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Blueberry Oat Muffins


A couple weeks ago, before our (glorious!) trip to Berlin, I got a group email from a cook friend asking if anyone had a favorite recipe for blueberry muffins. We all wrote back with our favorites, and a few themes emerged: good blueberry muffins need the tang of sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk. They need a good amount of sugar (sorry, I know I’m breaking the cardinal rule of healthy January blogging, but it’s true). A crumb topping can be polarizing: some swear by it, while others (cough) think the craggy, sturdy top of a blueberry muffin is delicious as is and best unadulterated. (Though, before you peg me with hard, pale, winter tomatoes, let me say that I’m still very much on team crumb-topping for everything else. Coffee cake is best when the ratio of cake to crumb makes you furrow your brow and ask whether the thing can honestly be called a cake.)

To this inquiring friend, I sent along my all-time favorite Cooks Illustrated recipe. Another friend swore by Ina Garten’s formula. And then, even though there wasn’t enough flour in the tub, and only three of us were eating breakfast, I yanked a ziploc of blueberries out of the freezer (yes, I freeze summer blubes in portions perfect for blueberry muffins, everyone does that right?) and whipped up a batch of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, substitutions-galore blueberry muffins, 12 for the three of us. And guys? They were perfect.


I know this is the umpteenth oat recipe I’ve posted recently. And yes, I know, you all have blueberry muffin recipes you love and swear by, you don’t need others. I still love the CI originals, and I’d still recommend them to anyone in search of a keeper. But these, with their oat flour and a tiny bit of almond flour, were perfect in a Kim Boyce, Good-to-the-Grain kind of way. They tasted toasty and nutty; as my brother said, they tasted like they were loaded with brown sugar (nope).


Now they’re here, which means they’re in the permanent collection. I hope you’ll make and love them as much as we did.

Back from Berlin! I know it’s been quiet around here for the last couple of weeks, but boy, did our vacation do me good. I can’t wait to share all the delicious little nuggets of our trip with you. There’s so much deliciousness to share! Stay tuned.

One year ago: Monkey Gingerbread
Two years ago: Adobo Black Bean Soup
Three years ago: Duck Confit
Four years ago: Thai Cabbage Salad with Cashews and Chili-Coconut Dressing
Five years ago: Sicilian Caponata
Six years ago: Lawsuit Muffins with Mango

Oat and Almond Blueberry Muffins
heavily adapted from a basic Cooks Illustrated recipe

1 cup (4.5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1.75 oz.) oat flour
1/2 cup (1.75 oz.) almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
7 ounces (1 cup) sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
10 ounces sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk (whatever you have on hand, though I especially like buttermilk here)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with paper liners and grease with either butter or nonstick spray.

Whisk flours, almond meal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg in a second medium bowl until uniformly pale colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogeneous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds.

Divide batter among greased/lined muffin cups. Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through the baking time. Invert onto a wire rack and cool 5 minutes.

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  • Raeefa January 23, 2014,

    Can’t wait to hear about your Berlin adventures – it’s one of my favorite cities!

  • Hina January 24, 2014,

    Thanks to you, we had delicious muffins this morning! I had to make them gluten-free so did so by substituting g-f oat flour for the 1 cup of all-purpose flour and cut the sugar by half because we don’t like very sweet muffins. I put in a combination of buttermilk and sour cream (1 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup sour cream). The result is a moist chock full of blueberries muffin that’s perfectly sweet enough. Thanks, Rivka!

  • Salvegging March 1, 2014,

    Wow these were so fluffy and cake like! I have never used that much sour cream in a muffin recipe before so I was curious. I used fine ground oats and blanched almond flour with the ap. They were so decadent and light in a good way.