The Best Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
In case you missed it, I’ve been spending the last few weeks sharing small batch recipes more suited for our current times on my Instagram account. One of the first few recipes I shared was for these small batch blueberry muffins. They were a hit! Even though it’s been a few weeks since I posted the original recipe, so many of you have still been making them from my Instagram Story tutorial. Every day, I still get many folks sharing their version of the blueberry muffins, as well as many DMs and questions about the recipe itself. I decided to gather everything (including the small batch blueberry muffin recipe itself!) into this blog post for easy reference.
What Makes This Blueberry Muffin Recipe So Special?
First of all, this small batch blueberry muffin recipe is a scaled down version of one of the most popular recipes on my blog to date, a copycat version of Levain Bakery’s Blueberry Muffin recipe. The original recipe makes 9 muffins, but I’ve adapted this recipe to make a small batch of just FOUR muffins.
But why is the recipe so popular in the first place? I suspect it’s to do with the way the muffins look. Each blueberry muffin has a super tall, domed, and crispy muffin top. These distinct muffin tops are a result of a generous sprinkling of sugar over each muffin. You can read more about how I reverse-engineered the recipe from famed Levain Bakery in my original blog post.
However, in addition to looking beautiful, the muffins TASTE delicious too. The muffin tops are extra crispy and wide from all that extra sugar. I also don’t skimp on the blueberries in the recipe—each blueberry muffin is studded with a generous amount of fruit.
Why You Should Make This Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
In addition to being extremely delicious, there are other good reasons to make this blueberry muffin recipe:
- This blueberry muffin recipe is a trusted FAVE.
This recipe is based on one of the most popular recipes on my blog to date, a copycat version of Levain Bakery’s Blueberry Muffin recipe. So many of you have made both the full sized version on my blog and the small batch version on my Instagram account, sharing your rave results with me.
- This blueberry muffin recipe is small batch.
Most muffin recipes make at least a DOZEN muffins. That’s a lot, especially if there’s nobody to share the spoils with. But this blueberry muffin recipe is small batch and makes a grand total of just FOUR muffins. It’s perfect for a small household of 2 to 4 people.
- Because this blueberry muffin recipe is small batch, it uses only small quantities of key ingredients.
Let’s face it—certain ingredients like flour, eggs, and milk are STILL hard to come by right now. This recipe rations those pantry staples and only uses small amounts of each ingredient.
- This small batch blueberry recipe is the perfect recipe for beginner bakers looking to step up his or her baking game.
This is the perfect recipe for folks who have mastered basic baking recipes like cookies and brownies, but want to take things to the next level. This small batch blueberry muffin recipe makes bakery-style muffins, but with techniques that are attainable for any home baker.
Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make this small batch blueberry muffin recipe, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:
Shopping List for Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- whole milk
- pure vanilla extract
- granulated sugar
- unsalted butter
- large eggs
- fresh blueberries
And let’s talk about some of its key ingredients:
This small batch blueberry muffin recipe uses 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour.
Can I use another kind of flour for these small batch blueberry muffins?
Yes, but with reservations. You can substitute up to ¼ cup of the all-purpose flour in the recipe with an alternative flour of your choice. This alternative flour can also be gluten-free. For instance, the original full batch recipe on my blog actually uses a partial amount of almond flour (also known as almond meal) for flavor! If you go this route, you may need to adjust Bake Time. A gluten-free replacement typically requires less Bake Time, whereas a whole flour replacement will require a few more minutes of Bake Time.
That being said, you cannot substitute the all-purpose flour with another type of flour completely without dramatically altering results. This especially holds true if you substitute the all-purpose flour completely with a gluten-free substitute like almond flour or almond meal. Your muffins will likely be completely flat and won’t look or taste anything like mine.
Does a 1-1 gluten free all-purpose flour (like Bob’s Red Mill, or King Arthur Flour) work in this recipe?
I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I rarely bake with those types of flour replacements because they’re expensive and my household doesn’t have any gluten restrictions. However, if you replace the flour in this small batch blueberry muffin recipe with it, please leave a comment so I can update this post accordingly!
In general, my specialty lies in creating baking recipes with conventional ingredients. If you’re looking for a gluten-free muffin recipe, I suggest checking out my friends over at The Bojon Gourmet and Snixy Kitchen. Both Alanna and Sarah specialize in gluten-free baking and will be able to help you out better than I can!
