Delight your taste buds with this luscious easy-to-make gluten free blueberry muffin recipe! Flavorful bakery-style muffins bursting with juicy blueberries are ever-so-tender and lightly dusted with sugar for that slight caramelized crunchy top.
Don’t need to eat gluten free foods? You can easily swap out the gluten free flour blend in this recipe for whole white wheat flour for a wonderful whole grain muffin!
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Blueberries. Oh, how I LOVE blueberries. They are hands down one of my favorite fruits.
I love blueberries alone. I love them with other fruit, too…especially with red grapes. I love that crisp pop and sweet-tart flavor when I bite down on them.
I love blueberries layered with key lime Greek Yogurt and crushed graham crackers or granola. I love them in smoothies…in homemade cobbler…in homemade blueberry pie…and made into simple syrup for cocktails.
And I love them in muffins. Fresh gluten free blueberry muffins. Yummm. 😋
Why Make A Homemade Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin?
Blueberry muffins have long been a family favorite. I remember waking up occasional weekend mornings as a kid to the smell of blueberry muffins baking in the oven. And my dad standing at the stove preparing to cook eggs and bacon for our family.
While those muffins were usually made from a boxed blueberry muffin mix, which is truly good and all…I’ve moved on to making homemade blueberry muffins. I have to do something with all those fresh blue globes!
When you have a bit more time and really want that flavorful bakery-style muffin with big tasty blueberries that burst in every tender bite, you just CAN’T get that from a boxed mix.
Because you can easily make these muffins by your own hand, YOU can control exactly what goes into your muffins. So, you can add or limit specific ingredients to improve the nutritional content (see Nutrition Benefits below).
Make your own delectable gluten free blueberry muffins with my recipe. Enjoy more in the end with less calories and unhealthy fats plus more money in your pocket!
What Makes These Muffins Taste SO Special?
This answer requires a brief backstory.
My friend Marisa makes this delicious buttercream frosting for many cakes and cupcakes she bakes for family, friends, and events. It is truly delectable…and the flavor is so intriguing…it just makes you want to keep tasting it.
I just could not put my finger on what it was that made Marisa’s frosting soSO special.
So a while ago, I had to ask her.
The answer was simple. Of course, she added vanilla extract (I add that to almost every baked good). But the secret ingredient Marisa added was almond extract. Omigosh.
Almond extract just drives the flavor up to the next level. Seriously. It’s alluring. And, I find that I often can’t go without it anymore.
So it got me wondering…”where else could I add almond extract in my recipes?” And it dawned on me.
Muffins. Especially blueberry muffins. And voila! My gluten free blueberry muffin recipe was born.
What Do I Need to Make Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins from Scratch?
My easy recipe contains basic baking ingredients, most of which you likely have in your pantry already. Here is a list of everything you’ll need to make these freshly-baked muffins:
- Gluten Free Flour – I have had the best results with King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour in most muffin recipes. That being said, I usually add small amounts of other flours to achieve the desirable texture found in gluten-containing muffins.
- Here I just add a little Almond Flour and moisture and the tender bite we want in a muffin.
- Buckwheat flour is ground from buckwheat berries. Despite its name, it is NOT derived from wheat and it is naturally gluten free. YAY! However, not all buckwheat flours are processed in gluten-free facilities, so do be sure to check your product’s label.
- See Recipe FAQ section below for other flour alternatives.
- Baking Powder, Kosher Salt, Cinnamon & Nutmeg – These are traditional necessary leavening agents and flavor enhancers used in many baked goods.
- While I am not a huge fan of nutmeg, it has been growing on me. The tiny amount in this recipe marries well with the cinnamon in the batter along with the blueberries. So please don’t skip it!
- Unsalted Butter and Applesauce – I almost always use this combination in muffins and quick breads to help adjust the nutritional content.
- Substituting part of the butter with applesauce lowers total fat, saturated fat, and calorie content instead of using all butter/oil.
- The applesauce adds to the moisture content of the muffins.Nobody ever misses the fat, but they sure do enjoy a perfectly moist gluten free muffin!
- Granulated Sugar – Sugar helps to add sweetness and flavor of course, but also texture, body, and color in our lovely baked goods.
- Plus you need a little sugar to top these muffins just before baking. This step helps to create a subtle crunch on top as it lightly caramelizes during the baking process.
- Stevia Sweetener– Here in these muffins, I use equal parts sugar of and Stevia in the batter. I like to use Stevia in the Raw from the baker’s bag, as it is clearly labeled gluten free. I have also used national store brands with very similar results.
- For more Stevia details and why I use it, see the Nutrition Benefits section below.
