I think you’re going to love these lightly-spiced, jumbo blackberry muffins, friends.
Huge, bakery-style muffins bake up tender with lovely crowns and are jam-packed with fresh blackberries nestled in a gently-spiced yogurt batter.
Like all true muffins (not the cupcake-like kind), blackberry muffins are made using The Muffin Method, which is also used to make quick bread like my brown butter blueberry buckle.
For ease of browsing, you can find all my muffin and quickbread recipes in one place. Thanks for being here. Let’s make these muffins!
You’ll Love These Muffins If…
Not all recipes are for all people, so take a look here to see if these blackberry muffins check all your boxes
You’ll like these if you:
- love enormous muffins, either to eat all yourself or to split with a friend
- have some blackberries that need a job
- think orange and cardamom is a fantastic flavor combination
- never have buttermilk on hand but always have some yogurt
- know that muffins and cupcakes are two different things, and you really love traditionally-made muffins
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If you’re ready to bake, skip on down to the recipe.
If you need a refresher and some visuals showing how to mix muffin batter, and you appreciate some tips and tricks, read on.
How to Make Muffins
For an in-depth discussion of the muffin method, you can read this post.
Otherwise, here’s a brief overview, beginning with the ingredients you’ll need to make these blackberry muffins.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- all-purpose flour: You could also use cake flour if you have it, but for a good balance between “sturdiness” and tenderness, it’s hard to beat all-purpose flour
- sugar: Provides sweetness, tenderness, helps to retain moisture, and assists in browning
- baking powder: Leavener that, in its double-acting form, produces bubbles twice: once when liquid is introduced and again when it heats in the oven
- baking soda: Another leavener that also works to neutralize the pH of acidic ingredients like yogurt
- whole milk: Provides the bulk of the liquid to activate enough gluten that the muffins hold together beautifully and rise into lovely peaks. Also provides a touch of additional fat, gentle milky sweetness, and thanks to the milk solids, assists in browning.
- plain Greek yogurt: Adds a bit of body and tang. The acid in the yogurt also works to tenderize the crumb
- salt: Brings all the flavors into focus
- vanilla extract: Provides sweet, woody, floral notes
- cinnamon: Brings a hint of warmth to an otherwise summery flavor profile. The sweet warmth of cinnamon is a nice foil to the bright, sweet-tart berries
- orange extract: You may also use the zest of an orange, if you have one on hand. Pairs beautifully with vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom. The resulting batter smells like heaven while it’s baking
- ground cardamom: Cardamon is a bit minty and a bit citrusy, and it is a lovely spice. Buy it in pods (crack them open to reveal the little seeds) or buy it “de-podded.” Since it has a lot of volatile oils in it, I don’t recommend purchasing it ground. I grind my own as needed using a mortar and pestle. While technically an optional ingredient, it really does bring an added dimension to these muffins.
- eggs: Eggs provide not only structure *and* moisture, but they also assist in browning, add protein and emulsifiers, and assist in the rise. If you can’t have eggs or don’t eat them, you may substitute flax eggs. Make sure to grind the flax really finely in a blender or spice mill so your muffins aren’t gritty.
- vegetable oil: Grapeseed or avocado oil work great in these muffins. You can also use your favorite neutral vegetable oil. Oil provides fat for tenderness, and since oil is a liquid (rather than a solid fat like butter), the muffins stay softer and seem moister
- melted butter: Provides additional fat and flavor
- blackberries: I call for about 1 1/2 cups of blackberries. Feel free to substitute any other berry or mix of berries. Or diced peaches. Whichever fruit or mix of fruits you use, hold back some to stud the tops of the muffins before baking
- coarse sugar: Provides a bit of sparkle, crunch, and additional sweetness to the tops of the muffins. If you prefer, you can top the muffins with streusel before baking
The muffin method is pretty straightforward.
Here’s a summary of the steps, and then I’ll share some photo collages for those of you who are visual learners.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
- Whisk all the wet ingredients together. **Make sure all wet ingredients are at room temperature to keep your butter from seizing up.**
- Add berries to dry ingredients.
- Pour wet over the berries and the dry ingredients.
- Fold together gently but thoroughly until there are no visible streaks of dry, powdery ingredients.
- Pan and bake.
Jenni Says: You’ll notice I add the salt and spices with the wet ingredients. That’s because fat carries flavor, so I mix the flavorings into the wet ingredients, which is where the fat (oil, melted butter) happens to be!
- Add the four dry ingredients (not including salt and spices) to a large bowl and whisk them together well.
- Whisk all the wet ingredients together in a pitcher or another bowl.
- Add the blackberries to the dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients over all.
- Fold all the ingredients together, gently but thoroughly. Try to get this done in about 20-25 folds so you don’t overmix.
- Spray a non-stick jumbo muffin tin with pan spray and fill the cavities almost to the top.
- Cut the reserved berries in 3-4 pieces each and place them on top of the muffin batter. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 teaspoon coarse sugar.
- Bake, cool to warm, and enjoy.
A Note About the Cardamom
If you have a spice mill, whir up the cardamom (sans pods) until it’s a fine powder.
If not, do what I do and grind it in a mortar with a pestle. The longer you work it, the finer the powder, so you will have complete control over how fine or coarse you grind it.
the mortar I use doesn’t take up much space in the kitchen, and it’s perfect for grinding small amounts of whole spices.
It’s what my husband uses to grind up his fruitcake spices too.
- Small size yet heavyweight for easy grinding
- Perfect for grinding whole spices for home use
- Also great for grinding salt rather than wearing out a salt mill.
It’s easy to make variations to the theme by changing up the spices/extracts/and fruit you use to make these muffins.
