Bakery-Style Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Bakery-Style Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 muffins


2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter works well)

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

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups (about 250 g) fresh or frozen blueberries*

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature**

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar**

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

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) low fat buttermilk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

*If using frozen blueberries, do not defrost them, but do rinse them with cold water before tossing in the dry ingredients. This will help keep the color of the blueberries from bleeding into the batter during baking.

**For a “lighter” recipe that is lower in fat and sugar, in place of the butter, sugar and eggs in the amounts listed above, use the following (and leave the rest of the recipe unchanged):

  • 7 tablespoons (98 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (in place of 10 tablespoons butter)
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar (in place of 1 cup (200 g))
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) Greek-style plain yogurt, at room temperature (addition)
  • 1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature (in place of 2 eggs)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside.

  • In a medium-size bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients to a small bowl, add the blueberries and toss to coat. Set both bowls aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), place the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until well-combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk and lemon juice, followed by the remaining dry ingredients and beating until just combined after each addition. The batter will be quite thick. Add the blueberries and reserved dry ingredients, and gently fold the berries into the batter just until they are evenly distributed throughout.

  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 prepared muffin wells, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Sprinkle the top of each cup of batter lightly with the optional coarse sugar. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center (and not in a blueberry) comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally posted on the blog in 2014. Recipe modified from original the make larger muffins. “Lighter” recipe is now a traditional recipe with notes to make lower in sugar and fat. Photos all new.


Comments are closed.

  • Candice
    January 17, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    These are in the oven and they smell SOOOOO good!! Mine are not as light since I used full fat milk and yogurt as that was what I had. But excited about the less sugar for the kiddos. And if they taste half as good as they smell, they will be inhaled like cupcakes:) Thanks for another great recipe. Keep ’em coming!

  • Stacy
    January 9, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Yum! Just made these for my office staff tomorrow….had to do some quality control tasting and they are fabulous! Light, slightly sweet with a nice crunch from the sugar on top. Made as listed with cup4cup (given to me as a gift…too $$$ for me). Thanks for another winner!

    • January 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      It would be downright irresponsible of you not to taste-test, Stacy! Glad to see you are so ethical. :)

  • Samantha
    January 8, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    I am so happy you gave us a recipe that is more healthy! I am trying to slim down this year. I LOVE my sweets and I love to bake. This recipe will mean I can still have both with less guilt! Thank you! Any other recipes that are lighter and more healthy?!

  • Kclark
    January 8, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Oh these look so divine. Less sugar! Sign me the heck up. I will get the few missing ingredients (how I wish I had them right now!) manana. Go Chargers! Oh, and I am quite old enough to recognize that song reference and it is firmly in place in my head right before bed!

  • Linda
    January 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    These look great and can’t wait to try them. After baking WAY too many of your breads, cookies, etc., I’ve been trying to ignore your recipes this week….but this one’s light, right? ;) Two quick questions – I just stocked up big time on Better Batter – is it okay to use that instead of Cup4Cup? And can I use SACO powdered buttermilk plus water in place of the buttermilk? Thanks!

    • Mare Masterson
      January 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Linda, Nicole has a “Better Batter as Cup4Cup Hack” on her GF Flour page (resources). I use it when her recipes call for Cup4Cup.

  • Shruti Nath
    January 8, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Just made these!!
    I substituted the eggs with egg replacer. They rose beautifully in the oven but did fall flat a bit when I took them out. Super fluffy tho! I didn’t use liners coz I didn’t have any, just buttered the muffin tin and these popped out quite nicely.
    Thank you so much! I’ve always loved baking but haven’t been able to since going gf. Thank you for bringing back baking to me!!

    • Shruti Nath
      January 8, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Trying to upload a pic of them. Let’s hope this works.

      • January 8, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        They look great, Shruti!!

  • Charlotte Moore
    January 8, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    To measure the things in percentage where do you begin? 31% is close to what??? I just can’t grasp this way to measure. I feel so stupid. If it was ozs. or grams I could weigh it.

    • January 8, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Just multiply the total amount of the flour blend you want (here, 245 grams) by 31%, or 0.31. That will give you the number of grams of that particular flour that is in 245 grams of the blend. Or just use the Excel worksheet on that page of the blog, Charlotte.

  • Keren
    January 8, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    The whole “low fat” diet thing makes me crazy. In order to make the food taste good the manufactures had to add more sugar and other additives. YUK! Good fat is just that, GOOD. Fat does not make you fat, SUGAR makes you fat. I was happy to hear your comments on the subject. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    • January 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Generally, I really do agree with you, Keren. But sometimes you can cut out some of both the fat and the sugar without replacing either with more of the other, like here. I’m generally pretty pro-fat. :)

  • marie
    January 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Oh, and how about the non-fat dried mild in the Better Cup4Cup? Is white rice flour difficult to find. I have some brown rice flour. It does’t say superfine, but it sure looks it.

    Thanks again!

    • January 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      What about the nonfat dry milk in the flour blend, Marie? No, white rice flour is not difficult to find, and if your flour isn’t from Authentic Foods, it isn’t superfine.

      • marie
        January 8, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        If my son is lactose intolerant, doesn’t that include the dry milk?

      • January 8, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        Yes, Marie. Nonfat dry milk has lactose.

