Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Breakfast | Muffin | Spring | Summer

Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

By Tessa Arias
  |  
June 4th, 2019
4.96 from 21 votes
4.96 from 21 votes

Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins are crazy moist, tender, fluffy, and flavorful. Topped with a cinnamon streusel crumb topping for the best muffin top ever! Everyone will think they’re from a bakery! Perfect breakfast or sweet snack.

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 22 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Fresh, fruity, nutty, and warm with cinnamon. Such a wonderful combination of flavors! Texture: The muffins are tender and moist while the crumb topping is crumbly and buttery. Ease: A couple extra steps to brown the butter and make the crumb topping but it creates a WORLD of difference. Pros: Amazing muffins that everyone will be begging you to make again and again. Cons: You will dirty a few dishes compared to some other recipes. Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I remember once as a kid eating a blueberry muffin in school that was from a grocery store. It was so bad I immediately regretted taking a bite and threw away the rest.

It was dry, crumbly and cloyingly sweet. I thought for years afterwards that I just didn’t like blueberry muffins. Turns out I just had a very bad one!

Three homemade blueberry muffins with brown butter and crumb topping

So recently I made it my mission to develop a new recipe for the BEST homemade blueberry muffins.

What I came up with is something that is super flavorful and moist with a delightful cinnamon crumb topping. The brown butter in this recipe adds a nutty complexity of flavor that counter balances the sweetness and freshness of the blueberries so nicely.

These blueberry muffins are bound to be a crowd pleaser! Bring them to school, your next early morning meeting, as a thank you to a teacher or neighbor, and you’ll be sure to win the title of everyone’s favorite person 😉

Fresh blueberry muffins on a marble counter

How to Make the BEST Blueberry Muffins

How to Brown Butter

When browning butter, you want to swirl the pan occasionally once the butter is melted and it starts to cook. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. If this isn’t happening you may need to turn up the heat slightly.

Once the crackling stops continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour everything (bits and all) into a medium mixing bowl to cool.

For best results when browning butter, avoid using a nonstick pan. I like to use a 10-inch stainless steel skillet.

Can I substitute the buttermilk in muffins?

I’ve done extensive side-by-side testing of buttermilk in baking and find that it makes a pretty big difference in muffins. Buttermilk creates a finer crumb and more moisture AND flavor. So I’d highly recommend using real buttermilk if you can. DIY substitutions don’t always compare. To learn more, check out my Buttermilk 101 post here.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand then you can use whole milk instead with a spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar.

What do I do with leftover buttermilk?

Did you know you can actually freeze buttermilk and then defrost it at some later date for a future recipe? Get the details for freezing buttermilk here.

How to bake moist & tender muffins:

Be very careful not to overmix, this will create rubbery muffins. Once the dry ingredients are combined with the wet, gently stir until *just* combined. Since we’re adding in blueberries, I actually like to leave a few streaks of flour. They’ll get stirred into the batter with the berries.

Also, using buttermilk or full fat whole milk can also help create moist and tender muffins. Don’t skimp!

Another trick to ensure these muffins bake up nice and moist is to use brown sugar! That’s because brown sugar is more hygroscopic, a fancy way of saying it attracts and holds in more moisture. I actually use brown and white in this recipe for the best of both worlds.

How to Bake TALL Muffins:

I recently experimented with the science of muffins and how to achieve beautiful, TALL muffins that look like they belong on the shelf of a fancy bakery. Check out my 3 tips for baking tall muffins here!

Hint: Chilling your muffin batter overnight makes for the BEST ever muffins!!

comparison of muffin batter rested vs baked immediately

How long do blueberry muffins last?

They’ll stay good for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Can I use frozen blueberries in muffins?

Yes! You can use fresh or frozen in this recipe. Just make sure they’re ripe for optimum flavor. If using frozen, don’t bother to defrost. I typically like to use organic blueberries.

If chilling the muffin batter overnight, add the frozen blueberries to the mix in the morning-otherwise their color might bleed into your batter.