This small batch blueberry muffin recipe uses ¼ cup of whole milk.
Can I use skim, low-fat or non-fat milk instead of whole milk in this small batch blueberry muffin recipe?
Yes, but with reservations. Skim, low-fat, and non-fat milks will lead to less flavorful baked goods.
Can I use non-dairy milk like almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or oat milk instead of whole milk for these small batch blueberry muffins?
Yes! You can use alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and/or oat milk in this recipe without altering the results. However, be mindful that using an alternative milk with “strong” flavors (like coconut or oat milk) will impart their flavors into the blueberry muffin, too. Specifically, your blueberry muffins might have a subtle coconut or oat milk flavor to them, too.
This small batch blueberry muffin recipes uses 1 ¼ cups fresh blueberries.
Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh blueberries for this blueberry muffin recipe?
Yes, but with reservations. Per the baker’s tips below in the yellow box, the secret to super tall and domed muffin tops starts with your ingredients. If any of them are colder than room temperature, your muffins won’t rise and dome as well as mine did. Furthermore, using frozen blueberries straight from the freezer has a tendency to make these muffins stick to the pan.
That being said, you can use frozen blueberries in this recipe. However, you’ll need to prep them by thawing them and making sure they’re completely at room temperature before using them in this recipe. As the blueberries thaw, they’ll release liquid. Dump most of that liquid out before using it in the recipe.
Can I replace the blueberries with another kind of fruit?
Yes, but with reservations. The recipe works best if you replace the blueberries with another berry. Think: blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries. You can also get away with chopping up strawberries into chunks that are roughly the same size as a blueberry and using them in this recipe.
However, chopped up stone and stem fruit don’t work as well. Why? The fruit is too heavy. The muffins don’t rise as well with chopped up apples, pears, and more.
Can I replace the blueberries with bananas to make banana muffins instead?
No, please don’t. Bananas, unlike berries, are more likely to turn into a pureed texture when baked. As a result, this recipe won’t work with bananas. If you want to make banana muffins, please check out my recipe for Banana Cinnamon Muffins. The recipe uses techniques from Levain Bakery’s blueberry muffin recipe and also results in super tall, domed, and wide muffin tops sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I even have a video tutorial for that recipe saved on my Instagram profile.
Can I replace the blueberries with chocolate chips to make chocolate chip muffins instead?
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend doing so. You can substitute the blueberries in the recipe out for the same amount of chocolate chips to make chocolate chip muffins. However, I don’t really recommend it.
Why? To give the muffins their signature tall and wide muffin tops, you’ll need to sprinkle sugar over each one. All that sugar combined with the sweetness of the chocolate will be A LOT. Trust me—I am a die-hard chocolate and sugar lover (I’m a professional baking blogger, after all!). My limit for sweets is higher than most. But even I thought that the chocolate chips were too much with the sugar.
To combat this, sure, you can skip sprinkling the sugar over each muffin. But then your muffin won’t spread and crisp up at all, defeating the point of this recipe completely. You’ll end up with a completely different looking and tasting muffin than mine. So it’s up to you. But personally, I think it’s best to find a specific chocolate chip muffin recipe as opposed to tinkering with this one.
Instead of using paper liners for the muffins, I follow Levain Bakery’s muffin making technique and instead spray the muffin pan’s cavities with cooking spray. Please see the Troubleshooting section below if you want to use paper liners.
What cooking spray do you recommend for these small batch blueberry muffins?
These muffins work best with a neutral oil cooking spray like canola or vegetable oil. I have no idea why, but the muffins have a tendency to get stuck to the pan with coconut oil and avocado oil sprays. Trust me—I’ve tried both!
Can I use butter instead of cooking spray?
No, please don’t. While I am not usually opposed to greasing your pans with butter, that method doesn’t work well with this small batch blueberry muffin recipe. The muffins have a tendency to get stuck to the pan.
How to Make Small Batch Blueberry Muffins
Here are the basic steps to make this small batch blueberry muffin recipe from scratch:
- Prep all the ingredients for the small batch blueberry muffin recipe. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
For this recipe, it’s especially important that you pay attention to the temperatures of the ingredients as they are listed in the recipe. That means bringing the milk, butter, egg, and blueberries down to room temperature. Using cold ingredients will lead to muffins that won’t rise and dome as well as mine. Additionally, your muffins are more likely to get stuck in the pan! Be sure to check out the baker’s notes below for more information.
