These classic gluten free blueberry muffins are crisp on the outside, soft and tender inside. So easy to make, and they taste just like they came from your favorite bakery!
It was January 2014, and I thought you’d probably be interested in “diet” recipes. Since I’m old enough to have experienced the full force of the 1990s, I know that “low fat” usually means high in sugar and just heavy. And anyway hello fat is delicious.
So this gluten free blueberry muffin recipe started out as a “lighter” recipe. I even gave nutrition information and everything! But the muffins were so skimpy. It wasn’t long before I started tinkering with the recipe when I made it for my family.
Here are my favorite gluten free blueberry muffins as I make them today at home. Usually, they’re studded with big juicy blueberries (frozen are fine!), but sometimes I replace the lemon juice with pure vanilla extract and the berries with chocolate chips.
[P.S. I even have a trick in the recipe for keeping frozen berries from bleeding all over the batter!]
In this updated version, the basic recipe isn’t low fat and low sugar. It’s not loaded with fat and sugar, but I’ll admit that it doesn’t skimp. I have notes on how to make it low fat and low sugar, though.
But before I get to the modifications you need to make for a “light” version of this recipe, I wanted to say a few words about buttermilk. There are so many ways to add buttermilk to a recipe, but they’re simply not all created equal.
The highest and best way to add buttermilk is, indeed, with actual honest-to-goodness buttermilk from the dairy case at your grocer. It’s not just sour. It’s thicker and creamier than milk that’s simply had some lemon juice added to it.
But if you’re caught without that in the house, here’s my best trick: either half plain (no flavor) yogurt (Greek style is okay, too) or sour cream + half milk. This recipe calls for 6 fluid ounces buttermilk. You can use (and I have done!) 3 fluid ounces milk + the rest of the volume with yogurt or sour cream. Just mix well.
If you’d like a dairy free buttermilk, try half plain dairy free yogurt and half unsweetened almond milk. But full disclosure, I haven’t tried that. I just think it would work.
Back to the lower fat version of this muffin. You can reduce the butter quite a bit (to 3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons), and still have a tender muffin just by adding 3/4 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt. Cut the sugar back to 3/4 cup (these are large muffins, so I wouldn’t go lower than that, but you can try 1/2 cup), and replace one of the eggs with 2 egg whites.
You’ll still have a tender muffin (plenty of tenderizers in that yogurt, buttermilk and lemon juice). Plus, the blueberries themselves help keep the muffins moist. And I added a few grains of coarse sugar on top, which adds a wee bit of calories (almost nothing) but since it’s right on top and caramelizes a bit in the oven, it adds a lot of sweetness.
The result? A lightly-sweet, seriously delicious gluten free blueberry muffin (any other berry would work great, too) that doesn’t sacrifice anything and doesn’t recall the dense muffins of the 1990s.