilla.

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I also tried a different method for making the crumb topping.  For some reason, I can never pulverize my butter into those perfect, pebbly, pea-sized bits.  (WTH is a “coarse meal”, anyway?)   So, I used a technique that I’d had success with in making shortbread.  I froze the butter and then grated it into the dry ingredients.  Then, I just smushed it a little with my fingers and mixed it all up.  It worked really well.

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Big, beautiful, bakery-style buttermilk blueberry muffins ready for the oven! 

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Et voilà!

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Wherever you stand on the cupcakes vs. muffins debate, I can promise you this:  You will love these muffins!    Oh, yeah.  They’re super easy to make too. 

So, go ahead. Eat cake for breakfast!  You deserve it! 

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22 responses to Big Beautiful Bakery-Style Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins Recipe

  1. On April 10, 2013 at 1:17pm, Rosa said...

    Beautiful muffins! They look fantastic and could be sold in any bakery.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. On April 10, 2013 at 3:41pm, Linda said...

    I think the buttermilk is a good idea. And your special vanilla would make them even better. Thanks for sharing the idea.

    We’re having a party at Tumbleweed Contessa. I’d love it if you brought these over. http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/whatd-you-do-this-weekend-10/

    Have a great week,
    Linda

  3. On April 10, 2013 at 10:57pm, Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

    Love comparing muffins to cupcakes. I could never understand why it’s not OK to eat cake for breakfast but it is OK to have a giant cinnamon roll. And cupcakes do have frosting but muffins have glaze. In any case I like this recipe, but I love that butter technique. Thanks for sharing.

  4. On April 11, 2013 at 7:46am, Sprigs of Rosemary said...

    I love all your tweaks to the “to die for” blueberry muffins, which have become my near signature contributions (as in . . . “and bring your Rosie muffins.”) I had the same skepticism at the name, but it’s true.
    I, too, always have trouble with the crumb topping; grating frozen butter is genius!

  5. On April 11, 2013 at 10:03am, Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

    These look totally perfect. Yum!

  6. On April 11, 2013 at 3:54pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    THANK YOU! I never understood what “coarse meal” was either. I’m glad I’m not alone.

    I generally think of cupcakes as being just small butter cakes while muffins are small quick breads. Definitely different ingredients and methods. However, I once made “muffins” for a party that used cake batter and were definitely more cupcake-like. I think the difference between them is that one is more socially acceptable to eat for breakfast.

    Always awed by your alluring alliterations.

  7. On April 12, 2013 at 10:25am, Lucy said...

    These look so perfect! I love a generous crumb topping on muffins so these sound delicious.

  8. On April 13, 2013 at 9:08pm, bellini said...

    I always grate my butter too. It works really well for biscuits, muffins, even pastry. These are not only “to die for” but pinnable as well for later use.

  9. On May 01, 2013 at 10:02pm, Rachel said...

    Made these tonight and my family loved them! The house smelled amazing from the cinnamon in the streusel!!! One little thing… I had to add about another 1/2 cup of buttermilk. The amount in the recipe made the batter crumbly, when I added more buttermilk it made it the thick pancake consultancy I know muffin batter to be :).

  10. On May 10, 2013 at 5:40pm, Susan said...

    Thanks for sharing … they look fabulous!

  11. On June 17, 2013 at 9:08pm, Debbie Schow said...

    These turned out wonderful, thank you for posting this. Love them, best muffins I ever made, and just probably the best I ever tasted.

  12. On July 08, 2013 at 11:50am, Nancy Buretta said...

    anyone know the calorie count of these?…. I made them and they were a BIG hit!! Delicious!

  13. On July 17, 2013 at 11:26pm, Doris said...

    These were fabulous! I just had a warm one with a slab of butter. This will be my new “go-to” Blueberry Muffin recipe. My only changes: zest of half a lemon and 1 tsp. cinnamon in the batter and 1/2 t cinnamon in the crumb topping. Thanks for sharing!!

  14. On July 21, 2013 at 12:52am, sapna said...

    simply sexy, would love to make a lesser calorie version of this at my end.

  15. On August 21, 2013 at 1:56pm, Denise Smith said...

    I just made these today, and this was the absolute best blueberry muffin recipe EVER! The buttermilk makes the whole thing, don’t leave it out. I added a little more buttermilk at the end to loosen up the batter a little.

    To get a super high dome, II filled my muffin papers to the top with batter, and then added heaps of the topping. I then baked at 425 for 5-6 minutes, and then lowered oven to 375 for remainder of bake time, about 20 minutes. Sheer perfection!!!! I am throwing all other blueberry muffin recipes away. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  16. On October 06, 2013 at 5:53pm, Stephanie T said...

    I just made these and substituted the Veg Oil with Coconut Oil. Had to add in a bit more buttermilk as well. All in all they turned out FABULOUS! On my top three now for blueberry muffin recipe collection :+)

  17. On November 03, 2013 at 11:26am, Terri said...

    I made these muffins this morning and they are Amazing! The Crumb Top are Super Crunch and Crispy just the way my husband like. Thanks for the recipe! :0)

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  20. On March 09, 2014 at 1:59pm, Laurie Duffy said...

    These were hands down the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever made! Thank you for this recipe! :)

  21. On May 15, 2014 at 9:12am, karen said...

    Hi there,
    I made these muffins tonight and are very lovely. I’m not sure if the buttermilk quantity is incorrect but the dough was very stiff almost like cookie dough. I had to end up adding about 1/4 cup more buttermilk.

  22. On November 22, 2014 at 8:48am, Nadia said...

    Wow! The grating butter idea is wonderful! I have been able to reduce the topping by about 25% since it so easy covers to the muffins. I had so much left over the first time that I started reducing the amount of butter to 3 TBLS. It tastes just as good and the whole top is equally covered with yummy crunch! THANK YOU!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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