- Make the small batch blueberry muffin batter. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
Thankfully, the blueberry muffin batter comes together in just 10 minutes. Simply cream together the butter, sugar, and egg, then add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in two parts, followed by the blueberries.
- Rest the small batch blueberry muffin batter. (Rest Time: 1 hour)
Unfortunately, you’ll need to rest the blueberry muffin batter at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. So plan ahead! Check out the FAQ below for more information on why the batter needs to rest.
- Assemble the small batch blueberry muffins. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
One of the secrets to super tall and domed muffins is to fill up each cavity in the muffin pan with a generous amount of batter. Using the right tools will make the job go by quicker and faster—be sure to check out the baker’s notes for links to my favorite batter scooping tools!
- Bake the small batch blueberry muffins. (Bake Time: 22 minutes)
This small batch blueberry muffin recipe bakes for the same amount of time as the regular-sized batch version of the recipe. Note that if you’ve replaced part of the all-purpose flour with an alternative flour, you may need to adjust Bake Time. Check out the ingredients section above for more specifics.
Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ
FAQ: Equipment to Make this Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Can I use muffin liners for this small batch blueberry muffin recipe?
Yes, but with reservations. You’ll still need to spray the outer rims of each cavity with cooking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the pan. The bottom of your muffins will also have a slightly different texture than mine—they’ll be softer.
Can I use a cupcake pan instead of a muffin pan for this small batch blueberry muffin recipe?
Errr… I thought they were the same thing. Wait, are they not? In any case, I use this muffin pan any time I bake either muffins OR cupcakes. If your cupcake pan is similar, you should have no problems!
Can I use a silicone muffin pan for this small batch blueberry muffin recipe?
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. A big part of the reason why these muffins get so tall has to do with the metal pan that the muffins are baked in. Metal conducts heat evenly and efficiently, encouraging the rising and the browning that gives these muffins their signature look.
Silicone, on the other hand, can insulate heat. If you bake these muffins in a silicone pan, you’ll end up with some tasty muffins, but ones that are on the shorter and lighter side. You can read more about the pros and cons of silicone pans in this Fine Cooking article, along with this Serious Eats article that discusses how different types of muffin pans affect the same muffin recipe.
Can I use a mini muffin pan for this small batch blueberry muffin recipe?
Yes, but with reservations. I haven’t done it myself so I can’t personally guarantee the results, but one of my Instagram followers successfully did so. She reported that she baked this recipe in a mini muffin pan with success. I believe she used 1 ½ tablespoons of batter per muffin. You may also need to decrease the amount of sugar you sprinkle on every muffin (I’d maybe do ½ teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon, but that still might be too much). You’d also likely need to decrease the recipe’s Bake Time. If you’ve attempted this recipe in a mini muffin pan, let me know what you did to adapt the recipe in the comments below!
FAQ: Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe Technique
Can I double the recipe to make a full batch of blueberry muffins?
Yes, but I’ve already done that for you. Check out the full sized batch version of this recipe so you don’t have to do any work or calculations yourself!
Why do I need to rest the muffin batter for an hour?
This small batch blueberry muffin recipe instructs you to rest the batter after making for one hour at room temperature. Technically, this step is optional. You can bake the batter immediately after making and end up with some pretty damn good muffins. But if you want super domed muffins with seriously tall tops, rest the batter for an hour! This will allow the flour to hydrate and absorb the liquids in the batter more fully, leading to taller domes. During the resting process, the gluten strands in the batter relax, leading to more tender and fluffy baked goods. You can read more about the science in this Kitchn article.
When resting your muffin batter, don’t stick the batter in the fridge. Chilled batter will cause the muffins to stick in their cavities. In fact, make sure ALL your ingredients are at room temperature before using in the recipe. Again, this is one of the secrets to super tall blueberry muffin tops! Don’t miss the baker’s notes section below for more information.
Can I fill ALL the cavities in the muffin pan with batter? Why do you only fill every other one?
