2000s Recipes + Menus

Kemp’s “You-Won’t-Believe-They’re-Whole-Wheat” Blueberry Muffins

Makes1 dozen
  • Active time:15 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
August 2009
Who doesn’t love a blueberry muffin chockablock with enough berries to stain your tongue purple? Making muffins is one of the easiest ways to celebrate the blueberry season, whether or not you’ve picked the berries yourself. “But whole-wheat muffins?” you ask. If the words light and tender don’t jive with your impressions of whole-wheat anything, you’ve got a surprise in store: These muffins, made with whole-wheat pastry flour, deliver all that you want and expect in a muffin, along with the dividend of extra fiber, vitamins, and a delicate wheaty flavor.

Learn about the origins of this recipe in our series The Home Cook.

For muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (about 7 ounces)

For topping

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Equipment:

    a muffin pan (preferably nonstick) with 12 (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups

Make muffin batter:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in zest.
  • Whisk egg in another bowl, then whisk in milk and butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (batter will be dense). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Make topping:

  • Stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.
  • Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then unmold onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ notes:
  • You might be surprised to discover that whole-wheat pastry flour is actually in your supermarket or big-box store (look for King Arthur, Arrowhead Mills or Bob’s Red Mill brands). Otherwise, you’ll find it at natural food stores.
  • Any fresh blueberries work beautifully in this muffin. If you really want to experience the extra-special flavor of wild blueberries, though, and the only ones you can find are frozen, do not thaw them; stir them in while they are still hard.
  • You can save time and line your muffin cups with paper liners, skipping the messy business of getting your hands coated with softened butter (unless you are the type to use a pastry brush and melted butter), but whenever I cut that corner, I mourn the loss of the significant amount of muffin that invariably seems to stick to the paper when I try to peel it off.
  • Feel free to substitute almond milk or soy milk for cow’s milk. I’ve made the recipe with great success using each of them.
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