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Blueberry Swirl Muffins

Ok, guys, I can bake too. Maybe I haven’t been commissioned to bake a wedding cake, but at least I can make muffins.

About These Muffins

I love blueberries and blueberry-flavored things. Actually, I really hate most blueberries. Store-bought blueberries are crap (if you ever encounter wild blueberries, they’re way better). In a fit of optimism, I bought some blueberries at the store. They were crap. That left me with a pint of blueberries that I didn’t want to eat. Thus, muffins.

I’d never made blueberry muffins, so I popped open my copy of The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook (which is more or less Cooking for Dummies), and found this recipe for blueberry swirl muffins with lemon sugar topping.

What I like about these muffins is that they solve the problem with so many blueberry muffins–individual blueberries floating in a sea of bland muffin. By swirling cooked blueberries (basically undersweet blueberry jam) into the muffins, you get blueberry in every bite and a nice purple color swirled through the muffin.

The other thing I like about these muffins is lemon-sugar. I could eat that shit straight.

On a final note, the Merfie Muffin Criterion states that any muffin you would frost is in fact a cupcake. I would not frost these muffins, therefore they are not cupcakes. They’re not cake-y, they’re muffin-y.


Lemon-Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (I lack a zester, so I just used a peeler and finely minced with a chef’s knife)


  • Non stick spray
  • 10 ounces (1 pint) blueberries
  • 1 1/8 cups plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbl unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Makin’ Muffins

  1. Stir together the sugar and lemon zest, then let it sit and get happy while you do the rest of the things.
  2. Preheat yo’ oven to 425°. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray, or otherwise grease it up.
  3. In a small pot over medium heat, cook 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tsp of sugar, occasionally stirring and mashing with a spoon, until the blueberries are all broken down and the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup. This will probably take about 10 minutes, but play it by ear. Let this cool to room temperature before you proceed.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar and the eggs until they’re thick and homogeneous. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil, then the buttermilk and vanilla.
  6. Using a rubber spatular, fold the egg mixture and the rest of the blueberries into the flour mixture. Mix until just moistened. The batter will still be very lumpy. That’s ok. That’s a good thing. Just go with it.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into your muffin tin (a little more than 1/4 cup per muffin cup).
  8. Spoon about a teaspoon of the berry mix into the center of each muffin.
    I think this will work better if you actually deposit into the muffin batter, not just plop it on top like I did.

    I think this will work better if you actually deposit into the muffin batter, not just plop it on top like I did.

  9. Using a chopstick or a skewer, swirl the blueberry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Mine looked like this:
    Blueberry Swirl Muffins (uncooked)
  10. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the top of the muffins.
  11. Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with few crumbs, 17-19 minutes. Rotate the tin halfway through because your oven is a treacherous creature with hot spots and cold spots and strange convection currents. Let the muffins cool in the tin for five minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack (I used a fork to help get them out of the muffin tin).
    Look how messy those are. Messy muffins.

    Look how messy those are. Messy muffins.


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