It’s best if you follow the recipe instructions exactly as they are written, especially when it comes to filling the muffin pan. Why? The tops of the muffins spread so much that if you fill each single cavity, they’ll spread into one another and get stuck, creating one giant muffin top mass. The empty cavity in between each muffin prevents that from happening.
Help! My blueberry muffins didn’t spread as much as yours. What did I do wrong?
The small batch blueberry muffin recipe instructs you to sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar over each muffin before baking. Did you skimp or skip the sugar? The sugar is what causes the muffin tops to spread—using an amount less than what’s listed in the recipe would lead to the same results. Similarly, did you use a different type of other sugar other than granulated sugar? Other sugars like brown sugar, coconut sugar, demerara sugar, and sanding sugar don’t enable the muffin tops to spread as well as granulated sugar.
Help! The sugar on the blueberry muffins didn’t melt completely. There was still some sugar left on the muffin tops. What did I do wrong?
Absolutely nothing! This small batch blueberry muffin recipe is designed to leave granulated sugar on the muffin tops, similar to how Levain Bakery serves their blueberry muffins. That unmelted sugar gives the muffins a wonderful, sugary, crunchy texture.
Help! My blueberry muffins got stuck in the pan—only the tops came off. What did I do wrong?
This small batch blueberry muffin recipe instructs you to wait until the muffins have cooled to room temperature before attempting to unstick them from the pan. Did you try and turn out the muffins while they were still warm? Because these muffins are so top-heavy, you’ll run the risk of accidentally pulling the tops and bottoms apart if the cake is still warm! Wait until they are cooled completely before turning them out of the pan.
Once they’ve cooled, don’t just pull them out of the pan by their tops. The best way to unstick them is to use a metal offset spatula. Run the spatula underneath the entirety of each muffin top to unstick each one completely. Then, working one muffin at a time, use the offset spatula to tilt the muffin slightly on its side with the muffin top to enable you to wiggle your fingers underneath the muffin and lift it from the bottom.
The recipe below has more detailed instructions on how to turn out the muffins properly. However, if you need a visual representation, I encourage you to check out the video tutorial on my Instagram profile. Underneath my bio, you’ll see circles with photos of food in them. Scroll right or left until you see a circle with a photo of this blueberry muffin. Click on that circle to play the tutorial.
FAQ: Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Storage
Can I refrigerate the unbaked blueberry muffin batter to save it for for baking later?
Yes! You can refrigerate the unbaked blueberry muffin batter for up to 36 hours. Proceed with steps 1 to 3 in the recipe and cover the finished batter. However, instead of allowing the batter to rest at room temperature, simply refrigerate until you’re ready to bake them.
That being said, you need to bring the batter back to room temperature completely before baking the muffins. Using chilled batter will cause the muffins to get stuck in their cavities in the muffin pan.
Can you freeze the baked blueberry muffins?
Yes, but with reservations. You can freeze any leftover muffins by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and freezing for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator the night before you’re planning on eating the muffin. Rewarm in the microwave or the oven before serving.
However, in general I don’t recommend freezing the muffins. Once frozen and thawed, the muffins will no longer have their crispy tops.
Best Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe Tips
Best Ingredient Tip
- Pay attention to the temperatures of the ingredients as they are listed in the recipe (please don’t miss this—they’re even written bold). The secret to super tall and domed muffin tops starts with your ingredients. If any of them are colder than room temperature, your muffins won’t rise and dome as well as mine did.
Best Equipment Tip
- For this recipe, tools are important. You’ll need two muffin tins, a 1-tablespoon OR a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop, and an offset spatula (preferably with a short, metal blade). The cookie dough scoops are for filling each cavity with muffin batter—to get tall domes, you’ll need to fill each one with SIX tablespoons of batter. It works best if you’re precise. Anything more will cause the muffins to overflow, and anything less will result in squat muffins. You’ll then need the offset spatula to “unstick” the wide muffin tops from the pan.
Best Baking Tip
- If you have a convection oven, now is the time to use it! When I was researching muffin recipes for #weeknightbakingbook, I discovered that muffins dome really well when first baked at a high temperature like 425°F. Doing so encourages the baking powder in the batter to react faster, causing the muffins to rise more quickly in the oven. These recipes then instruct you to lower the oven temperature to 350°F to prevent the muffins from burning and drying out. It’s a lot to keep track of, and I found it hard to imagine that the pros at Levain Bakery doing that sort of fussy tinkering in a busy setting. So instead, I baked the muffins at 400°F and found that it worked just as well, but found that it worked even better on the convection setting (as the convection fan was more effective in getting heat evenly and consistently between the muffin tin cavities).
