Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Zest are the taste of summer.
Sweet, juicy fresh-picked blueberries (okay, fresh-picked from the store mostly, but I did go picking once), bright zesty lemon, and a tender, moist, and fluffy crumb. These muffins will be sure to trick gluten-eaters out there into liking gluten-free.
Let's get started.Jump to Recipe
Looking for More Gluten Free Breakfast Baking Recipes?
Tips for Making the Best Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
Use a high quality Gluten Free All Purpose Flour that is rice-based for this recipe. I stay away from any GF flours that contain ingredients that, to me, are far from dessert-like. Watch out for the following ingredients in GF flours that tend to give off a strange aftertaste when used when baking sweets: chickpea flour, peas/pea protein, or lentils. Brands I recommend are King Arthur GF All Purpose Flour, Bob's Red Mill 1:1, and Great Value GF All Purpose flour.
Fresh or Frozen Blueberries will work in this recipe. However, I do prefer to use fresh. If you use frozen, do not thaw them beforehand and be aware that the batter may turn blue.
Lemon zest adds a bright and super fresh flavor to these muffins. You may also substitute lemon zest for orange zest. Or, skip it entirely if you want a classic super blueberry-forward muffin.
Organic Whole Milk is a great way to add in some extra nutrients (and less guilt) to these muffins. I happened to have some on hand leftover from another recipe I just made. If you would like to keep these muffins dairy-free, then almond milk works great, as well. Almond is my usual go-to.
For best results, use Softened Butter. I try to leave my butter out about 15 minutes before I start prepping and mixing my other ingredients. Let's be honest though, a lot of the times I do forget. You can always throw a stick of butter in the microwave (I remove the paper wrapping and place in a bowl) and heat it for about 8-10 seconds, until slightly soft but still cool to the touch.
To keep dairy free; you may also use dairy-free butter. I love Smart Balance.
A sprinkle of Turbinado Sugar on the tops of the muffins before they go into the oven to bake leaves a nice artisanal touch. Turbinado sugar is a natural brown sugar that adds a nice little crackle (for lack of a better word) to these blueberry muffins. This type of sugar is in a large enough crystal form that it won't melt in the oven while baking.
How to Make
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Use a silicone cupcake pan or lightly grease/paper-cup a normal cupcake pan.
Whisk GF flour, baking powder, & salt in a medium-sized bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until well-combined. (See the photo to the right on the top row)
Add in eggs & vanilla, and beat until just combined.
Then, add dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed, until the mixture is thick. Add in milk and beat until the mixture is well-combined and smooth.
Add blueberries to the batter. Zest about a whole lemon's worth of peel on top of the berries and batter. Then, fold the berries and lemon zest into the batter. Tip: If using an orange instead of a lemon, zest about ¼ of the orange's peel to taste.
Spoon batter into cupcake pan about ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle turbinado sugar overtop, to taste. I usually do about 1-2 pinches of sugar per muffin.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. Since ovens vary and baking differs depending on altitude, check your muffins frequently (without opening the oven door).
Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, before removing to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container lined with paper towels (helps prevent muffins from becoming soggy) at room temperature and eat within 3 days. You may also refrigerate these muffins, but they will become denser like a pound cake/not as light and fluffy as room temp.
Notes on Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins:
- To prevent muffins from becoming soggy after a day or two; let them cool completely before storing them away and place them in an airtight container lined with paper towels. Never stack muffins on top of each other, always place them in a single row with a couple of paper towels between layers.
- You can also freeze these muffins and eat them later. When ready to eat; simply take one out and let thaw at room temp or place it in the microwave with a wet paper towel for 6-10 second intervals.
- You can also make these muffins without the extra sugar on top if you're looking to cut back.
Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Zest
- 2 cups high-quality rice-based GF All Purpose Flour containing xantham gum I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 GF Baking Flour (the blue bag)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup organic whole milk For dairy-free; replace with almond milk.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 stick softened butter (or ½ cup) For dairy free: Replace with DF butter. I like to use Smart Balance.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, but see post)
- zest of one lemon (or zest of ¼ of an orange)
- turbinado sugar crystals for muffin topping (about 1-2 pinches per muffin)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep: Wash and dry blueberries, picking off stems. Set aside. Use a silicone cupcake pan or lightly grease/paper-cup a normal cupcake pan.
- For dry ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together GF flour, baking powder, and salt.
- For wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with granulated sugar on medium speed until well-combined. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed until the mixture is thick. Add in milk and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Add blueberries to the batter. Zest lemon or orange overtop. Fold both together until evenly distributed within the mixture. Spoon batter into cupcake pan about ¾th of the way full. Sprinkle over 1-2 pinches of turbinado sugar (however much is to your liking).
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, before removing to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container lined with paper towels at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze and thaw whenever.