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:

  • Tender
  • Moist
  • 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. 

muffins in a muffin tin with blueberries scattered around it

Ingredients in healthy lemon blueberry muffins 

image of a blueberry set on a muffin liner

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. 

You can also watch the Web Story on how to make these Healthy Blueberry Muffins!

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. 

image of a blueberry lemon muffin with a bite taken out of it

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. 

muffins in a silver muffin tin with one muffin cut in half, cut side up

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. 
image of a blueberry muffin dropping with honey

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…

Blueberry recipes you may like…

muffins in a muffin tin with blueberries scattered around it

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!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the bar below the recipe. Happy baking!

Healthy Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Print Recipe
4.36 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Yield 12 muffins
Category Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant

Description

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!

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups (245g) whole-wheat pastry flour + 1 teaspoon for blueberries
  • ¼ cup (35g) cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup honey
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (214g) fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar optional

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

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 (i.e. Sugar in The Raw) 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 6.5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 116mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15g
Keywords healthy lemon blueberry muffins, healthy muffins, lemon blueberry muffins
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
image of a blueberry muffin dropping with honey

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These muffins have the best texture and great flavor to back them up! I love that they aren’t too sweet! The turbinado lemon zest topping adds the perfect crunch! Thank you for this delicious, healthy muffin recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love that tip to bake them at a higher temperature first and then drop it down – perfect muffins every time – thank you for the delicious recipe, obsessed!

  3. 5 stars
    Blueberry and Lemon is one of my favorite flavor combos! I made these and am embarrassed to say we ate them in 2 days! Will definitely make again when we pick fresh berries this summer.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night and my wife and mother in law loved them, so gave it 5 stars. I feel they are a bit dry, which I attribute to something I can do better, so what would you suggest to make them just a bit more moist?

    1. Hi Chuck, thanks for the comment and for letting me know you found them to be a bit dry. The first thing that comes to mind is to make sure you are fluffing the flour a bit before you measure it out. This is important for all types of flour, but especially whole-wheat because it can become pretty compact over time as it sits in the bag. The second thing I recommend trying would be to decrease the bake time by a couple of minutes or so. I would try reducing the last segment of baking (after you’ve reduced the oven temp) to 14 minutes or so—but I would be sure to check with a toothpick to make sure the centers aren’t too under-baked. Finally, I would be really careful not to over mix—a few pockets of dry flour is OK!

      I hope that helps, let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!

  5. 5 stars
    Quality recipe – great instructions and tips. Mine rose even higher than yours, and were moist and fluffy!

    I second that they were less sweet than most muffins, but I like this because it makes me feel like less of a pig when I inevitably eat 3 muffins fresh out of the oven.

    I used light sour cream (that’s all we had) and didn’t do the topping, but wished I had done it because there wasn’t much lemon flavor. Still yummy though!

    I’ll be using your tips in future muffin recipes and trying out your other recipes. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mimi! I’m so glad you enjoyed these muffins—you’re right, the topping adds a ton of flavor. If you want to skip the topping next time, I would add more zest to the muffin batter to enhance the lemon a bit more.
      I’m glad the light sour cream worked well, and I love that they rose higher than mine. It always makes me happy to see a tall-domed muffin! 🙂

    1. Hi Chelsea! The muffins might come out slightly more dense, but white whole wheat flour should work just fine! Let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Bethany! Great question, I haven’t tested this recipe with coconut oil and the two oils are quite different, but I think it should work just fine if you use melted coconut oil. You can also use vegetable oil instead of olive oil. Let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Leah,

      I haven’t tested this recipe using kefir, so I can’t be positive if it will work well. Kefir is so much thinner in consistency than Greek yogurt, I worry it will make the batter too loose. If you do use Kefir, I would use 3/4 cup kefir (instead of 1 cup yogurt) and 1/4 cup olive oil (instead of 1/3 cup). Let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Monique, I have not tested these muffins with plain flour and can’t guarantee how they’ll turn out. But I do think it should work OK! I would start by decreasing the total amount of flour by 3 tablespoons. If the batter looks thinner than the step shots in the article above, go ahead and add a tablespoon when folding in the blueberries. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Why is cornstarch important in the recipe… my daughter is fructose intolerant.. is there a cornstarch substitute or use 1/4 cup less flour and delete adding cornstarch?less

    1. Hi Julia,

      Cornstarch helps to create tender muffins. This is important for muffins in general, but especially with whole-wheat muffins. You can try using arrowroot starch instead, or leaving it out altogether and adding an extra heaping tablespoon of flour to the batter. I haven’t tested either of these changes, but the muffins should still turn out well! If you skip adding the arrowroot starch, the muffins will be slightly more dense. I hope that helps!

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I accidentally left out the olive oil but they still came out fine, thankfully. Lemon and blueberry are one of my favorite combinations and these taste so so good. 12/10 would recommend to someone.

