Blueberry Muffins with Sugar Topping

These blueberry muffins with sugar topping are made with plenty of blueberries, buttermilk, lemon zest, and almond extract and are finished with a shower of snowy sugar on top. Perfect for breakfast on the go, or an afternoon snack.

A muffin tray with several blueberry muffins with sugar topping in tulip-style liners, with a halved muffin and a cup of coffee on the side.

Adapted from Shauna Sever | Midwest Made | Running Press Adult, 2019

These blueberry muffins are pretty much the blueberry muffins of our dreams. That is, they’re easy enough to make on a weekday, they’re sweet but not too sweet, cake-like and perfectly moist within, and boast an irresistibly crunchy sugar topping that reminds us why the tops of muffins are the very best part of muffins. (Although you won’t find us missing a single crumb of what lies beneath. Nope.)–Angie Zoobkoff


Using a ruler and a roll of parchment paper, trace and cut out a dozen 6-inch (15-cm) squares. Working with 1 square at a time, place it on your work surface, position the bottom of a drinking glass on top, and fold the edges of the square up around the glass. Then place the paper cup in the muffin tin. Easy peasy!

Blueberry Muffins with Sugar Topping

A muffin tray with several blueberry muffins with sugar topping in tulip-style liners, with a halved muffin and a cup of coffee on the side.
These blueberry muffins with sugar topping are made with plenty of blueberries, buttermilk, lemon zest, and almond extract and are finished with a shower of snowy sugar on top. Perfect for breakfast on the go, or an afternoon snack.

Prep 25 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 55 mins
12 muffins
272 kcal
4.80 / 5 votes
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  • Nonstick cooking spray optional
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch (13-mm) chunks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold, well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag 12-ounce bag frozen blueberries (or substitute fresh blueberries)


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Position the oven rack to the center position. Line a 12-well muffin tin with tulip-style paper liners* for a loftier rise or, if using regular paper liners, spray the top of the pan with nonstick cooking spray in case the muffins spill over.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 3/4 cup (150 g) of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse several times to blend.
  • Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles cornmeal, with no discernible chunks of butter.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract.
  • Dump the contents of the food processor into the wet ingredients. Gently fold the ingredients until the batter is well blended with no clumps of dry ingredients.
  • Add the blueberries, straight from the freezer if using frozen, and gently fold them into the batter with just 4 or 5 gentle turns of the spatula to avoid streaking the batter with berry juice.
  • Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin wells, completely filling each well.
  • Pour the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar into a small cup. Dampen your fingertips with water and work them through the sugar to make it clump slightly, like snow. Top each muffin with a generous pinch of this snowy sugar.
  • Bake the muffins for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Continue to bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes more.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes (no more and no less!) before carefully moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. (If using regular paper liner, you may first need to use a knife to loosen the edges of each muffin from the pan.) Let the muffins cool completely before serving.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 272kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 42g (14%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mg (18%)Sodium: 272mg (12%)Potassium: 95mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 21g (23%)Vitamin A: 331IU (7%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 77mg (8%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Originally published December 11, 2019

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The light texture of these blueberry muffins with sugar topping, along with the trifecta of almond extract, vanilla extract, and lemon zest give these muffins a distinctive and delightful texture and taste. Baking them in tulip-style paper liners allows them to rise nicely above the top of the muffin tin. The convenience of using frozen blueberries also makes this recipe a repeater. They’re so moist that butter is not necessary; they’re great as is.

The muffins come together in about 20 minutes and with an additional 22 minutes for cooking, this is a quick and easy breakfast treat.

I did find these muffins to be quite sweet and will probably cut the sugar down from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup the next time I make them.

I used Maine blueberries that I froze over the summer, and they were just perfect for these muffins.

These blueberry muffins with sugar topping are delicious, moist, and perfectly sweet! The crust of the muffin top was perfectly crisp even without the added sugar. Easy to make in the morning before breakfast on a weekday.

I actually didn’t like the “sugar snow” on the top. I’d omit that next time. I used frozen wild blueberries and regular muffin cups so I did spray the top of the pan with cooking spray. The muffins were easy to lift out.

This recipe was easy to mix together and a delicious addition to my muffin repertoire. It was easy to make in the food processor using the steel blade to ensure perfect blending of the butter pieces.

Tulip-style liners aren’t easy to find in my supermarket so, armed with a ruler and a roll of parchment paper, I cut out 6-inch squares and formed them around a glass to make my muffin cups and I was glad I did. The presentation was lovely and no chance of the tops sticking to the pan with this technique.

As for the wet sugar technique, that was a new one for me and I love the way it really looked like snow and and added crunchy sweet bits in every bite. I wonder if the same thing could have been accomplished with coarse sugar.

I used frozen berries and tried to be very gentle but they did in fact bleed leaving behind a purple tinge to my blueberry muffins with sugar topping. I would reiterate that you need to be very gentle in adding them into the batter.

The tulip style liners made the removal of the muffins flawless. I got 12 muffins and would say this is 12 servings of a perfectly moist and not too sweet but sweet enough blueberry muffin. The use of frozen blueberries assures great quality muffins year round.

Everyone who tasted these blueberry muffins with sugar topping enjoyed them. The favorite part for just about everyone, was the sweet, crunchy topping. I’d actually use more sugar and increase the amount that goes on each muffin.

These muffins are on the large size. So much so that my husband and I shared a muffin. Some folks had no problem polishing off a whole muffin by themselves. Either way, there are plenty of muffins to share. I am going to individually wrap some of the leftover muffins and freeze them to make special treats for weekday breakfasts.



  1. 5 stars
    Not only are these the prettiest blueberry muffins I have ever made, they are just right sweet, moist and tender. I used fresh Florida blueberries and extra sugar snow! The directions are easy to follow and even easier to make using the food processor. Love how they turn out in the tulip liners. My new go-to Blueberry Muffin recipe!

    1. Thanks, Deb! We’re so pleased that you love them as much as we do. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  2. 5 stars
    These were the *perfect* delivery system for the haul of local Maine blueberries we just bought at a roadside stand and froze. Pretty sure I used more like a generous 2 cups which resulted in some serious blueberry density. Googled how to make tulip liners which I didn’t know were a thing til today. Couldn’t wait til they were cool. We are only human.

    1. Laughs. True, Janet. We are only human. Love the serious blueberry density and will take that cue from you next time I make muffins. Thanks so much for this lovely message. We appreciate you!

  3. 5 stars
    Rainy day… National Blueberry Muffin Day… recipe plus art work opportunity… WIN WIN!

    We made this exactly as the recipe and enjoyed them warm while watching the rain pouring outside… while they baked we cleaned all the blueberry scented marker stains off the counters and hands as we thought it would be fun to create a design on the parchment paper muffin liners. It was fun! Next time we’ll have to use a non-bleeding marker that also writes on parchment. The blueberry muffin recipe? No changes required! The sweetness is just perfect as is the sugar topping and the flavour and moisture. Keeper! By the way, Happy National Blueberry Muffin Day!

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