How do I stop my muffins from sticking to the liner?

This can sometimes be caused by the brand of liners. This is my favorite brand that I order in bulk from Amazon. If you find your liners still get stuck and end up ruining your muffins, don’t worry. I’ve actually written an entire article about how to prevent muffin or cupcake liners from sticking here.

Can blueberry muffins be frozen?

Yes! Muffins can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter or in the microwave.

Tender and fluffy brown butter blueberry muffin cut in half

More Muffin Recipes

4.96 from 21 votes

How to make
Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins are crazy moist, tender, fluffy, and flavorful. Topped with a cinnamon streusel crumb topping for the best muffin top ever! Everyone will think they’re from a bakery! Perfect breakfast or sweet snack.

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (don't thaw first)

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (29 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

Brown the butter:

  1. In a small stainless skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises.
  2. Once the crackling stops continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl. Let cool.

Make the batter:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, cooled browned butter, egg, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.

Make the crumb topping:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients with a fork until the texture resembles wet sand.
  2. Use your fingertips to sprinkle over muffin batter in pans. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool until barely warm.
  3. Serve or store in an airtight at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds if desired. Muffins can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Recipe Video

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : homemade

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Valentina — October 24, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    These blueberry muffins are scrumptious! I really like all the tips and the science behind them!!

    • #
      Emily — October 25, 2022 at 7:18 am

      So happy to hear that, Valentina!

  2. #
    Tina — October 11, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Excellent recipe. Instructions were clear and easy to follow. Results were perfect!!

  3. #
    Ximena — July 13, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Hiiii! Regards from Gdl, Mx!

    I want to leave some comments as I want feedback, thanks:

    – I substitute buttermilk for almond milk (big mistake)

    – I didn’t use granulated sugar at all, as I wanted to use only light brown sugar for healthy purposes (second mistake)

    By reading the recipe, I found out, that the muffins came out rubbery, exactly that way. Even though they don’t taste bad, they don’t have the texture nor the flavor they should.

    Look forward to read you guys, thanks.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 15, 2022 at 11:43 am

      Hi Ximena! I’m sorry to hear your substitutions didn’t work out as you’d hoped! As I mentioned to you previously when you emailed us with this question, we really recommend sticking with the original quantity of sugar in any recipe, for many reasons. Sugar doesn’t just sweeten baked goods; it adds moisture, provides tender structure, assists with gluten formation, extends the shelf-life (meaning it will stay fresh and moist longer), and assists in creating a taller and lighter finished product – just to name a few things! Reducing the sugar content in a recipe doesn’t just lower sweetness; it messes with the recipe’s chemistry and creates a totally different baked good. Unfortunately, eliminating the buttermilk will also have big repercussions, which you can read more about in Tessa’s Buttermilk 101 Article here! I hope you will try this recipe again, as written, to taste the light and delicious muffins they should be! Once you have made the recipe as written, you can try experimenting from there and slowly lower the sugar content in each subsequent batch, to experiment, and see if you can achieve results you’re happy to eat, while lowering the sugar content as you wish! Good luck and happy baking 🙂

  4. #
    Valentina — June 30, 2022 at 3:39 am

    So delicious! Thank you for sharing all your tips!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 30, 2022 at 7:11 am

      So happy you enjoyed these muffins and all of Tessa’s amazing tips, Valentina!

  5. #
    Haley — May 20, 2022 at 6:38 am

    I only have dark brown sugar…can I substitute this for light!?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 20, 2022 at 7:32 am

      Hi Haley! Yes, that will work just fine; it might just have a slightly deeper, more butterscotch-y flavour! Let us know how it turns out 🙂

  6. #
    Sherry John — February 20, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Hello,

    I tried out the recipe and find that the consistency of the batter is thicker than those I’ve tried before. Is this expected? I’m sorry if this is a foolish question but I’m new to baking!

    Regards,
    Sherry

    • #
      Emily — February 23, 2022 at 10:58 am

      Hi Sherry! How did your muffins turn out? This batter is definitely thicker, especially after chilling overnight.