    1. Hi Izzie! I’m so glad they still turned out well without the oil! Thanks so much for trying them and leaving a review, I love this recipe and am glad you do too! 🙂

  8. I made these into mini muffins and cooked for about 13 minutes….I was surprised they never changed shape and came out VERY dry I’m afraid. Not a hit with my family unless coated in butter and eaten with tea / coffee. Sorry…won’t be making again.

    1. I’m sorry to hear they did not rise, that shouldn’t be the case with this recipe using both baking soda and baking powder. I would double check the expiration date of the baking soda and baking powder to ensure they are activating as needed.

  9. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe. I tweaked a little bit. Used coconut oil instead of olive oil. Also, used a little bit less oil, maybe a tablespoon less, and replaced it with unsweetened apple sauce. Also added an extra 1/2 cup of berries. Didn’t have turbinado sugar so i just used 1/2 tablespoon of white sugar with the lemon zest. These are some of the best muffins I’ve had in forever. You can totally taste the difference between these (wholesome, not overly sweet, healthy tasting) and store bought (way to sweet for me and wayyy more calories)! Thanks for this recipe, it is a for sure KEEPER!!!

  10. 5 stars
    The best blueberry lemon muffin I have ever made and I have tried a lot of healthy muffin recipes. I did add lemon juice from half of the lemon and it all balanced out from the extra flour that I bathed blueberries in. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. 1 star
    I typically believe if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything. However, these were such a waste of time, effort and quality ingreds, that I have to post.

    They were way too dry. I followed the recipe exactly. I think it’s just not a good recipe. It needs less flour or more moisture. Mine came out super dry and not good flavor wise. I make lots of healthy recipes, too, so I know what it should’ve been like.

    This recipe would be better with less flour (and/or a mix of whole wheat and white flour) and the addition of unsweet apple sauce. I wouldn’t even try to fix it though. I would just choose another recipe.

    I also want to point out that I made these virtually with a friend in Colorado. We’ve been doing virtual bakes at least 2x a month for the past year. We do this often and have tried tons of recipes. We are advanced bakers at this point. Her muffins were better than mine. She weighed her flour and added the juice from the lemon. While hers are edible, she didn’t think they were “good”!

    1. Hi CG, I’m sorry to hear they did not turn out well for you. I have never experienced these coming out too dry and without further information it’s hard to pinpoint the issue. A few things are important to these muffins coming out tender and “moist.” It’s imperative to only let them rest in the tin after baking for 5 minutes and to use whole-wheat pastry flour (not regular whole-wheat flour). As you mentioned being an advanced baker you probably already know the importance of having an over thermometer to verify the temperature of your oven in addition to not baking on convection. It’s also important to make sure the baking powder and soda being used are not expired. Lastly, weighing the ingredients does help to create the best possible muffin. If you don’t have a scale, it’s important to measure the flour by first fluffing it with a spoon, then spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling.
      As for not being “good,” I do want to reiterate that these are not meant to be overly sweet which is one reason some people might not like them as much as highly sweetened muffins.

  12. 5 stars
    Hi! I’m back to this Grant-astic recipe for like the fourth time, and wanted to add that I’ve tried making these with white flour when that was all I had, and they still turned out well (although a bit less healthy)!

    Just a note, I noticed that the instructions say “transfer to wire rack to COOK completely” rather than COOL. I briefly wondered whether I’d been making them wrong all along, haha.

    By the way, for the potential Negative Nancies out there: If a recipe that others love didn’t turn out when you made it, something probably went wrong in your process. It doesn’t prove that the recipe is bad and deserves to be slammed! Either try to figure it out or just move on.

    1. Hi Mimi! Thank you so much for the comment! And my goodness—what a typo on my part! That’s been updated, thank you for letting me know! And for the kind comment! 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    These are amazing! I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour so I did a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose.

    1. Hi Sherry! I’m so happy to hear you like them! Glad the mix worked well, that’s a helpful note for other readers.

  14. 5 stars
    Amazing! These are my new favorite muffins. I added lemon juice to add more lemon flavor and they turned out fluffy and flavorful. I will be making again.

  15. I want to make mini muffins with this recipe. Can you tell me the correct baking time?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Michele!

      Great question, I haven’t tested this but I would bake them at 350°F for 12-14 minutes. If you have them, paper liners are great. If not, make sure you grease the muffin tin. You should get 36-40 mini muffins. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  16. Just an FYI, the calorie count listed is off by quite a bit. I followed recipe exactly, minus the topping, and calculated 222 per muffin.

    1. Hi Chelsea, great question. I haven’t tested this—but I think you should be able to freeze them with success. Once the muffins are baked and cooled completely, I would wrap them in plastic wrap, then in foil then place them in a resealable zipper-lock bag. To thaw, I recommend unwrapping them and thawing at room temperature. Let me know how it goes!

  17. These muffins are so delicious! I swapped out the cornstarch and replaced it with dry milk powder because I like the flavor. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!!

  18. Made these this morning. Very tasty. I’d like to make them into. Protein muffing. What would you recommend to accomplish that?
    Thanks, Laura