For example, swap peaches for the blackberries and go with ginger and minced crystallized ginger in place of the cardamom. Use almond extract rather than orange. Voila: peach muffins!
To make a slightly richer sparkly top, bake the muffins plain, without the sugar. When still warm, dip the domes in melted butter, let the excess drip off, then coat with sparkling sugar. You can see what this looks like in my cinnamon raisin muffin recipe.
Rather than baking muffins, make a blackberry breakfast cake by baking the entire amount of batter in a 9″ x 2″ cake pan at 325F or a 10″ cast iron skillet at 375F.
Read about the differences between baking in cast iron and cake pans in my peach breakfast cake post.
Equipment You May Need
If you don’t have a jumbo muffin tin (link is for a set of 2), you can either pick one up, or you can bake in standard-sized (12-cavity) muffin tins. This amount of batter will probably yield about 16-18 standard-sized muffins.
Tips and Tricks for Success
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years that will hopefully make your muffin-making experience pain-free.
If you forget to get your eggs, milk, and yogurt out of the fridge early, heat up the milk and then whisk the yogurt, extracts, oil, and spices into it. By that time, the mixture will have cooled so the eggs won’t cook when you add them. Add the warm, liquid butter last.
Fill your muffin tins almost completely with batter. Baking at a high temperature will ensure they rise up and dome beautifully rather than spreading out over the top of your muffin tin.
Bake jumbo muffins at a high temperature (425F) until they have risen and are golden brown. Then turn down the heat, tent them with foil, and continue baking at 350F until they are baked through.
My favorite way to serve most muffins is with melted butter, a smear of jam, and a little flaky salt.
The blackberry muffins are already nice and sweet, so I forgo the jam and just use butter and flaky salt. Perfection.
If you want to gild the lily, you could split them horizontally, fill them with stewed blackberries and ice cream (or blackberry ice cream), and serve them as “blackberry shortcakes.” I mean, what’s not to love there?
Top with a little hand-whipped cream, and your muffins easily make the leap into a fantastic summer dessert!
Other Blackberry and Muffin Recipes
If you have a surfeit of blackberries, consider making my blackberry cherry sonker, which is a deep dish cobbler that is hard to beat.
For a swirlie blackberry treat, take a look at my blackberry swirl cheesecake tart.
If you have muffins on your mind, try the Ritz Carlton blueberry muffins or my buttermilk muffins, which are nice and tender and stuffed with toasted pecans, dried tart cherries, and chocolate chips. Heaven!
Blackberry Muffin Q & A
You can. The easiest way to do that is to substitute with a cup for cup gluten-free flour blend. If there is rice flour in your blend, allow the batter to sit for 30-45 minutes before baking to give the rice a chance to hydrate and to avoid gritty muffins.
Best freshly made, they’ll keep fine at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, freeze them in air-tight, freezer-safe zip top bags, pressing out as much air as you can before sealing. They will be fine for up to 2 months.
If you have any questions about this or any other recipe or post on the site, there are a few ways to get in touch.
You can leave a comment on the post, and I’ll be back in touch within 24 hours.
If your question is more pressing, don’t hesitate to email me, and I should be back in touch within 4 hours (unless I’m asleep) or often much more quickly than that.
A Note About Measurements
This is the kitchen scale that I recommend for home cooks and bakers. Using a scale will help you be more accurate and consistent in your measurements.
It is lightweight, easy to store, accurate, and very easy to use.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
I hope you’ve learned something from this post or that you’ve decided to make the recipe.
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- 312 grams (11 oz or about 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 198 grams (7 oz or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 170 grams (6 oz or 3/4 cup) whole milk
- 85 grams (3 oz or about 1/3 cup) Greek yogurt
- 85 grams (3 oz or 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon) neutral vegetable oil
- 57 grams (2 oz or 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon orange extract (or the zest of an orange)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Morton's)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional but recommended)
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries plus an additional 10-12 for topping
- 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar
- Measure out yogurt and milk and pull two eggs from the fridge about an hour before baking.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425F.
- Rinse berries and gently pat dry. Reserve 10 or so for the tops of the muffins.
- Melt the butter and cool to warm.
- Spray a 6-cavity jumbo muffin tin with pan spray. Wipe off any overspray from the top of the pan. If baking standard-sized muffins, the yield will be between 16-18, depending on the size of the muffin cavities.
Making the Batter
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large liquid measuring pitcher or a medium bowl, combine milk, yogurt, oil, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, orange extract, salt, and cardamom.
- Dump the berries on top of the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the wet ingredients, and use a large silicone spatula to fold all the ingredients together until there is no loose flour. Do this fairly gently in about 25 folds, give or take.
- Fill the muffin tin with batter. Use all the batter. Cavities will be almost completely full.
To Finish and Bake
- Cut the reserved berries in 3-4 pieces each and press 5-6 pieces onto the tops of each muffin.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon coarse sugar evenly over each muffin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins are nicely peaked and golden brown.
- Turn the heat down to 350F, tent the muffins loosely with foil, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the muffins is 195-200F in the center.
- Remove to a rack. Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them to cool completely (or until you can't resist eating them.)
Switch up the type of fruit or mix-ins you use as well as the spices. For example, use ginger and almond extract with peaches or raspberries, lemon zest with blueberries, or use all vanilla and a touch of cinnamon for chocolate chip muffins.
Bake the batter as a cake in a 9" x 2" pan. Reduce the baking temperature to 325F and bake until the internal temperature in the center is 195-200F.
Store at room temperature for 2 days. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, and reheat for best flavor.
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Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.
I hope you enjoy the blackberry muffins. They’re pretty excellent.
Take care, and have a lovely day.