      • #
        Sherry — February 26, 2022 at 2:31 am

        It was soo good! I was stunned at how good it turned out to be. I thought I’d done something wrong, given how thick the batter was but what a pleasant surprise the muffins were!

        • #
          Emily — February 28, 2022 at 11:35 am

          Yay! I’m so glad 🙂 This is a favorite recipe of mine, I’m happy you loved it too!

  7. #
    Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:33 am

    WOW. I think this has to be the best blueberry muffin recipe I’ve tried! The muffins are incredibly moist (I did a mix of frozen wild blueberries/regular) and goes SO WELL with the crunchy and insanely delicious topping!! The brown butter is mandatory, SO so good and adds such a delicious flavor! These brought back some great memories for me, while they baked, they smelled just like a camp I used to work at when I was a teenager. My sister agreed! Added bonus is that I can prep the batter the night before and bake in the morning. Makes it so easy to enjoy during a busy work week 🙂 Thanks for this great recipe!

    • #
      Emily — January 20, 2022 at 12:01 pm

      Aw, that’s awesome! So happy this recipe brought back wonderful memories, thanks so much for sharing and taking the time to comment!

  8. #
    Sakina — December 29, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Made these and they were so soft and delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  9. #
    Beth — October 9, 2021 at 8:54 am

    For those of you wanting to substitute the buttermilk….DON’T DO IT! Just go buy it and freeze whatever you have left over for future baking. If you bake enough, you’ll need it anyway. I pre-measure mine into half cup or 3/4 cup amounts in freezer safe containers then once frozen, place them into a freezer bag. Easy peasy…when you need one, take it out to thaw in a bowl, give it a stir and presto… its ready for use.

    Fantastic recipe Tessa, thank you!

    • #
      Emily — October 11, 2021 at 9:57 am

      Thanks for sharing, Beth! So happy you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  10. #
    Clare hopkins — August 26, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Wow first time I’ve made perfect muffins! These are amazing. Thank you.

    • #
      Emily — August 26, 2021 at 9:17 am

      So excited for you, Clare! Happy you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. #
    Amanda kent — July 27, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Hiya. If I chill the batter overnight and am using frozen blueberries should I add these in before leaving overnight or add them in the morning before I bake? Thanks

    • #
      Emily — July 28, 2021 at 9:40 am

      Hi Amanda! We’d recommend adding them after the muffin mix has been chilled overnight-otherwise the color might bleed into your batter, resulting in grayish colored muffins. I just updated the post to state that, thank you! Enjoy your muffins:)

  12. #
    robert ackermann — May 15, 2021 at 1:13 am

    My allt time favour receipe for Muffins.

  13. #
    Michael Dwyer — April 27, 2021 at 5:43 am

    [The #respond anchor tag seems to be in the wrong spot on the page.]

    Love these muffins! I made mine with sour cream and with raspberries. I chilled the batter overnight and also baked with a pan of water in the oven. They came out tall and fluffy and delicious!

    With the sour cream, I used a mixture of sour cream and milk to get 3/4 cup with a more liquid consistency. I think it wasn’t liquid enough because the batter was very thick – not quite like cookie dough, but getting close. What do you think? I didn’t find any sour-cream-for-buttermilk substitution notes on the website.

    A question about the browned butter: Those brown bits in the bottom of the pan – do they go into the batter or do you try to keep them out? I included them, with no bad effects, but I’m curious what you (and others) think. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — April 27, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Yum! Your muffin add-ins sound so delicious! I’m happy your substitutions worked with this recipe 🙂 I personally haven’t tried this recipe with any substitutions and recommend using the buttermilk as it creates a finer crumb and more moisture AND flavor. You definitely want those brown bits-they’re actually toasted milk solids and contain the majority of the brown butter flavor, so scrape your pan! 🙂

  14. #
    Tricia Chang — March 25, 2021 at 4:07 am

    Can this be made into a sheet cake?

