These are truly the best lemon blueberry muffins I have ever had. Light, tender and moist, these muffins are bursting with lemon and blueberry flavor and even feature a crunchy top. The best part? You’d never know these were healthy!
What makes these lemon blueberry muffins perfect?
These muffins have everything going for them, they’re:
- Sweet, but not TOO sweet
- Tall (with that gorgeous domed top)
- Stuffed with fresh blueberries
- Finished with a bit of sugary crunch on top
I find there are two things that cause muffins to be less-than-impressive—they’re either gluey (which some people like to call “moist”) or dried out. The key to a perfect muffin is achieving harmony between moistness, tenderness and airiness.
Check, check, check.
To achieve moistness: use a thick dairy product like Greek yogurt or sour cream.
To achieve tenderness: add a bit of cornstarch to the flour mixture.
To achieve airiness: start baking the muffins at a high temperature to activate the leavener, then drop the temp down for a more even bake.
Ingredients in healthy lemon blueberry muffins
- whole-wheat pastry flour
- baking powder and soda
- plain Greek yogurt
- olive oil
- almond or vanilla extract
- fresh blueberries
- raw sugar (turbinado)
How to make lemon blueberry muffins
First things first, read over the recipe and make sure you have everything you’ll need (or DM me about making ingredient substitutions). Get out a few mixing bowls, a microplane, whisk, rubber spatula, muffin pan, and cupcake liners.
Preheat your oven to 425ºF before you even get started measuring out ingredients or mixing up the batter.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl whisk together the yogurt, honey, oil, eggs, lemon zest, and extract until smooth.
Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and mix until nearly combined but a few pockets of flour remain (this is key, don’t over mix!).
Toss the blueberries with a teaspoon of flour (this helps them from dropping to the bottom of the batter).
Add the blueberries to the batter and fold in JUST until combined. Again, avoid overmixing!
Divide the batter between lined muffin cups (about 5 tablespoons per cup).
Combine turbinado sugar with lemon zest and sprinkle evenly over the cups of batter.
Transfer the muffin tin to the oven and bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 350ºF and continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 18 minutes more.
Healthy blueberry muffins with yogurt
Any kind of quick-bread recipe (banana bread, zucchini bread, carrot bread) benefits from a creamy dairy-based product. Why? For one, the acid in the dairy activates with the baking soda. And two, dairy helps to create a baked good that’s tender and airy.
Common dairy products used in quick breads and muffins include yogurt, Greek yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk. This healthy blueberry muffin recipe calls for Greek yogurt, which makes them tender and moist, but also packs them with protein and calcium.
How to create a tall, domed muffin
The trick to getting that lovely domed muffin top (that we all love about bakery muffins) is to jumpstart their baking at a high temperature in the oven (this activates the leavener). After a few minutes, drop the temp down to a medium heat (350ºF or 375ºF) to encourage even baking.
That’s it. That’s the big secret. The key is to get the batter to rise, and rise quickly at the beginning of baking. Once the height has been achieved, it’s important to drop the temp back down to ensure the batter cooks through. Otherwise you’ll end up with over-baked outsides and under-baked insides.
Another thing to keep in mind—don’t be afraid to fill your muffin cups to the top! The same can’t be said for cupcakes as they often have a thinner batter. But with a thick batter like this one, it’s important to fill the cups full.
How to make healthy blueberry muffins that don’t taste healthy
The ideal way to eat healthy is to not feel like you’re eating healthy. And these healthy lemon blueberry muffins achieve that and then some.
- The first trick to creating healthy muffins that don’t taste healthy is to use whole-wheat pastry flour—one of my all-time favorite ingredients to bake with. Whole-wheat pastry flour is a great way to create 100% whole-wheat baked goods that aren’t dense AF (regular whole-wheat flour can be heavy and dense). This light and fluffy flour keeps your baked goods, well, light and fluffy. Plus, I love that it adds a nutty, toasty flavor to muffins, cookies and breads.
- Another great hack is to add a bit of cornstarch whenever you’re baking with whole-wheat flour. Cornstarch is a key ingredient in cake flour and/or cake recipes because it helps to create a tender crumb (which is important when baking with denser whole-wheat four).
- My third trick—use natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar, and sucanat add more flavor than regular refined sugars and are much better for your blood sugar levels.
- An essential step, use ingredients with BIG flavor. It’s important to look at your ingredients and find ways to one, make them healthier, and two make them more flavorful. This recipe uses whole wheat flour which is more toasty and nutty than AP flour. It also uses Greek yogurt, which is healthier and more tangy than regular yogurt or sour cream. Honey adds a floral note and natural sweetness as opposed to using refined sugar. And lastly, don’t be afraid to be a little heavy handed with the added flavors like citrus zest, extracts and spices.
How long do lemon blueberry muffins keep?
Stored at room temperature, lemon blueberry muffins will keep for two days.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these muffins will last for up to 1 week.
How to reheat these muffins
I prefer the quick microwave-method for reheating muffins. They don’t need much time, 10–15 seconds is all.
You can also reheat these in a 300ºF oven until warmed through, 5–8 minutes.
Check out these other muffin recipes…
- Gluten-Free Blueberry Mascarpone Muffins
- Actually Healthy Bran Muffins
- Fennel Pear Muffins
- Healthy Banana Bread Muffins
Blueberry recipes you may like…
- Lemon Blueberry Tart
- Blueberry Rhubarb Pie
- Sweet Corn Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
- Low-Fat Blueberry Scones
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe!
Don’t forget, if you make these healthy Lemon Blueberry Muffins, leave a comment and rating below!
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Light, tender and bursting with blueberry and lemon flavor, these perfect lemon blueberry muffins are 100% whole-wheat, naturally sweetened, and made with heart-healthy olive oil!
- 2 ¼ cups whole-wheat pastry flour (245g), plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries
- ¼ cup cornstarch (35g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt*
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 lemons, zested
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract (or vanilla)
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries (214g)**
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (optional)***
Heat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners (or grease the cups with nonstick spray).
Whisk together 2 ¼ cups flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
Whisk together yogurt, honey, oil, eggs, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and almond extract until smooth.
Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture and stir until mostly incorporated but some pockets of flour remain.
Toss blueberries with remaining 1 teaspoon flour to coat; fold blueberries into the batter just until combined.
Divide batter (it will be thick) between muffin cups, about 5 tablespoons per cup. Combine turbinado sugar with 1 teaspoon lemon zest and sprinkle evenly over cups of batter.
Bake muffins 5 minutes at 425°F then, keeping muffins in oven, reduce oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 16–18 minutes more. Total bake time is about 23 minutes.
(For mini muffins, bake 11–14 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to wire rack to cook completely.
*GREEK YOGURT: I use nonfat Greek yogurt, but you can use 2% or full-fat as well. Just make sure to use Greek yogurt. You can also substitute sour cream for the Greek yogurt here.
**BLUEBERRIES: fresh blueberries are best here (I like to seek out blueberries on the smaller side—they’re more flavorful). You can also use frozen blueberries, if you do, don’t thaw them prior to adding them to the batter, add them frozen. Lastly, if you’re using frozen, try to find some frozen wild blueberries, they add tons of flavor!
***TURBINADO SUGAR: turbinado sugar is raw sugar and has a coarse texture. Not only does it add a dose of sweetness, but it also adds some crunch. You can skip using it, or you can use regular sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar instead.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 150
- Sugar: 15g
- Sodium: 116mg
- Fat: 6.5
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 21g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 31mg
Keywords: healthy lemon blueberry muffins, healthy muffins, lemon blueberry muffins