Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Bread

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

From banana bread and cinnamon swirl bread to chocolate chip yogurt bread, I love a solid quick bread recipe. Quick breads are to muffins what bars are to drop cookies. They’re delicious baking shortcuts. 

Rather than standing around waiting to take one batch out of the oven and bake the next, a quick bread goes in the oven for about an hour. The baking time is 2 to 3 times as long, but the active time is considerably less. You do need a properly balanced recipe, though, as with any good baking project. 

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

How to make this blueberry muffin bread

Not all muffin recipes are appropriate to make into a quick bread (and not all quick bread recipes can be made successfully into muffins). So even though there’s a lovely recipe for bakery-style gluten free blueberry muffins here on the blog (and even a recipe for blueberry swirl muffins), I wouldn’t recommend baking that same batter in a loaf pan. 

Since a muffin recipe is made in the individual wells of a muffin tin, the batter itself can be (and often is) softer and wetter than quick bread batter. Expect quick bread batter not to be at all pourable. This batter, in particular, is actually quite thick. The blueberries in the batter add moisture during baking, and the batter has to be able to absorb that moisture.  

First, the dry ingredients (flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt) are whisked together separately. Then, the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla are beaten well in a separate large bowl. Half of the dry ingredients are beaten into the butter mixture, then the sour cream, then most of the remaining dry ingredients.

All you need to reserve is about 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients, and then toss the blueberries in it. Using a spatula, gently fold the berries and reserved dry ingredients into the thick batter just until the berries are evenly distributed throughout the batter. 

Don’t use a glass loaf pan or a dark colored pan, either. Both get super hot and bake the outside of the loaf way too fast. By the time the inside is baked properly, the outside has burned. 

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

Fresh or frozen blueberries for baking

In every recipe of mine that calls for fresh blueberries, you can use frozen blueberries as well. The only real difference in baking with fresh blueberries as opposed to frozen is that frozen blueberries will bleed their blue color into the rest of the batter and fresh blueberries will not.

Whenever I’m developing a blueberry baking recipe, I always begin testing the recipe with frozen blueberries. Even during peak summer blueberry season, fresh blueberries are more expensive than frozen. And I know from experience that they behave largely the same in baking.

When I first baked a successful loaf of this blueberry muffin bread, it was with frozen blueberries and the raw batter was bright blue. But by the time the loaf was finished baking, the blue color had mostly given way to more of a gray tinge. It’s not nearly as beautiful as a loaf made with fresh berries that don’t bleed like the frozen ones, but it tastes exactly the same. 

Frozen berries will also burst more readily during preparation, no matter how careful you are in folding them into the batter. Keep them in the freezer until right before you add them to the batter, though, and they’re more likely to hold their shape. Some of the fresh berries will end up in pieces, too. No worries. 

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

That crumble topping, though…

Since this blueberry muffin bread is baked in a low (325°F) oven, the crumble topping gets lightly golden brown with no more than a few darker brown spots around the edges. Some of the pieces will fall off a bit when you slice through the topping to get to the tender loaf beneath. 

Clearly, the loaf makes even more of a beautiful presentation with the crumble topping. Plus, the lightly crisp topping balances the tender texture of the quick bread perfectly. If you’re planning to serve this loaf soon after making it, I urge you to add the crumble.

But if you plan to make this loaf, slice it and freeze the slices to defrost for an easy to defrost make ahead gluten free breakfast, you might want to skip the topping. Not only does it add extra sugar, but at least if my kids were to eat a slice in the car or on the bus, I shudder to think of the mess they’d make!

This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of) optional.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: To make the bread recipe dairy-free, you need to replace the butter and the sour cream. In place of the butter, you can try Earth Balance buttery sticks. They have more moisture than butter, though, and more salt.

If you use Earth Balance in place of butter, reduce the salt in the recipe by half and expect to bake the loaf for a bit longer. To avoid the issue, try replacing the butter with half (42 g) Earth Balance and half (42 g) Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. 

