BEAUTIFUL BLUEBERRY & LEMON MUFFINS
Updated: May 22, 2020
Is there really anything better in life than a freshly baked, moist, and sweet blueberry muffin? Well actually - YES! And I'll tell you what that is: A freshly baked, perfectly moist, fluffy, sweet yet zingy Blueberry & Lemon Muffin with a Lemon Glaze!!
Last week I bought a ton of fruit, in an attempt to keep up with my 5+ fruit and veg a day during this lockdown period, and deter myself from constantly snacking on junk out of pure boredom (hands up who else is raiding the snack drawer too frequently during lockdown?!). And so there was a mahoosive pack of blueberries on offer at Sainsbury's, which of course was added to the shopping trolly, and I'm thinking "great! I can put together some healthy breakfasts with blueberries and yoghurt and oats and nuts"... well of course, as soon as I packed the shopping away at home and my eyes fell once again on those juicy blueberries, the baker in me came to life and I was immediately looking for some baking inspo for my blueberries.
I came across a stunning looking Lemon & Blueberry Yoghurt Cake from Sally's Baking Addiction (I love her creations and use her for inspiration frequently!). But, to be honest, seeing as I'd already made the decision to turn my perfectly healthy blueberries into a not-so-healthy baked-good, I wanted to at least make sure I could portion control my creation and not scoff a whole cake throughout the day by helping myself to large slices every couple of hours (it would have been inevitable - I really lack self control when it comes to sugar!). So then I thought "cupcakes!"... but then that would require some calorific frosting and not to mention the hassle of piping and decorating that I really couldn't be bothered with that day. No - I just needed something quick, easy, and tasty that would calm the irrational craving of a blueberry baked treat.
And then it hit me. BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS! Of course!
Now, I'll be honest; I was a little skeptical about this initially once the idea had settled in. I'd made blueberry muffins before and whilst the texture was lovely and they looked delightful, to me they just tasted of vanilla muffins with three or four juicy blueberries scattered into the batter. They were nice but a little...plain; they didn't have the WOW factor for me. I then also remembered my fiance doesn't much like muffins (absolute monster, I know), but at this point I'd already made my mind up and the ingredients for my usual blueberry muffin were subconsciously being pulled put of the baking cupboard and fridge whilst I was having this internal dialogue with my subconscious.
I can tell you now, I'm SO glad I decided to go through with the idea. What emerged from the oven were 12, fully puffed up, slightly golden, gorgeous smelling muffins. And they were so easy to throw together!
Despite the fact they looked naturally beautiful when they came out of the oven, I went that step further and decided to pimp them up with a lemon glaze. I am a sucker for lemon glaze and lemon drizzle cake is probably one of my favourite cakes in the world. This glaze really adds a special something in my honest opinion!
So, a few tweaks to my usual muffin recipe really did the trick and the result of an introduction of lemon to the mix completely eradicated any negative thought I'd previously had about these beauties. After my first bite I felt ashamed of myself for my pessimism. Even my boyfriend said the were "the best muffins" he's ever had (a convert maybe?). So it's a winner in this house!
The Best Blueberry Lemon Muffins I've Ever Eaten
So what makes these so great? Let me elaborate:
Sour Cream - First of all the use of sour cream in this recipe is a winner. Sour cream, like buttermilk, helps to tenderise the flour in baked goods, resulting in a moist and tender crumb which makes for a great muffin!
Blueberry Flavouring - Now this stuff isn't easy to come by in shops and you likely do not already have this in your baking cupboard; I purchased mine from Amazon (along with a ton of other natural flavourings I couldn't resist adding to my cart) a while back when making blueberry jelly for an Entremet. It's not compulsory, and you can choose to use vanilla or perhaps even a bit of lemon extract if you have it, but for me, the blueberry extract makes a world of difference to the overall taste of the muffin. As mentioned previously, my usual muffin recipe used vanilla extract and I just found that my muffins didn't have that blueberry WOW factor that you might find in a Starbucks or Cafe Nero muffin. Having said that, as we are incorporating lemon into this recipe, the flavour of the muffins is totally transformed anyway so you are never going to end up with a plain vanilla muffin.
Lemon Glaze - The glaze on top of these muffins is of course optional but it definitely adds a nice amount of 'zing' to the otherwise sweet muffin, so you get a nice contrast of sweetness and tang! I also love the way it drips down the sides of the muffin in this appetisingly rustic way!
Fresh Blueberries - I really think fresh blueberries work best for texture and flavour but if you can't find fresh berries and only have frozen available, add them to the mix without thawing them otherwise you'll find you'll have a completely purple muffin batter!
1.) Do not over mix your batter. You've heard it a hundred times in many different recipes, but I'm saying it again anyway. DO NOT OVER MIX or you will end up with a dense and tougher texture.
2.) Fill your muffin cases to the top - we are not making cup cakes here people! We want a high rise dome on our muffins!
3.) Keep an eye when baking as you don't want your muffin tops too brown. If necessary, you can reduce your oven temperature about 13-14 minutes in once your muffins have achieved a high rise that has set. At this point you can also turn your baking tray 180 degrees to get a more even-colouring
SOOO... I'm going to stop rambling about my muffins now (even though I could continue), and leave you with the recipe below. Do let me know if you give them a try and how they turn out for you, or indeed, if you can think of anything to improve them! Happy baking my lovelies.
Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Prep time: 10-12 minutes
Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
Makes: 12 Muffins
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup sour cream (about a 300ml tub)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 + 1/2 Tsp of blueberry extract (if you don’t have this then use vanilla or even lemon if you want?)
2 cups of All Purpose flour
2 +1/4 tsp baking powder
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 + 1/2 tbsp)
Blueberries (I didn’t measure mine out but I’d say about 1 1/2 cups)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup of icing sugar
2 Tbsp of lemon juice
Drop of blueberry extract
Reserved lemon zest
1. Line a 12 cake muffin tin with cases and preheat oven to 200C.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until thick, pale and glossy
3. Whisk in sour cream, oil, and flavouring until combined
4. In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder, then fold this into the wet mixture in 2 stages until JUST combined (do not over mix!!)
5. Add lemon juice and zest and fold in for a few seconds, again do not over mix
6. Fold in blueberries until evenly distributed
7. Fill cup cake liners to the very top in order to achieve the classic dome top
8. Bake at 200C for about 18-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them as some ovens get hotter than others and you don't want them to over-brown. You can slightly turn down temperature just over half way through baking once muffins have risen enough and if need be turn the tray 180 degrees to get a more even colouring.
9. Once cooked, check centre the centre of the muffins with a cake tester or toothpick; if this can be removed from the muffins with only a couple of dry crumbs attached, then your muffins are ready. If the toothpick has any wet mixture attached, then return the muffins to the oven for a few minutes until the centres are baked through.
10. Cool muffins on a wire rack.
11. Once at room temperature you can choose to glaze your muffins - add your lemon juice to the powdered sugar 1 tbsp at a time and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula to remove any lumps. Once you have reached your desired consistency, add lemon zest and a drop of blueberry extract and mix through. The easiest way to glaze is to dip a teaspoon into your icing mixture and lift this from the bowl so that a constant thin stream of icing falls steadily from the spoon. Wave the spoon gently over each muffin for a lined drizzle effect. OR you could be fancy and pipe it on if you prefer - or just smother it on if you're in a hurry!
12. This is the most important step - EAT! These bad boys are best served fresh so be sure to devour their deliciousness once your glaze has just set. Muffins can be kept in an air tight container for up to two-three days.