  • marie
    January 8, 2014 at 2:28 PM


    I am new to this wonderful blog and to gf ccoking. My son is gf and dairy free. Can crisco (yuck) be substituted for the butter? He does eat yogurt, but what about the buttermilk?

    Thank you for your time and great information.

    • January 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      I haven’t tested this recipe with any substitutions of that kind, Marie. You’ll have to experiment!

    • Ali
      February 23, 2017 at 5:15 PM

      Well yes it can be it just might now turn out the same way😄😄😄😄

  • Mare Masterson
    January 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Thank you for not using some other sugar song reference that could have been much worse than Def Leppard. However, I need to put music on in my office to get the song out of my head!

    • January 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      I honestly didn’t think that many people would get it! *oops* ;)

  • Stitcher
    January 8, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    On the lemon juice, 2 Tbsp doesn’t equal 2 fluid ounces – don’t you mean 1 oz?

    • January 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Yes! Sorry about that. 2 tablespoons is right, and it’s equal to 1 fluid ounce. Correction made.

  • Jess
    January 8, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Curse you. Def Leppard will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Of course if you are looking for the silver lining (which we always are right?) I can sing as loud as I want as I make these to go with our dinner tonight!

    I had a wonderful blueberry muffin recipe in my gluten-ful days and I still continue to try and make it gfree. It doesn’t seem to ever work out in my favor- but i’m ever hopeful. BUT! Instead of playing with an oldie- I think I’m going to give THIS one a try! I already have the blueberries ready to go in the fridge (seriously- I was really was going to make a batch of muffins tonight).

    As ever- THANK YOU for all your hard work. My family benefits greatly from your dedication! Love you!

    love jess

    • January 8, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Will you ever forgive me for Def Leppard, Jess? As many others have said, that isn’t the best Leppard song to have stuck in one’s head. At least I don’t have music on my site, though! Now that would be annoying.
      So glad I saved you from a potentially less-than-satisfying blueberry muffin. :)

  • Annette Baase
    January 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    LOVE Def Leppard, by the way! Not so much that song though ;)

    • January 8, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      I know, Annette. Terrible song! And now everyone has it running round and round in their heads. ;)

  • Linda
    January 8, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I made these early this morning with coconut yogurt, Earth Balance (soy free stick version) and “buttermilk,” which I made from coconut milk and lemon juice (recipe to do this here: http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/11/dairy-free-buttermilk-replacement/) and my version worked great for those who are dairy and soy free as well as gluten free! I also use my own version of flour that doesn’t have potato starch in it. These are so yummy!!!! Thanks Nicole! Another winner recipe!

  • Mare Masterson
    January 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Blueberry muffins are my most favorite muffins in the whole wide world! Having a lighter GF yummy (I can say that without making them, because anything you present to us is yummy) blueberry muffin is like hitting the lottery in my book! I just need some buttermilk, Greek yogurt and blueberries to make these gems.

  • Jenn F.
    January 8, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Do you have an approximate calorie count?

    • January 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      I don’t, Jenn, particularly since the nutrition information will differ based upon which all purpose flour you use. But feel free to plug your ingredients into this nutrition calculator, or the online one you like best.

  • Jennifer S.
    January 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Yummy! I just bought a big container of blueberries so I’ll be making these today I think – I hope they freeze well for breakfasts on the go! :) I’ll let you know how it goes….

    • January 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      If you wrap each muffin individually, and then put them in a freezer-safe bag or container, they do, in fact, freeze well, Jennifer! I have so many blueberry muffins in my house right now that I had no choice but to freeze some, and they’ve done great, the little darlins. :)

  • melissa
    January 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Have you tried this with an egg substitute?

    • Jennifer S.
      January 8, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      I do a lot of Nicole’s recipes with egg beaters with great success – just note that you have to use a little bit more than directed to get the rise you want.

  • Donia Robinson
    January 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Reference gotten.

    • Jennifer S.
      January 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Me too and dang it I thought that hair band was in the 90’s not the 80’s. I’m not ready for the 80’s to be retro.

      • Anneke
        January 8, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        I got it, too, but I think I am actually older then all of you, including Nicole! Can I use the excuse that my kids love that song?

      • Donia Robinson
        January 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        They say you’re only as old as you feel. But I feel really old. (not because of the song reference)

      • Michelle
        January 8, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Me too, and ugh! ear worm! I am feeling old today- maybe I need to make some muffins?

      • Donia Robinson
        January 8, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Yes, muffins, especially Nicole’s muffins, will cure all that ails you. ;)

      • January 8, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Stuff muffins in your ears, maybe, Michelle? Except that the only cure for a bad song-in-the-head … is to replace it with another (scientific fact!). I will leave the selection up to you…

      • Michelle
        January 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        I wouldn’t waste those lovely muffins as ear plugs! They are delicious, by the way. I plan to upload a picture later. I made them exactly as written. Thanks, as always, for all you do! My kitchen is coming back together today, so I can finally make some champagne cake.

      • Mare Masterson
        January 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        I got the dang reference too and I am most likely older than you all!

    • Ouida Lampert
      January 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Hah! Me too. I don’t think that i have EVER seen a Def Leppard reference on a food blog!

    • Lynn A. Decker
      January 8, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Reference gotten here, too! Earworm earworm earworm!

      • Donia Robinson
        January 8, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Yes, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all day.

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