Nearly one-third of Americans said they've added baking to their new home routines. If you're like most other Americans, you've picked up a few new hobbies over the last two years. Stay-at-home orders and other social distancing mandates have resulted in people finding new ways to keep themselves and their families occupied.
Home bakers are also looking for ways to elevate the baking mixes already in their pantries, from additives such as fruit and various spices.
If you're still on a baking streak, let's take a look at how you can take your blueberry muffin mix to new heights.
1. Add Lemon to Your Blueberry Muffin Mix
Lemons and blueberries are a match made in heaven. While both are acidic the sweetness of the blueberries works well with tart lemons. Let's explore some of the ways you can create lemon blueberry muffins.
If you haven't tried lemon curd you're in for a treat. Its custard-like consistency is delicious on its own but it's so versatile you'll want to use it on everything.
Homemade lemon curd is simple. The recipe calls for egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, salt and butter.
When adding lemon curd to your blueberry muffins fill the tins halfway with batter. Add a spoonful of lemon curd then top with more batter. The result is a moist blueberry muffin with a gooey lemon center.
A lemon glaze is simple to make but it adds a flavorful kick to your blueberry muffins.
To make a lemon glaze all you need is confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, butter, and vanilla extract.
Let your freshly baked muffins cool just a bit and drizzle the glaze on top. In addition to the fresh lemon flavor, the sugar in the glaze also provides a nice little crunch for added texture.
Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest
If you want to add a lemony kick to your blueberry muffins but still keep it simple just add juice or zest.
The zest of one lemon and one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice are all you need to elevate the flavor. Just add the juice and zest to your blueberry muffin mix and bake as usual.
The lemony tang adds a new flavor profile and you might never make blueberry muffins without lemon juice again.
2. Add More Berries
Obviously, your blueberry muffin mix comes with dried blueberries but what if you want more berries? No problem!
Extra blueberries in muffins heighten that delicious flavor we all love. You can use the fresh blueberries you have in your fridge but frozen blueberries are great too.
In fact, frozen blueberries might even be better. The color of frozen blueberries doesn't leach into the batter as much. This results in a clear definition between muffin and berry.
If you're working with fresh berries just pop them into the freezer for a few minutes before adding them to the batter.
Raspberries, Strawberries, and Blackberries
Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries also elevate your blueberry muffins. If you have a bag of mixed berries in your freezer you're good to go!
Another way to keep the color of our berries from staining the batter is to sprinkle the berries with flour before adding them to the mix. This slightly dries the skin of the berries, locking the juice inside.
Most boxes of pre-made muffin mix can handle up to a cup of extra berries so get creative and enjoy!
3. Cream Cheese Please!
Who doesn't love cream cheese? Cream cheese adds a delightfully silky texture to everything. On its own cream cheese has a mild flavor but it's easy to kick it up in a variety of ways.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is easy to make. Just beat a package of cream cheese with granulated sugar and you're done! Pop the mixture into a piping bag and frost your blueberry muffins once they've cooled.
For extra flavor add some blueberry syrup or even more blueberries to the cream cheese and sugar mixture. Not only does this add a pop of blueberry flavor but it also turns your frosting a pretty shade of purple.
Cream Cheese Center
Another way to incorporate cream cheese is by putting it in the center. Just like with the lemon curd, fill the tins halfway with batter, add a layer of cream cheese, and top with the remaining batter.
You can leave the cream cheese plain or you can add ingredients to enhance the flavor. Just like the frosting adding a little sugar, berry syrup or whole berries creates an irresistible pop of flavor.
4. Spice It Up!
Many spices pair well with blueberries so add spices to the mix or create a delicious topping. Let's take a look.
Chances are you have fresh basil in your kitchen garden. The freshness of basil compliments blueberries and works perfectly in muffins.
Chiffonade a few basil leaves and add them to your blueberry muffin mix. The result is a bold yet inviting flavor you'll love.
Basil blueberry muffins are the perfect addition to brunch! Children might not appreciate the basil flavor but adults are sure to notice the creative flavor combination.
Ginger has a spicy kick to it but, like citrus, it pairs nicely with blueberries. Freshly grated ginger works best but you can also add ground ginger from your spice rack.
Start with a teaspoon of ginger for your test batch. You can then add more or less depending on your taste.
You can also ask your kids to play taste tester. Children are more sensitive to strong flavors so they'll let you know when the amount of ginger is just right.
Cinnamon is a classic flavor that works with all types of baked goods. Adding a half teaspoon of cinnamon to your batter creates another layer of delicious flavor.
