This easy recipe for blackberry buttermilk muffins comes together all in one bowl! The tangy flavors of blackberries and buttermilk are complemented by fresh lemon zest. You can make these delicious blackberry muffins with fresh or frozen berries!
Fresh blackberries are a delicious summer treat, and taste great eaten out-of-hand, or baked up into a juicy pie or tart. But, for something a little different, you have to try these sweet and tangy blackberry buttermilk muffins. The buttermilk adds a nice tang to the muffins and helps create a tender crumb, elevating a basic muffin into something really special!
These muffins are great for breakfast or snack time, and, they freeze well for later so you can always have this delicious treat on hand. You only need basic (mostly pantry) ingredients, and ONE bowl, to make these easy muffins. Plus, you can even use frozen berries, so you can make these blackberry buttermilk muffins all year long.
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- Oil: you can use any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil.
- Buttermilk: if you don't have buttermilk, I will talk about how to make an easy substitute in the Tips and tricks section below.
- Coarse sugar crystals: I forgot to include this in the photo above (sorry!), but this is an optional ingredient for the muffin tops. I also use coarse sugar crystals in my vanilla muffins recipe, they are perfect for creating a beautiful crunchy muffin top.
Step by step photos
1. First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Then, line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Next, finely zest the lemon. I like using a Microplane (affiliate link) for this, but you can also use the fine side of a box grater.
3. Now you can rinse the blackberries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Look through the berries to make sure there are no moldy ones.
If you want more berry pieces distributed through the muffins, you can give the berries a very rough chop. This is optional, it's fine to leave the berries whole if you prefer.
4. Next, add the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Stir them with a wooden spoon to combine.
5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture with the wooden spoon.
6. Next, add the wet ingredients into the well: the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla, plus the lemon zest.
7. Using the wooden spoon, gently incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Don't overmix, the batter should still be lumpy.
8. Now, add in the blackberries. Stir very gently to incorporate the berries into the muffin batter.
9. Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin. I like using a quarter-cup dry measuring cup for this.
10. If you want, now sprinkle on the coarse sugar. Bake the blackberry buttermilk muffins in the preheated oven for 18 - 22 minutes.
11. The blackberry buttermilk muffins are done when the tops are golden brown and set. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with no wet batter (some moist crumbs are ok though!).
Let the blackberry muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Tips and tricks
How to make buttermilk substitute
If you don't have buttermilk, you can still make these blackberry buttermilk muffins! With only 2 ingredients, you can easily whip up a buttermilk substitute.
Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add regular milk up to the 1-cup line. Stir the mixture and let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until the milk looks slightly thickened and curdled.
Other tips and tricks
- The recipe calls for the eggs to be slightly beaten before adding them to the dry ingredients. This is so they incorporate more easily into the batter. You don't need to dirty a separate container for this - just crack the eggs into the same measuring cup you previously used for the buttermilk and oil.
- If you opt to roughly chop the berries, make sure to keep them in large pieces so they don't blend into the batter too much. And, be careful because a little juice may squirt out when you cut them!
- When I added the coarse sugar on top of the muffin batter, I got a little sloppy and spilled some on the muffin tin. This made the muffin tops stick to the tin a little when they expanded over the cups. So, just brush away any loose sugar crystals from the tin before baking!
- If your muffin tops stick to the tin a little like mine did, you can slide a thin plastic spatula underneath the muffin edges to loosen them (plastic is preferred so as not to scratch up the muffin tin).
Substitutions and additions
- As I mentioned, you can easily use frozen blackberries instead of fresh for these blackberry buttermilk muffins. Be sure to use them straight out of the freezer, without thawing first. You can still roughly chop them frozen if you like.
- This blackberry muffin recipe would also work well with blueberries, raspberries, or a combination of all three!
- For a little crunch, try adding in chopped almonds or pistachios (or your favorite nut!).
- And, for extra sweetness, add in a handful of chocolate chips. White chocolate would pair especially well with the lemon, vanilla and berry flavor in these muffins.
- This muffin recipe uses oil instead of butter. But, if you prefer the flavor of butter, you can replace half or all of the oil with melted and cooled butter. In that case, use room-temperature eggs and buttermilk in the batter.