NOTE: You still need sugar to serve its function as mentioned above. For best results, do use some sugar in this recipe.
- Eggs – Two eggs in this recipe add structure and lift, a tender texture, and flavors the batter.
- Vanilla and Almond Extracts – I love vanilla in nearly all baked goods and desserts – and I don’t skimp on it. Vanilla enhances the sweet flavors in these muffins. The almond extract – just a smidge is all you need for amazing bakery-style taste! It’s what makes these muffins taste so special!
- Low-fat Buttermilk – This adds a great tangy flavor, aids in leavening and moisture, and helps to create a consistently tender crumb in these blueberry muffins.
- Fresh Blueberries – The main ingredient! I prefer to use fresh blueberries when baking muffins.
- If you bake with frozen berries the color almost always bleeds from the berry, resulting in muffins streaked with a purplish-blue color throughout the batter.
- The texture of the berries will likely be a bit different at the end of baking when frozen berries are used. Frozen berries usually release more juice than the fresh originals.
- But never fear! If you have frozen blueberries to use, and you aren’t quite ready to make blueberry cobbler or pie (how dreamy!) you can definitely use them in this recipe. See the Recipe FAQ below for helpful tips!
Less Fat, Less Sugar, MORE Fiber!
Like I mentioned in my recipe for gluten free chocolate chip banana muffins, we can feed our bodies well when we can control the ingredients going into our recipes. Most commercially made muffins are made with much more sugar and much more fat than is really necessary.
When you can cut excess calories that come from fats and sugars – that’s a WIN!
- By eating less convenience foods and reducing sugar and fat in our own recipes (specifically saturated and trans fats), you can help keep your weight in check. This will help to decrease your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease – chronic diseases we want to avoid.♡
The American Heart Association recommends that for an average adult who may consume about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of those calories should come from saturated fat.
That equates to about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
- While this recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins does contain butter (which contributes saturated fat), there is only 1 teaspoon of butter in each muffin and 3 grams of saturated fat! A safe manageable amount!
- Plus – with just 6 grams of total fat in each muffin you can enjoy these muffins while meeting The American Heart Association recommendations and without the guilt that eating store-bought muffins may bring!
- Fiber – Each gluten free blueberry muffin contains 3 grams of fiber. That may not sound like much, but in combination with other fiber-rich foods eaten throughout the day, it can help you reach the recommended amount of dietary fiber.
What is The Dietary Reference Intake for Total Fiber?
People of all ages are to consume 14 grams of fiber for each 1,000 calories.
Generally speaking that’s…
21-25 grams of fiber per day for WOMEN
30-38 grams of fiber per day for MEN
- Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies cannot break apart easily. Because of this, it helps to slow the passage of food from the stomach into the small intestine. This can help to make us feel fuller longer, which can help with weight management.
- Because fiber slows the digestion process, it may help to control blood sugar levels.
- Fiber can also improve the frequency of bowel movements.
- Adequate intakes of fiber may also help to lower cholesterol levels; this can aid in the prevention of heart disease.
The Star Ingredients in My gluten free blueberry muffin That Promotes Better Health
- Buckwheat Flour – this whole grain gluten free flour is a good source of fiber, which is often lacking in many gluten free baked goods. It is rich in many antioxidants and minerals (particularly copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus) more so than many other common cereal grains.
- When used in higher amounts, buckwheat flour also adds an interestingly bold nut-like earthy flavor. Because of its higher nutritional content, I do like to add buckwheat flour to many of my recipes, but am cautious of not adding too much because of its bolder flavor.
- Blueberries – a nutrition powerhouse food I get excited about! These beautiful blue gems add more than beauty to your plate. They are a functional food that are loaded with antioxidants. In particular, they contain a family of polyphenol flavonoids called anthocyanins – which just happens to give these berries their beautiful blue hue.
- Blueberries provide about only 80 calories per cup but provide 4 grams of fiber. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. It’s a great idea to include them in your diet often!
- Stevia – this is a naturally occurring plant and it’s leaf extract is a zero-calorie sweetener that is much sweeter than sugar. When used cup for cup for baking (granular as a sugar substitute) a bulking agent, such as maltodextrin, is added so it can easily be used and measured by consumers just like sugar.
- Through recipe development, I have experimented with varying amounts of a couple sugar substitutes in an effort to lower the total calories and added sugar content in sweet recipes.
- As I work to help promote the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a registered dietitian, I use Stevia to help limit added sugars in some of my recipes. I recognize that sugar has important functions in baking. But I also want to help people limit added sugars to help them achieve healthy dietary patterns.
