Over the Top Blueberry Muffins

Over the Top Blueberry Muffins

I try to make a habit of going back from time-to-time to retry my recipes from the past, and recently I decided to pit my two blueberry muffin recipes against each other. The recipe from my second book, I’m Just Here For The Food, was designed to be kind of course and forgive the badly overexposed adjective rustic, and the one from Good Eats was formulated to be softer and more cupcake like. And I decided I didn’t like either of them. But a hybrid is just right. Oh, and I upped the portion, not because we need bigger muffins, but because everybody likes a muffin top.

Top Heavy Blueberry Muffins

  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 16 ounces plain whole fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 12 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons demerera sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan (and one small oven safe ramekin) with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In second bowl whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, yolks, yogurt and orange zest until smooth.
  3. Make a crater in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir with a rubber spatula until just barely combined. Resist the urge to over-mix – there should be a some lumps of flour in the batter
  4. Fold in the blueberries, mixing just to combine.
  5. Drop about a cup of batter in each of the muffin tin’s wells. Whatever’s left over can be dropped into the prepared ramekin. The cups should be quite full.
  6. Sprinkle the muffins with the demerera sugar and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bottom of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and turn out, upside down, onto a clean tea towel to cool completely. This step is key in preventing mushy muffin bottoms, which nobody and I do mean nobody likes.
  8. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week (or until they taste gross, smell bad, or grow fur).

The main reason for placing so much batter in each hole is to produce enough rise and spread for a proper muffin top.

Alton Brown's Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Alton Brown’s Blueberry Muffins Recipe


Add yours
  1. 1

    AB, I too have questions regarding the flour. I’m making these for the second time, this time I’m seeing how this works with chocolate chips. My question is, Does the type of flour make the difference in how moist the finished product is, or is that due to the fat level of the yogurt? Mine were quite dry last time but the yogurt I had wasn’t full fat. This time I only have sour cream, but the. fat content is greater.

  2. 2

    What would be the best flour for this muffin? I want to experiment with different flours such as gluten free, almond, AP or a blend. Have any of you found a mix that you would like to share?

  3. 3

    In light of the volume of flour and leavening, I was skeptical about the volume of batter per muffin, but they did not rise excessively at all. Quite perfect, in fact.
    The only substitution I made was full fat vanilla-honey Greek yogurt (that we had in the fridge) for the plain, as recommended. Even with this extra sugar, the muffins are not very sweet. They are more of a scone consistency (the batter was quite thick, as others have mentioned) and sweetness, yet delectable. I lowered the temp to 350 after 10 min, and baked for a total of 25 min, with evenly cooked, non-burned or browned edges resulting.
    I was also wary to release them from the pan immediately, but that also worked out fine. Needed to run a firm spatula around the base (especially where there berries were in contact with the pan), but the muffins remained intact.
    Winner. Lovely as an accoutrement with dinner instead of rolls.

  4. 4

    Made these just this morning. I used a digital scale and followed measurements as in the recipe except I added two more oz of sugar and juice from 1/2 Orange. I baked at 375 for 15 minutes, then decreased temp to 350 for another 5-10, based on the toothpick test. These muffin tops are definitely the good kind!

  5. 5

    Made these this morning. Other than only having Greek yogurt and no oranges, I followed the recipe precisely. However, 375* for 20 minutes and the bottoms started burning. Despite this, the insides were sooooo fluffy! I’d love to make these again with a different cooking time. I’m thinking 350* for about 12 minutes to start, and keep checking from there. I’d also cut the blueberries in half; too many for my taste.

  6. 6

    Made these this morning. They look awesome. I think next time I will add more sugar to the batter…I like muffins sweeter. They did have an awesome top as Alton promised they would. Thanks Alton.

  7. 7

    My batter was really thick. Closer to a dough than a batter – it didn’t seem like it had enough liquid. I weighed out all dry ingredients. Anyone else have this?

    • 8

      I just made these and my batter was also quite thick. But the muffins turned out fine. Different flours absorb liquids differently and after I try a recipe the first time as directed, I then add a little more or less liquid based on my results. Next time I add a weeny bit of milk.

  8. 9
    Chris King

    I really liked your good eats muffin recipe. I’m hesitant to ditch the cake flour and add eggs… But if you say so… I just ought to try this version.

    • 12

      Ounces are accurate.
      Ounces are repeatable.
      Ounces are easy.

      Make the investment of $10 to $15 and get a kitchen scale. They are small and easy to store in even the smallest kitchen. They are useful in 100’s of different ways. I used to be a converter until I finally went and got a scale several years ago – I’ve never regretted it and have never looked back.

    • 15

      1. If you can’t say anything nice (or at least helpful to others reading these reviews), don’t say anything at all.
      2. Others are correct. Ounces are a more accurate way to measure even though most bakers in the US use cups. If you don’t have time for conversions, but you find that you run into them often, memorize them. One cup of flour is equal to roughly 4.5 ounces, which would mean a little less than 5 cups of flour. Oh, and the weight of 1 cup of flour is different than, say, 1 cup of milk, which would be 8 fluid ounces.

      • 16

        Also, thanks for another AWESOME recipe, Alton Brown! I can’t wait to make these with my students tomorrow! (I teach cooking at our local high school.) We LOVE your recipes!

      • 19

        I am a metric baker who lives in the US. One very good reason *not* to convert is that I have yet to find any recipe that was converted correctly on the web. They are either strangely precise (174.567 grams instead of 175) or keep volumes as volumes which converts cups to deciliters for flour, or the conversion factor from volume to weight is laughably wrong. I have seen flour conversion as low as 118 per cup and as high as 140 per cup for the same flour.