    • #
      Tessa — March 25, 2021 at 8:43 am

      I haven’t tried that, sorry!

  15. #
    Breanna — March 24, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Finally found my go-to blueberry muffin recipe!! These muffins are perfect. The brown butter MAKES them AND they’re super easy to make!

    • #
      Tessa — March 25, 2021 at 9:08 am

      You just made my day! I’m so happy you found your go-to blueberry muffin recipe!!

  16. #
    Cheryl — March 23, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    Can I turn this into mini muffins and double the recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — March 24, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Absolutely! For mini muffins, bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, but keep an eye out for doneness (check with a toothpick). Depending on the type of muffin tin you use (whether light or dark), the time will vary. This should make about 24 to 28 mini muffins. Let me know how it goes!

  17. #
    Ashlee — March 8, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Could you please share the recipe how to make subsitute for buttermilk like you said above?
    What are the measurement of whole milk & lemon juice? How to make it?

  18. #
    Maria — March 8, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Could you please share how to make subsitute for buttermilk use whole milk & vinegar? What are their measurement & how to do it?

  19. #
    Maria — March 8, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Could i usw blueberry jam instead of fresh blueberry?
    If yes, how could i mix it with the batter? Do i need to change measurement of any or all ingredients?

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      Sure! Add the jam with the wet ingredients, or add a dollop on top of the batter and swirl with a toothpick. Bake as directed! More tips in my Ultimate Muffin Cheatsheet, which is linked in this post!

  20. #
    robert ackermann — February 14, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Best Muffin recipe ever. I did it with Yuzu Cocolate. Love you recipes – they really work.

    • #
      Tessa — February 15, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Hooray!!

  21. #
    Carrie — January 1, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    These were delicious!!! The crumble on the top made them taste like they were made by a professional!

  22. #
    Janele Quinlan — December 27, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    These are AMAZING and I even messed up I love your write ups, they are so helpful and witty. So moist but doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth. I forgot to melt the butter for the streusel and they still turned out great. I’ve made these with regular butter and medicated butter (my husband is a disabled vet), and they are the only ones that taste good either way. Thank you so much, we love this recipe!

  23. #
    Michelle — July 4, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    These are, quite possibly, the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had, including from bakeries. This is 100% my go to recipe now. I did a mixture of fresh blueberries and frozen blueberries, and thought that came out nicely.

  24. #
    Kim — April 28, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Today I made these for the 2nd time and this time I used weight based measurements as opposed to measuring cups and what a difference! I mean they were great the first time but now they’re fab-u-lous!! Better workability, texture and flavour. Love all your recipes but this is my favorite so far. Thank you. Next on my list are the cinnamon buns….

  25. #
    Hope — April 16, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Love love love these muffins! These muffins are pretty easy and quick to make. My husband would eat a hole batch in one day if I let him! These are SO GOOD!

  26. #
    Victoria Cipryk — March 11, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Seriously THE BEST blueberry muffins I have ever had!!!

    • #
      Claire — January 12, 2022 at 9:46 pm

      Is it essential to brown the butter or will melting in a microwave yield similar results? ☺️

      • #
        Emily — January 13, 2022 at 9:49 am

        Hi Claire! We haven’t tried that! Please let us know how it goes if you do.

  27. #
    Danielle — August 18, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    I’m planning to make these soon and would like to triple the recipe. Do you recommend that I make three separate batches, or will it be OK if I make one large batch? Appreciate any tips!

  28. #
    Sarah Smith — June 21, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I just made these and this recipe is perfect!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    • #
      Ashley — March 24, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Best blueberry muffin recipe I’ve ever made! Not difficult to make either. Will definitely make these again!

  29. #
    Rebekah — June 6, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Another awesome recipe! As much as we love the browned butter coffee cake, I knew I had to make these! My family says they are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever made! High praise, since I make them once a month and have tried ALOT of recipes. This will be my go to recipe now, on repeat since we grow our own blueberries. Thanks!

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