These fantastic, moist, homemade muffins will rise and bake to a golden brown. Full of juicy blackberries, they have a soft and tender crumb and are out of the oven in 45 minutes. You can use fresh or frozen berries and plan ahead since they freeze well.
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This almost counts as a basic berry muffin recipe, where you can change the type of fruit and zest you use and they will always taste amazing.
But blackberries are worth it on their own, with that acid flavor and short season that makes us hurry up and bake something. For me, it's usually the orange blackberry muffin loaf or the gorgeous lemon blackberry bread, both huge hits in this house and wherever I take them.
Now I'm adding these homemade blackberry muffins to my regular baking schedule.
Why make this blackberry muffin recipe
- Easy recipe: the batter comes together quickly, so you can whip them up at a moment's notice. Forty five minutes later, they're out of the oven!
- Make ahead: they keep well for a day at room temperature, always covered or wrapped to prevent dryness. And also freeze wonderfully. In both cases, I suggest warming them in a medium oven (350°F/180°C) before eating. Great if you like something sweet for breakfast.
- Versatile: fresh berries are my first choice when blackberry season hits, but these can be made with frozen blackberries straight from the freezer with great results. You can use lemon or orange zest besides the vanilla extract, and maybe a touch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. They're easily adapted to your palate.
- Blackberries: choose fresh blackberries when available, but frozen blackberries (unthawed) also work. Wild blackberries, when in season, are also wonderful.
- Citrus zest: we use lemon zest when the berries are sweeter and orange zest when they are more acidic because it's mellower. Both work very well. A Microplane zester/grater is an excellent tool for this.
- White granulated sugar.
- Milk: whole milk is our choice for the richness it adds, but reduced-fat milk and even almond milk can be used.
- Unsalted butter.
- Vegetable oil: I generally use neutral sunflower oil, but coconut oil and canola work well.
- Eggs: large, fresh.
- All-purpose flour or cake flour.
- Baking powder: make sure it's not expired. It's used as a leavening, to make the raspberry muffins rise during baking.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities.
Variations & substitutions
- Brown sugar: you can substitute it for the same amount of white sugar in the recipe.
- Crunchy top: sprinkle a little sugar on top before baking.
- Gluten-free: substitute a GF 1 to 1 flour mixture.
- Mixed berries: use different ones but respect the total amount given in the recipe ingredients. I like a mix of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
- Yogurt: you can use half milk and half plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt) for a tangier muffin.
How to make blackberry muffins
This is an adapted old-fashioned muffin recipe made by mixing the liquid ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl and then combining the two. So easy!
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand whisk; no need for an electric mixer.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir together. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones all at once.
You only need a whisk and spatula to fold the blackberries at the end. Do so lightly so you don't crush them and stain the batter.
Filling the pan: an ice cream or cookie scoop is great to divide the batter as evenly as possible, but you can also spoon it into the paper liners. Don't go over ¾ of their capacity to avoid overflow during baking.
Baking berry muffins
- Muffin tin: I like to use paper liners (paper cups or muffin liners) because it's easier to clean afterward, they keep the muffins moist, and are great if you want to transport them. But you can simply butter or use baking spray for the muffin pan.
When are the muffins done? Take the baking time in the recipe as your guide, check five minutes earlier, and see if the tester or toothpick comes out clean. All ovens are different, so it might take a few more or less minutes than specified.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Light mixing: it's essential you don't overmix this muffin batter.
- Storing: they keep well for a day at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container. For longer storage, I recommend freezing them.
- Extra citrus flavor: add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the batter with the zest.
- Variations: you can add a ground spice to the batter such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom. You can also use mixed berries instead of just blackberries.
How can I make my muffins light and fluffy?
Don't overmix the batter, have ingredients and oven at the right temperatures specified in the recipe. Take them out as soon as a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
They sink when the batter doesn't have enough structure to hold them; the berries weigh more and naturally sink due to gravity. It depends on the recipe. You won't have that problem with the one below.
How do you get high domes on muffins?
Using baking powder (instead of baking soda) will get cracked high-domed muffins. And a recipe that has the correct flour-to-liquid ratio, like this one.
Why did my muffins turn out dense?
Overmixing or beating the batter is, in my experience, the main culprit. The ingredients have to be lightly mixed *just* until integrated. Use a spatula or whisk for best results, as it's hard to overmix a muffin batter is folding it by hand.
What is the secret to moist muffins?
Using oil or a mix of oil and butter, not overbaking the batter will result in moist muffins. Using oil adds richness and moisture. Mixing the dry and wet ingredients *just* until moistened and not overbaking them will ensure a fluffy result.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 2 cups (280g) all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup milk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower)
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
- 1 ½ cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Line 12 regular muffin tins with paper liners or butter/spray the pans. The yield can vary depending on the size of the berries.
- In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the sugar and mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and lukewarm melted butter. Do not beat but mix well until no streaks of egg whites remain.
- Add the citrus zest.
- Add the mixed wet ingredients at once to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Mix until you barely have streaks of flour, but do not overmix. It will be lumpy and not completely mixed and that is fine.
- Add the blackberries and mix lightly. Be careful not to mash them. I do it with a rubber spatula.
- Divide evenly among the muffin cups or muffin liners.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is cracked, golden brown, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake.
- Let cool on a wire rack and eat warm or let cool down completely.
- They are best eaten the day they are made, but you can keep them for a day at room temperature covered or wrapped.
- Store leftovers, covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for a month.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Light mixing: it's important that you don't overmix this muffin batter.
Muffin tin: I like to use paper liners (paper cups or muffin liners) because it's easier to clean afterward, they keep the muffins moist, and are great if you want to transport them. But you can simply butter or use baking spray for the muffin pan.
Filling the pan: make sure you distribute blackberries in all of the muffin tins. I like to use an ice cream scoop to fill them with the same amount of batter. Don't go over ¾ of their capacity.
When are the muffins done? Take the baking time given in the recipe as your guide and check five minutes earlier and see if the tester or toothpick comes out clean. All ovens are different so it might take a few minutes more or less than specified.
Extra lemon flavor: use a teaspoon or two of lemon juice and add it to the batter together with the zest.
Variations: you can add a ground spice to the batter such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom. You can also use mixed berries instead of just blackberries.
Crunchier topping: you can add a sprinkling of sugar (half a teaspoon) to each muffin top before baking.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Muffins
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 248
- Sugar: 18.4 g
- Sodium: 117.6 mg
- Fat: 9.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.7 g
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Cholesterol: 41.5 mg
Keywords: blackberry muffins