Cinnamon is also a perfect topping for blueberry muffins. Mix cinnamon and sugar together and sift it over the top of your warm muffins. The sugar will melt leaving behind a yummy cinnamon-sugar glaze.
We used to only associate lavender with scented products but in recent years lavender has become a kitchen staple. It adds fresh herbal notes and pairs well with tart flavors like blueberry.
Add a quarter to half teaspoon of dried lavender to your batter. Then enjoy your muffins with a glass of lavender lemonade!
5. Add a Streusel Topping
One thing that makes bakery blueberry muffins so good is a streusel topping. Crunchy and sweet, streusel adds texture that can sometimes be missing from muffins and cakes.
Streusel is easy to make. A basic recipe calls for four tablespoons of white sugar, one tablespoon of flour, and two tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter. Mix it all together to form a loose crumble.
Once your batter is in the muffin tin simply spoon the mixture on top of each unbaked muffin. The baked result is a muffin with a delicious crunchy top.
Feel free to add spices to your streusel mixture. Cinnamon is a great choice. You can also use brown sugar instead of white. This transforms your streusel into a caramelly delight and deepens the flavor.
6. Add Nuts and More Fresh Fruit
If your family loves nuts you need to add them to your pre-made muffin mix. Not only do they add flavor and texture but they also add protein.
We already talked about adding extra berries but you can add other fresh fruit as well!
Slivered almonds are always a delicious addition to blueberry muffin batter. Their mild flavor doesn't compete with the blueberries. Instead, almonds add a hint of nuttiness and a slight crunch.
Slivered almonds also make a great topping. Just sprinkle them on before baking and the result is fresh and crunchy.
Roasted almonds make a good addition as well, especially if they're salted. A little bit of extra salt from the almonds brings out the sweetness of the blueberries. Roasted almonds are drier than slivered almonds so the crunch factor is elevated.
Of course, if someone in your family watches their salt intake stick with unsalted almonds.
Walnuts are not only delicious but they're also loaded with healthy fats. Since we love texture in blueberry muffins walnuts fit the bill.
Feel free to add as many chopped walnuts as you'd like but remember this will slightly increase the volume of your batter. Have extra muffin tins ready if you need them.
Applesauce is a wonderful way to add moisture to your muffins. You can use it in place of the oil your muffin mix calls for. You'll want to measure carefully and replace the oil with half as much applesauce.
For instance, if your mix calls for one cup of oil use one-half cup of applesauce. This is also a great way to cut down on the fat content in your blueberry muffins.
We all need potassium in our diets and adding bananas to blueberry muffin mix is a good way to accomplish this.
You can add two mashed bananas in place of the liquid in the recipe. If the mixture seems a little dry add water a tablespoon at a time.
This type of muffin batter might take a little longer to cook. Use a toothpick to test your muffins once the time listed on the directions has elapsed. If the toothpick doesn't come out clean bake for a few more minutes and test again.
Since these muffins will have a higher moisture content let them cool a bit longer than normal. This will help them firm up before you dig in!
7. Use Sour Cream or Yogurt for Fluffy Muffins
Sour cream and yogurt might not be everyone's go-to ingredients for baking but it's the easiest way to get the fluffiest muffins possible. Let's take a look at the benefits of adding sour cream to your muffin mix.
When used in place of liquid sour cream doesn't thin the batter as milk or water does. Instead, you have a rich, thick batter that results in a perfectly light muffin.
Sour cream has more fat than milk. If your goal is to produce a rich, velvety muffin then sour cream is the best tool in your kitchen.
Sour cream is also acidic. The added tang is the perfect compliment to tart yet sweet blueberries.
If you're trying to keep down the fat content in your muffins you might want to skip the sour cream. Low-fat sour cream won't work either. In this case, stick to the directions and ingredient list provided.
Yogurt works in the same way as sour cream. It adds moisture and a rich, tangy flavor.
Yogurt also adds protein, calcium, and probiotics.
If you're low on milk then yogurt makes a great substitute. For instance, if you need one cup of milk but only have half, add yogurt to the milk by the spoonful until you have the necessary amount.
Flavored yogurt also gives your muffins an added kick. Try blueberry or strawberry-flavored yogurt for an extra boost of fruitiness.
Blueberry Muffin Mix Made Better
Blueberry muffin mix on its own is great. Blueberry muffin mix with a few tweaks is better.
Use these tips to take your blueberry muffins to the next level. Your kids will love the fun additions of fruit and nuts and a crunchy streusel topping. You'll also love the extra control you have over the ingredients.
But the end result will be delicious blueberry muffins, every time.
Are you looking for more kitchen hacks from the pros? Learn more about our story and take your baking from ho-hum to yum!