Video Tutorial for Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Use the video player below to watch my Instagram Story tutorial on how to make this small batch blueberry muffin recipe! The arrows to the left and right of the frame allow you to skip through the different recipe steps. You can also hit the “pause” or “enlarge” buttons on the upper right hand side of the frame to pause or enlarge the frames accordingly.
Alternatively, head to my Instagram profile to watch these Stories on mobile! The circles underneath my bio indicate saved Instagram Story highlights depicting various recipes. Clicking on one of the circles will play the videos you see above. You may need to scroll right to find this small batch blueberry muffin recipe.
More Blueberry Recipes
- Blueberry Brownies
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Nordic Blueberry Almond Custard Tart with a Rye Shortbread Crust
- Passionfruit and Blueberry Cream Tart
- Small Batch Blueberry Scone Recipe
More Muffin Recipes
- Banana Cinnamon Muffins
- Better-For-You Banana Muffins
- Levain Bakery Blueberry Muffins
- Triple Chocolate Muffins
More Small Batch Recipes
- Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownies (makes 2 large brownies, or 8 petite ones)
- Chaffle Recipe (makes 1 large waffle, or 2 medium ones)
- Dalgona Coffee (makes 1 large drink, or 2 medium ones)
- Flourless Chocolate Cookies (makes 4 large cookies)
- My Best Snickerdoodle Recipe (makes 10 medium cookies)
Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe
For the Small Batch Blueberry Muffins
- 1 ¼ cups (5.65 ounces or 160 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) whole milk, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons (2 ounces or 57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups (6.5 ounces or 184 grams) fresh blueberries, at room temperature
- canola or vegetable oil cooking spray
- 4 teaspoons granulated white sugar
For the Small Batch Blueberry Muffins
- Make the muffin batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and the vanilla.
- With the mixer still on low, add the the dry ingredients in three equal parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in two parts. Beat until just combined, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on low for an additional 30 seconds. Take half of the blueberries and crush them with your hands so they are juicy; add to the batter and increase the mixer speed to high for 5 to 10 seconds to encourage the berries to release their juices even more. Immediately reduce the mixer to low and add the rest of the berries, mixing until incorporated evenly throughout the batter, another 30 seconds.
- Rest the muffin batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Prep your oven and pans. While the batter rests, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F using the convect setting (if possible). Prepare a muffin tin by spraying the inside and border of every other cavity in the muffin tin generously with cooking spray. But note that you’ll only need to prep 4 cavities total—there’s no need to spray the other ones! If you’re using a standard muffin tin, position the pan so that its short side faces you and prep the center cavity of the top row, the outer two cavities of the second row, and the center cavity of the third row.
- Use a 1-tablespoon or 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to fill each sprayed cavity with 6 tablespoons of the batter. Sprinkle the top of each cavity, aiming for the batter and avoiding the pan, with 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar each. Pour warm water into the outer cavities of the muffin tin’s final row, filling them at least ⅔-rds of the way up.
- Bake the muffins. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until the muffins are domed and golden brown around the edges. A skewer inserted into the center of a muffin should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool the muffins in their muffin tin on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then use an offset spatula to run underneath the edges of the blueberry muffin tops to prevent them from sticking in the pan. Be careful to just run the offset spatula under the edges—you don't want to accidentally cut into the muffin bottom and decapitate the muffin from its top!
- After unsticking the muffin tops, keep cooling the muffins in the tins completely to room temperature. DO NOT TRY AND TURN THE MUFFINS OUT WHILE THEY ARE STILL WARM. Because these muffins are so top-heavy, you’ll run the risk of accidentally pulling the tops and bottoms apart if the cake is still warm! Wait until they are cooled completely before turning them out of the pan. Run the offset spatula underneath each muffin top once more and gently tilt the muffin upwards to turn it out of the pan, lifting each one from its base.
- Serve and store. Serve warm, or at room temperature. The muffins are best on the day that they’re made, but can be individually wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
This post was last updated on 9/4/2020.
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NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.