In place of sour cream, you can try using a vegan sour cream or straining a plain vegan yogurt to make it the consistency of sour cream. I’m afraid I’ve never found a vegan sour cream that I really love, though. 

For the butter in the crumble topping, I’d recommend using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, ideally the butter flavor. 

Egg-free: For the two eggs in this recipe, try replacing each with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). You’ll need something that provides structure, though, so applesauce will not work. 

Corn-free: To replace the cornstarch in this recipe, try arrowroot or potato starch. Either should work just fine. You do need something to lighten the flour blend, though. If you’re using a high-starch blend like Cup4Cup (or my mock Cup4Cup), replace the 54 grams of cornstarch with more Cup4Cup blend. Easy peasy.


This gluten free blueberry muffin bread is a tender and rich quick bread made with sour cream, packed with fresh blueberries. Crumble topping (sort of ) optional. #glutenfree #gf #muffins #bread

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 standard loaf


For the (optional) topping
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (70 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the bread
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 g) sour cream, at room temperature

5 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost)


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • If you would like to add the optional crumble topping to the bread, make it first so it can chill while you make the batter for the bread. Place all of the crumble ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine fully. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the bread.

  • To make the bread, in a medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside. In a large bowl, place the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and beat with a handheld mixer until very well-combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Next, add the sour cream, and beat until just combined, followed by almost all of the remaining dry ingredients (reserve about 1 tablespoon in the bowl) and beat until just combined. The mixture will be very thick. Place the blueberries in the bowl with the remaining tablespoon of dry ingredients and toss them gently to coat. Add to the batter and, using a spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a moistened spatula.

  • Remove the (optional) crumble topping from the refrigerator and break it into large irregular pieces with the tines of a dinner fork. Place the pieces of crumble on top of the batter in the loaf pan and press to help it adhere well.

  • Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour, rotating at least once during baking, until the loaf springs back when pressed gently in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center (wherever the loaf splits during baking) comes out with moist crumbs attached (but not batter). Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.


Comments are closed.

  • Michelle Walker
    March 4, 2019 at 6:04 PM

    Hi Nicole, just made this for my teammates at work. My topping sank into the bread, instead of remaining on top. Whilst there was no ‘crust’ for the loaf, it did make some gooey caramel goodness within the loaf itself. People could not believe it was GF. Thank you so much

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 5, 2019 at 8:15 AM

      When made as written, Michelle, the batter is actually quite stiff (you can see what I mean if you watch the how to video). Did you make any substitutions? Measure by volume instead of by weight?

  • Nancy Gillespie
    March 3, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    Hi Nicole. Just wanted to say this has been another success in Scotland UK. My husband ate half of it for a supper ‘snack’ and breakfast yesterday. I was a bit short on blueberries so added some dried cranberries that worked well. It is so moist and flavourful I’m planning on serving it to non-GFers as don’t think they’ll be able to spot the difference and sure they’ll love it. Nancy

  • Nancy Gillespie
    March 2, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    Hi Nicole – another winner in Scotland. Made for my husband last night and he’s scoffed half of it already! I’d happily serve it to non-GFs as it is so moist and tasty – don’t think they’d notice any difference.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 2, 2019 at 9:57 AM

      That’s so great to hear, Nancy! I wish I knew exactly how recipes like this one and, say, these flourless chocolate peanut butter muffins work and don’t seem “strange” at all. I guess we’ll just have to live with the mystery!

  • Linda
    February 25, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    Hi Nicole:
    I have really depended on your recipes and gluten free insights. A couple of personal problems to share. I have found so many people who share my corn allergy hand and hand with wheats/ grains so can only substitute tapioca starch in everything. Also zantham gum, which I understand is a bacterium grown on either wheat or corn makes me instantly sick and is apparently not a very good thing to ingest. I can only use guar gum. My versions of your recipes , while delicious, may yield different results than yours. Your thoughts and recommendations?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 25, 2019 at 10:04 AM

      Hi, Linda, tapioca starch isn’t a great substitute for cornstarch. Instead, I’d try arrowroot or potato starch in place of cornstarch in recipes that call for it. They are more neutral starches, like cornstarch. Xanthan gum is not usually grown on wheat, although it is sometimes grown on corn. Authentic Foods brand xanthan gum, for example, is grown on cabbage and so it’s free of all of the allergens you described. For recipes that call for an all purpose gluten free flour, Better Batter is entirely corn free (and of course gluten free) and already contains xanthan gum. I really recommend your using xanthan gum, not guar gum, as xanthan gum is much better for heated applications like baking. Guar gum is more effective in cold recipes, like smoothies. I hope that’s helpful!

