It was supposed to rain last Wednesday, as it’s always supposed to rain every summer afternoon down south. The rain is a welcome relief to the blanket of humidity we lie under unless, of course, you planned to be outside picking blueberries during said torrential downpour. I’ve quickly learned to just get out in the world despite the rain and if you plan it just so (and the gods are on your side)….it likely won’t rain at all but probably will. My friend Emily and I set out to pick blueberries in Mississippi early one morning, hoping to dodge the rain but fully expecting to be swept away by a flood, all in an effort to spend the late morning making gluten-free blueberry muffins. A noble and luxurious cause, to be sure – but also, a check off the ol’ Summer Bucket List.
These very blueberries were picked from Blue Tara Organic Blueberry Farm from dewy leaves under blue skies. We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried (and I suppose it’s a good thing we didn’t try). I wore a bungee cord and a bucket around my waist and ate nearly as many berries as I picked. It was all very summertime romantic until Will asked me if I ran into any poison ivy and I wasn’t sure so I scrubbed my skin within an inch of its life… for no reason, there was no poison ivy.
Now a bucket around my waist in the early morning summer sun is a forever memory and these muffins are proof of time well spent.
You might recognize this recipe from the first time I browned butter back in 2009. These Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins are a cornerstone of Joy the Baker and this gluten-free version is just as essential.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this downright perfect gluten-free blueberry muffin recipe:
• unsalted butter we’ll melt until browned and fragrant and cool slightly before using. If you’re unsure about browning butter here’s an easy tutorial. The trick is time, patience and not multi-tasking. Life skill unlocked.
• whole milk, though you can use any fat or any dairy milk substitute you prefer
• one large egg and one large egg yolk
• vanilla extract
• gluten-free all-purpose flour. My favorite gluten-free flour blend for this recipe is Cup4Cup. It bakes up beautifully with a sturdy crumb without being too gritty.
• granulated sugar. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup, though you can reduce it to as little as 1/3 if you’d like a less sweet muffin.
• baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt
• ground coriander and ground nutmeg. These spices are optional but their addition adds a warm boost of flavor.
• fresh blueberries, though you can use frozen blueberries if you prefer – just thaw and drain them!
• turbinado sugar to top the muffins before baking, though granulated sugar works too OR you could skip this extra sweetness.
• salted butter for serving – the absolute best.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. That’s our gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices if you’re feeling adventurous. The addition of coriander and nutmeg is a brilliant idea from Stella Parks of Serious Eats via Smitten Kitchen. You thought classic blueberry muffins were just standardly good? Coriander adds a light citrus inspired warmth that’s different from an everyday cinnamon warmth. It’s a revelation in these muffins!
Once the butter is browned and cooled just slightly, whisk and stir in the milk, egg, yolk, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine.
Before the dry ingredients are fully combined, I like to fold fresh blueberries into the batter. Be gentle here. There’s no need to smash the batter around the bowl. Keep it tender but intentional (with these muffins and everything, right!?).
You get to decide how you treat your muffin tin. I will say, half the time I can’t find my paper cupcake liners and I just butter every muffin pan cup before scooping in the soft batter. If you can find your cupcake liners, I salute you (and wonder if you might help me organize my pantry).
This recipe makes 9 big and tall muffins or 12 moderate and reasonable muffins. I opt for big and tall every time but if you have exactly twelve people to please, you know what to do.
I like to top each muffin with a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar (it’s a coarse, raw sugar) before baking. A scant tablespoon will create a sugary crust on each muffin but if that sounds absurd to you, of course you can add more of a pinch than a sprinkle.
Bake these muffins in the upper third of the oven so the tops get nice and toasty brown. That’s the sweet spot.
Is there such a thing as too many blueberries? Probably so, but it’s fun testing those limits. These bakery-style gluten-free blueberry muffins have a tender crumb and cake-like texture. The crunchy sugar top is the perfect compliment to the gooey soft berries. They’re a few bites of perfection, truly.
As with any baked good, these muffins are fantastic fresh from the oven. I couldn’t contend with eating 9 muffins in a day so I double wrapped a half dozen of these gems and have them stored in the freezer. They microwave to warm in 40 seconds or so and I have no regrets after a smear of salted butter. My afternoon coffee has leveled up.
Leave any questions, comments, and ratings in the comments below!
Here are some other gluten-free blueberry muffin adjacent recipes that might strike your fancy:Print
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk (vegan or any fat milk also works just fine)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (my favorite for this recipe is Cup4Cup)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- few pinches fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or you could use berries that are frozen, thawed and drained)
- turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top
- salted butter to serve
- Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners (or generously butter if you don’t have liners) and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter. Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan. The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl to cool a bit.
- In a medium bowl whisk milk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the brown butter and stir to combine.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice in a medium bowl. Add to milk and butter mixture all at once and stir gently to combine. Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.
- Divide the batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.
- Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keywords: blueberry, muffins, breakfast, brunch, weekend recipe