Blueberry Muffin Bread

published Apr 5, 2024
Blueberry Muffin Bread Recipe
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blueberry muffin bread sliced on cutting board
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

I grew up in a more rural area of New Jersey, and there’s something extra special about spring and summer there — when all the farm stands abound with the best of the best fruits and vegetables, and pick-your-own season is in full swing. The brief time when blueberries are primed for picking is one of my favorites (and if you picked lots, we’ve got you covered on how to store them). There’s really nothing quite like eating a handful of sun-ripened blueberries you’ve picked yourself — unless you’re talking about baking with them

This blueberry muffin bread is a stunner, but much easier and simpler to make than you might think. The bread itself is extra plush and tender, bursting with pockets of blueberries, and accented with bright lemon to bring out the fruit’s natural flavor. A generous helping of vanilla-laced oat streusel crowns the loaf, making this quick bread reminiscent of the morning breakfast treat. I promise you’ll find yourself making it again and again.  

Why You’ll Love It

  • Although deeply golden-brown, this blueberry muffin bread is super soft and plush, thanks to a combination of butter and oil in the batter. 
  • In addition to the oil, using sour cream adds extra fat that keeps the bread moist for days. 
  • The oat streusel provides the perfect crisp-crunchy texture to contrast the soft bread. 

Key Ingredients in Blueberry Muffin Bread 

  • Sour cream: Contributes fat, moisture, and the subtlest of tangs without thinning the batter, yielding a thick batter that can hold up to the weight of the blueberries (read: no sinking) and contributes to a tender and soft crumb. 
  • Blueberries: Try to use ripe (but not soft and squishy), plump blueberries for the best flavor. Fresh are easiest to work with, as they won’t chill or bleed into the batter and muddy up the color in the way that frozen blueberries do. 
  • Lemon: Zest and juice provides a bright undertone that brings out the blueberry flavor. 
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Make Blueberry Muffin Bread

  1. Make the streusel. Using melted butter helps the mixture come together with little effort, while chilling helps to slow the rate at which it browns when baked. 
  2. Combine the sugar, zest, and wet ingredients. Rubbing the zest into the sugar first releases the zest’s oils, resulting in even more flavor. 
  3. Add the dry ingredients. Fold in the whisked-together dry ingredients until just combined so the bread doesn’t become tough. 
  4. Add the blueberries and bake. Add about 3/4 of the blueberries to the batter, then top with the rest before the streusel to ensure the bread is evenly studded with berries and reduce the risk of sinking.

Helpful Swaps

  • Frozen blueberries can be substituted for fresh blueberries — no need to thaw them first.
  • If you’re in the mood for muffins, the batter can be baked in a standard 12-well muffin tin. Line the muffin tin with paper liners, divide the batter and streusel between the wells, and bake until golden-brown. 

Blueberry Muffin Bread Recipe

Breakfast has never looked this good.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes

Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the bread:

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2/3 cup

    sour cream

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 3/4 cups

    plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup

    neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/3 cups

    fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces)

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the streusel:

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    rolled oats

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup sour cream on the counter and let sit until room temperature.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and two long sides of the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving an overhang to form a sling, and lightly coat the parchment with cooking spray.

  3. Melt 7 tablespoons unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stovetop (this is for both the streusel and bread).

Make the streusel:

  1. Place 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup rolled oats, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork until combined and there are no clumps of brown sugar.

  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to the flour mixture and stir with the fork until evenly moistened and some clumps have formed. The mixture should be crumbly, but hold together when squeezed. Refrigerate while you make the batter for the bread.

Make the bread:

  1. Place 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of 1/2 medium lemon over the sugar until you have 1 1/2 teaspoons. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant and well-combined.

  3. Squeeze 1 teaspoon juice from the zested lemon. Add the lemon juice, remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup neutral oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs and whisk until combined and slightly lightened in color. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined and no streaks of sour cream remain. Add the flour mixture and fold until just combined; the batter will be thick.

  4. Place 1 1/3 cups fresh blueberries in the now-empty flour bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, and toss until each berry is evenly coated. Add about 3/4 of the coated blueberries to the batter and fold until just evenly distributed.

  5. Scrape the batter into the pan and gently smooth the top. Top evenly with the remaining blueberries and the streusel mixture.

  6. Bake until the loaf is puffed and risen, golden-brown, and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 65 to 75 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Grasping the excess parchment, lift the loaf out of the pan and place directly on the rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Remove the parchment and lightly dust with powdered sugar before slicing if desired.

Recipe Notes

Frozen blueberries: Frozen blueberries can be substituted for fresh blueberries; do not thaw before using. Note that frozen berries will bleed into the batter the more it is mixed, so fold quickly.

Muffins: The batter can be baked in a standard 12-well muffin tin. Line the muffin tin with paper liners and divide the batter and streusel between the 12 wells. Bake until golden to golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins directly to the rack and let cool completely.

General tip: The loaf will soften slightly overnight from the blueberries, making it a little more delicate to cut. Pre-slicing the bread the day it is made is super helpful if you are going to have leftovers.

Make ahead: You can prepare the streusel mixture and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Storage: The bread can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.