        So, I do all the calculations myself with my own conversion tables that I know work, or at least get me in the ballpark the first time I try a recipe.

        Having dual measurements listed will make the recipe *look* much more complicated that it really is and will be presenting twice as much information as is needed for one cook to complete the recipe.

  9. 21

    I made these muffins tonight after seeing this post earlier. This is, by far, the best batch of muffins I have ever made. In my opinion, I thought they could be a bit sweeter, but everything else from muffin top to muffin bottom was fantastic. Moist with substance but not dense on the inside; nice firm top. I’ll make these again for sure. Love these!

    • 22

      Alton has, in the past at least, been somewhat of a spokeperson against overly sweet muffins. He sees a line between cakes and muffins. This recipe reflects that. It’s a personal preference, for sure, and explains why one might find these needing a little more sweetness.

      Personally, I like this lower sweetness level, but can understand how one might think that they are not sweet enough if one compares it to a Starbucks muffin, for example.

  10. 24

    Fresh blueberries are wonderful when they’re in season – less so when they’re not.
    Will frozen blueberries work in this recipe?
    Also, while some people are blessed to have enough eaters around them for a dozen muffins, others are not. Baking recipes are tough to scale up or down, so if I wanted to halve this recipe, can anyone suggest a way to do so that will work, if simply halving the ingredients won’t?

    • 25

      Did exactly that. Frozen blueberries and halved the recipe. Worked great.
      I warmed the blueberries in the microwave at very low power (20% for about 3 minutes or so) to get the chill off of them. If you don’t warm them a little bit, it takes a lot of heat and therefore time in the oven. You can get really crunchy outside and very wet inside if the batter is too cold.
      Also, make sure you grease the *entire* top surface of the muffin pan along with the cups. I used Baker’s Joy (oil spray w/ flour)

    • 31

      Alton uses weights on the dry goods and sugar, so just use a digital scale on ounces the first time and use it to convert to metric. Or run it through a conversion calculator. The only thing that would need volume to weight is the oil, which is about 195 grams per cup. I am as metric as any American is going to be, and I agree with Alton that at the scale of 1 to 10 grams, teaspoon/tablespoon measures are easier and can be more accurate than gram weights. I don’t want to have to get a scale that has .1 gram precision, because that would limit its capacity.

  11. 32

    Could you substitute half of the regular flour for something like Almond flour/meal? I realize it is denser, and might require more liquid in the recipe, but it was a thought I had while looking for great flavor muffins with a higher protein count. Cheers.

    • 33

      I made these with 2/3 spelt flour and 1/3 AP with no problem. I think next time I’ll try 1/4 AP, 1/4 almond, and the rest spelt. You might need to add a bit of extra liquid. But the batter was pretty thick with mine and it still turned out fine. Do keep an eye on them though. Mine only took 23 minutes! I could smell they were done 😀

  12. 34

    1 cup is 8 ounces — But 1 cup of flour WEIGHS 4.5 ounces. So 22 ounces would be 4.88 cups. I’d measure out 4 3/4 cups and add a tablespoon. Or, I’d just use my digital scale and remove all doubt. Seriously, go buy one. I use mine all the time, and not just for baking.

  13. 35
    sara clifton

    I know I should have a digital scale, but I don’t. Grandma’s kitchen system measures would be a lovely inclusion. BUT since I have no intention of making muffins with oil, you may skip them this time.

    I mean really, AB. Oil? In muffins? What’s next, you gonna start using shortening in pound cakes?

    • 37

      There is nothing inherently wrong with an oil-based muffin. Is there anything wrong with a chiffon (oil-based) cake or cupcake? Same principle here. Oil often works better in muffin-method applications because it has a more neutral flavor and limits gluten formation in a quick mix because of there is no water involved with the fat. Butter can be ~15% water.

    • 40

      Course golden colored sugar grains… think “Sugar in the Raw” in the brown packets, like you find in coffee houses and restaurants. Available in most grocery stores.

  14. 41

    1 cup of flour is 4.5 oz

    Leah…have you tried William-Sanoma’s Gold touch pans? I swear by them.

    I am so excited to try this recipe! Do any alteration need to be made if using frozen blueberries? Fresh ones are hard to come by this time of year.

  15. 45
    Sylvia Estey

    Oh Alton, what am I supposed to do with this recipe? How many cups of flour is 22 oz? Help, I so need the perfect Blueberry Muffin recipe!

    • 46

      It might seem obvious but…get a digital scale. Using weights instead of volume really does make a difference in consistency, even if you just use it for the four main ingredients (flour, fat, sugar, yoghurt) and the blueberries. As stated elsewhere, 1 cup of flour is somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75 ounces per cup. The difference is due to how one scoops their one cup of flour. Personally, I use 4.75 ounces (135 grams) per cup of AP flour as a starting point for most recipes I haven’t tried yet. Some people think that 135 grams per cup is a little heavy, and I can see that. P.S. Once you start weighing sticky sweet thing like molasses, honey, and agave directly into the bowl, you’ll never go back.

  16. 47

    OK. Whenever I make muffins or cupcakes, inevitably I lose half of said baked good stuck to the Wilton muffin pan. I’ve used non stick spray, I’ve buttered – nothing seems to stop the problem. Do I need to replace the pan? Could that be the culprit?

    • 48

      Leah… my suggestion would be to use shortening/lard. Butter just worsens the problem, and sprays are useless unless you can afford commercial grade cookware. I have a prized family recipe for cranberry muffins which are prone to stick. Shortening is the only lubricant that virtually always works (don’t be skimpy). Oh… don’t even think about silicone bake ware, that is if you love a crunchy muffin exterior!

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