  • Su
    February 25, 2019 at 6:32 AM

    Hi Nicole
    Many thanks for replying ?. Actually by weight is easier for me as I’m in the UK. Thanks for the encouragement, I think part of my problem is that I don’t think we have some of the brands you mention (well not easily accessible at a reasonable price). I’ve got some blueberries and some gf flour, so I’ll get the rest of the ingredients & give it ?. Thanks again, really appreciate all your advice x

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 25, 2019 at 8:31 AM

      My pleasure, Su. If you’re on Facebook, you should join my Facebook group. It’s much smaller than the large Facebook page and is really designed as a place for readers to help and encourage one another. There are a number of readers in there from the U.K., and they can definitely help you with sourcing ingredients. I think you’d get a lot out of it!

  • Jane Jurnove
    February 24, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Have made a lot of your recipes and lots of different recipes of loaf breads. It is a good breakfast with a container of yogurt. Allergic to wheat. I will make this tomorrow!!

  • Charles
    February 24, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Hi! My Daughter is gluten free, as we found out when she had bad stomach pains and rabbit poo around 4 years old.
    Can I make this recipe in a bread machine? The oven tends to scare me
    Charlie. Culver City, CA

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 24, 2019 at 2:51 PM

      Hi, Charles, I’m afraid you can’t make this quick bread in anything other than an oven. A bread machine is for yeast breads. Sorry!

  • Janet Kromka
    February 24, 2019 at 11:54 AM

    Nicole as always you make my day with your Sunday recipes. I look forward to them..
    When I use to work there were days people were snippy with me. I would respond with “well aren’t we a little sweetheart today.” Sometimes they would laugh and other times they would get in a huff and walk away. Also some people would ask my opinion on something and then after I would give it I realized they did not want my opinion they really wanted theirs to be validated. Depending on the situation and the person I would say, ” I have no opinion it is your life and your decision not mine.”

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 24, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      Love that, Janet! I have to be super careful never to escalate things, so I have to stand my ground (where appropriate) but still validate how they feel even if I can’t validate what they’re presenting as facts, you know?

  • Mark Wakefield
    February 24, 2019 at 10:32 AM

    sorry, I did not read thru the whole description showing the substitute for eggs, the chia seeds. So, will try and read thru the whole recipe next time. Will the chia seeds apply to other breads?



    • Nicole Hunn
      February 24, 2019 at 10:56 AM

      Hi, Mark, I’m afraid I can’t say for sure, even in this recipe. It’s just a suggestion, and it is an imperfect substitute that will have varying degrees of success, like most substitutes. Sorry I can’t be more positive!

    February 24, 2019 at 10:26 AM

    Your blueberry bread recipe sounds delicious. But, I have 1 problem. I am looking to bake for my daughter who is allergic to gluten AND eggs. For this recipe and for any bread recipes is there a substitute for eggs.


    Mark Wakefield

  • Su
    February 22, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Hi Nicole
    Would it be possible to use greek yogurt instead of sour cream please?
    Love reading your recipes, but haven’t been brave enough to try yet ? (I’m a gf newbie!).
    Many thanks for all your hard work though, it’s very much appreciated

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 22, 2019 at 5:41 PM

      Hi, Su, that should work, yes. Just don’t use fat-free or lowfat Greek yogurt, because the bread will be much less tender and nonfat yogurt tends to have some additives. I suggest measuring by weight and using one of my recommended flour blends (linked to in the ingredient list). Go for it you’ll do great!

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