Blueberry Muffins

blueberry muffin
What do I want to do when it’s ninety five degrees outside with a heat index of one hundred?  Bake.  I’m rolling my eyes too.  It’s hot!  Stupid hot.  And I’m baking!  Whaaaat am I thinking?!  Weirdo is right.  

But this is a must, a must-bake, an annual requirement I cheerfully fulfill.  

It’s hot though.  Whooo. 

Even the air conditioner is like omg this isn’t funny, ya freakin’ weirdo.

This recipe is older than me.  Or likely, hang on, gotta check….My mom says her Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book* is from the 1960s, from whence this recipe comes, preceding my baking self arrival.  And I have now used “whence” in a blog for the first time.  So fancy pants, heh!

Ok but I’ve been making these blueberry muffins for quite literally as long as I can remember.  Maybe ten?  Twelve years old?  And that’s a mighty long time but I’m here to tell ya….

Prince?  Anyone?

And you’ll never believe this but I’ve never eaten one.  Not one.  Not once.  I’m not a blueberry fan.
blueberry muffin with sugar on top
I mean, they look good for sure.
Everybody around me is though including Finn the pooch.  But nope, I’m the annoyingly picky eater of the bunch.  Which is probably partially why I like baking so much:  sugar, flour, chocolate….infinitely more enjoyable than regular food.

But whatever, it’s quite a-okay as my family and Mike covet these muffins like nobody’s business, probably ticking off the days ‘til blueberry season.  And if my brother is reading this, he’s mad right now that he lives far away.

I recently realized that I’m late in making these, henceforth, late in sharing them with you.  “Aw babe!  Ya know what?,” I blurted to Mike in the car the other day, “I haven’t made blueberry muffins yet this year.  Wow, that’s bad.”

A pause.  Silence.  Then:

“Uh.  Yeah babe.  You uh, you better get on that.”  Tone is hard to relay here; it’s one of “how could you, you torturous fool…leave me sans muffins for so damn long, sheesh.”  All in good fun of course.  But not really.

Usually my dad gets a batch around Father’s Day but blueberries haven’t been on sale, my cue of ’tis the season.  And too, I typically wait for Michigan blueberries.

My dad grew up here in Riverside but his family, the Polk family as a matter of fact, spent practically every summer at Magician Lake in Michigan.

My grandmother Edna would sneak out to pick wild fruit:  blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries too I think he said.  Her fiercely protected, secret locations were known solely to her and she took the knowledge of those sacred spots with her when she passed.

So my dad grew up on Michigan fruit, wild at that.  As such, every year I make a concerted effort to pick up Michigan blueberries for these muffins.  Some years I’m not so lucky and granted they’re never wild but it tends to work out.  Zero complaints.

Gosh until this batch.  They baked up looking a smidge different than usual and then Mike set me a-blazing panicked by asking if I added cornmeal.  Whaaaaaat?!?  Ack omg, I’m dyin’ over here!! 

These are celebrated micro-locally as the best blueberry muffins ever ever ever, I cannot let everyone down!

The flour I used is a different brand than I usually use, Bakers Rose.*  It’s been great so far, albeit a tiny bit drier than I’m used to….but I wonder.  Hm. 

It wouldn’t be the aluminum-free baking powder, right?

Huh, actually it could be, according to Epicurious.  Aluminum-free baking powder is activated by liquid; powders with aluminum compounds are activated by heat.  As fantastically and thoroughly outlined here.  Huh.  Interesting.  

So by dragging my feet plus having extra batter hanging around waiting for the first batch to bake, the powder could have expelled oomph. 

Sodium aluminum sulfate and sodium aluminum phosphate are not like pop cans or tin foil in your baking powder, fyi.  They’re chemicals that become acidic when oven heat hits them, prompting the sodium bicarbonate to gas up and lift. 

But here it says aluminum-free baking powder should not have any significant effect on baked goods.  Then this discusses the brand I used, Argo,* and that there are differences.  

Heh.  Ahhh the internet.  So easy to find an answer and yet so hard.  

Did I go off the deep end there for a second?  Sorry.  Baking science is fascinating stuff, man.  The more you understand, the better your baking.  But please, no need to be a baking science whiz nor will having a lack of baking science knowledge make you a bad baker.  I’ll do the work for you, no worries.

And here I was merely trying to avoid the risk of tinny metallic taste pops despite no one ever mentioning it previously when I used regular ol’ baking powder.  Hm.  I will go back to it for these muffins though.


These muffins are simple to make, practically fool-proof (normally).  Do not let my .000001% off-chance results in a lifetime deter you.  These, I’m told, are the schnizzle. 

This guarded recipe I’m sharing is double the original in order to accommodate a full pint of fresh berries.
eggs in a bowl

In a large bowl, whip up the eggs with a fork and spill in the milk and veggie oil, giving that a nice blending.
blended wet ingredients in a bowl
No, I know your next question….I have not tried subbing butter for the oil so I can’t speak to those results.  The oil, I imagine, results in a moister muffin in the end.  Maybe someday I’ll test butter or melted butter in a half recipe. 

Add all the flour and mix that in with the same fork, to the point where it’s clumpy yet there’s still some flour left visible. 

flour with milk, eggs, and oil as batter
Sprinkle the sugar over top, same with the baking powder and salt, mix that in with the fork.  If it’s sticky and stretchy, you’ve got it goin’ on. 

adding baking powder and sugar
Here’s after the sugar, baking powder, and salt were added and mixed.
Tumble the washed and dried berries atop and using a spatula,* fold them gently into the batter, careful not to squish, pop, or smash them.  Unless you prefer them that way, that is. 
blueberries added and mixed in
Using a soup spoon, scoop a big dollop of batter and fill each paper cup liner in a muffin tin* to about two-thirds full.  These from If You Care* are highly recommended by me, aka the best cups. 

batter divided into 12 muffin cups
What is two thirds? Hard to tell, I know. More than half.
Bake these sweet batter rounds for twenty to twenty five minutes, until lightly golden. I remove them from the tin promptly to a wire rack as I need the tin for the rest of the batter, heh.  Another soup spoon will help you do this easily without scorching your fingertips. 
baked blueberry muffin on cooling rack
And by the way, FYI, if you treasure your muffin tin, this recipe will destroy it with blueberry stains that will likely never come out, despite the paper liners.  So either have a second to abuse or, like me, not worry about it.  

Sprinkle the tops with a little extra sugar to gild the lily, let them cool and, woo, share the love!  
blueberry muffin on a plate
ETA:  It was the aluminum-free baking powder.  And half butter, half oil?  Thumbs up from Mike.  Same for all butter but half and half was more preferred.

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

*The Betty Crocker cookbook, flour, Argo, spatula, muffin tins, and parchment baking cups are Amazon affiliate links. Happy baking, thanks! Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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