Storage and reheating
- Because these muffins contain fresh fruit, they will only keep at room temperature for about 1 - 2 days, stored in an airtight container or zip top bag.
- For longer storage, keep the blackberry muffins in the freezer. I find the easiest way to store them in the freezer is in a gallon zip top bag (try to remove most of the air from the bag before sealing).
- The blackberry muffins will last well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To enjoy these blackberry buttermilk muffins from the freezer, you can leave them out on the counter for about 1 hour to thaw. Or, even better, peel the paper from the muffins, split them in half (while still frozen), then bake them in the oven for 7 - 8 minutes at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
No, you can use the eggs and buttermilk straight from the fridge. This recipe uses oil, rather than melted butter, so there is no risk that the cold eggs and/or buttermilk will cause the butter to seize up.
You don't have to, but I recommend using cupcake liners. I tested the recipe both ways, and I had a little trouble with the delicate muffins getting stuck when just using oil to grease the tin. This could be because my muffin tin is very old and the nonstick coating has mostly worn away.
If you don't have cupcake liners, just spray the muffin tin generously with cooking spray, including the top of the tin (since the muffins will puff up and spill over the tin a little).
In addition to using buttermilk, which helps tenderize the muffins, here are a few additional ways to ensure moist and tender muffins:
First, use oil in the batter. According to this article on the pros of baking with oil, baked goods made with butter can be more dense and not as tender as when made with oil. I also like using oil because it's easier - no need to melt and cool butter first. (But, as I mentioned above, if you like the taste of butter, you can use half melted butter and half oil in this recipe!)
Next, be sure to measure the flour accurately. Too much flour will make the muffins dry. Spoon the flour from the container into the measuring cup, and sweep off the excess flour with a knife. Or, better yet, use the weight measurement.
And, do not to overmix the batter. Overmixing can make the muffins tough and dense. So, only stir the batter until the flour is combined - it's good if there are some lumps left over.
Finally, do not overbake the muffins. If you keep them in the oven for longer than they need, they will dry out.
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Blackberry Buttermilk Muffins
Blackberries and buttermilk provide a delicious tang and tender crumb to these moist muffins. The blackberry flavor is complemented with lemon zest and vanilla. You can make these muffins all in one bowl, making prep a snap!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: breakfast, snacks
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 ½ cups (195 g) blackberries (fresh or frozen, see note 1)
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
- 2 ¼ cups (279 g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or use weight measurement)
- 1 cup (215 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk
- ½ cup (118 ml) neutral oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.)
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- coarse sugar crystals (optional, for the tops of the muffins)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place cupcake liners in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin (preferred), or, generously spray the muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Pick them over to remove any moldy or soft berries. (Skip this step if using frozen berries.)
- If desired, roughly chop the blackberries into large pieces (this step is optional, see note 2). Set aside.
- Finely zest the lemon, set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Using the spoon, make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Add the buttermilk, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest into the well. Gently stir the mixture to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stop when all the flour has been moistened; do not overmix. There should still be some lumps in the batter.
- Add the blackberries to the batter and stir gently, just enough to incorporate the berries into the batter.
- Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin. If desired, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of coarse sugar on top of each muffin.
- Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 18 - 22 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and firm, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean (meaning, there is no wet batter on the toothpick - berry juice and/or moist crumbs are ok).
- Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes, then move the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling to room temperature.
This recipe works well with fresh or frozen berries. To use frozen berries, add them to the muffin batter straight from the freezer without thawing first.
Cutting the blackberries is optional, if you want more evenly dispersed pieces throughout the muffin. Keep the pieces large however, so you still get distinct pieces of blackberry in each muffin. When chopping, be careful because some juice may squirt out of the berries!
The muffins will keep at room temperature for 1 - 2 days, tightly covered. For longer storage, the muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and does not include the optional coarse sugar. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brand, type, and exact amounts of ingredients used. This nutrition estimate should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: 1/12 recipe
- Calories: 258
- Sugar: 18.7 g
- Sodium: 183 mg
- Fat: 10.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.7 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Protein: 4.4 g
- Cholesterol: 32 mg
Keywords: blackberry buttermilk muffins, blackberry muffins