Tips for Making the Best Muffins
Measure Flour Correctly!
Use the scoop & level method for measuring flour and use the appropriate measuring cup.
- Also called the spoon and sweep method, using this technique prevents bakers from turning their lovely baked goods into dense, dry, and crumbly ones that really disappoint. You can really pack extra flour in that measuring cup if you are not using the spoon and sweep method.
- When measuring flour, always use a dry measuring cup, often made of metal or plastic, and not one meant for liquid ingredients which has a spout from which to pour liquids.
Use Muffin Liners!
- Use muffin liners to easily remove your lovely home-baked muffins from baking pans without leaving tasty chunks.
- There’s no hassle of soaking and scrubbing off baked-on muffin batter.
- Your muffins come out beautifully and in one piece!
- With their bottoms covered, muffins in liners can be handled in a more hygienic manner. Great for little hungry hands.
- I like to use foil or parchment liners instead of paper liners. More muffin goes into your mouth while nearly none sticks to the liner!
Toss Berries with Gluten-free Flour Blend
- Sometime berries and other fruits like to sink in batter during the baking process. These aren’t blueberry-bottomed muffins!
- Tossing berries with a small amount of gluten-free flour will absorb any bit of moisture on the berries. This helps the berries stay more evenly suspended in the muffin batter.
Use a Large Cookie Scoop to Portion gluten free blueberry muffin Batter
- This is a trick I started using just a few years ago. Using this tool will truly help you get equal amounts of batter into each cup easily and more efficiently than spooning it in or trying to scrape it in (like I used to do).
- The large cookie scoop, also called a size 20 portioner, holds about 3 tablespoons. This is the perfect amount for most standard muffin recipes!
- Placing equal amounts of batter into each muffin well allows all the muffins to bake more evenly. They’ll be ready to come out of the oven all at the same time!
- Using a scoop also keeps pans and counters more tidy and less messy! 🙌🏼
Check for “Doneness” Early in Muffins
- Oven temperatures vary and that’s why I always include a range for baking time in my baking recipes. So…check for doneness at the earliest time mentioned in the recipe.
- In fact, when I am working with a new recipe, I usually check a minute or two earlier than recommended. You can never “unbake” something that has baked too long!
- Over-baking muffins leads to a dry, crumbly, and less tender product and leaves mouths unhappy!
Recipe FAQ for Easy Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
Here are some common questions you may ask as you prepare this recipe:
Yes. While I prefer to use King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour in this recipe, I have used both Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour in similar baked goods with good results.
-It is important to note that all three of these flour options contain Xanthan Gum, which is an important ingredient that helps with binding; it provides elasticity and structure in batters that do not contain gluten.
-If you choose a gluten free flour blend that does not contain xanthan gum, I would recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon per cup of gluten free flour used in a muffin recipe. Without it, muffins will likely crumble apart after just a bite or two.
-In addition, if you don’t want to use the small amounts of buckwheat flour or almond flour in this recipe, you could substitute either one with the gluten free flour blend you have. The end product will be slightly different.
Dusting them with flour will help them stick to the batter during baking and prevent them all from sinking to the bottom of the muffin.
-SeeTips for Making the Best Muffins above.
Yes, but do NOT thaw them before baking if you’d like to prevent your muffin from turning blueish purple. Measure them, but keep them in the freezer until ready to use.
Then follow these simple steps to keep your muffins streak-free…
1. Just before folding berries into the batter, briefly rinse frozen blueberries in a mesh colander with very cold water to remove any blue juice from berries that may have burst in the freezing process.
2. Gently shake excess water from the colander and carefully roll the berries out onto a paper towel to absorb any more moisture.
3. Swiftly transfer berries to a bowl and gently toss with the 1/2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend to dust.
4. Gently fold dusted berries into batter as directed in the recipe.
NOTE: Baking time may increase slightly when baking with frozen berries.
Yes you can! To make these vegan, simply swap out the following:
–Replace the butter with vegan margarine – such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread or Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks.
–Replace the egg with one flax egg – combine 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
–Replace the buttermilk – place 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar (the acid component that adds that tangy flavor and helps to make milk curdle and thicken) in a 1-cup graduated measuring cup and fill to the 1/2-cup line with non-dairy milk of your choice. Allow to sit for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times.
NOTE: Some non-dairy milks curdle and thicken, some do not; so do not feel you have to wait longer for it to curdle and thicken.
In making these changes, the recipe would automatically become egg-free as well as dairy-free. Such simple modifications for those who need to avoid eggs or dairy.♡
Starting muffins in a hotter oven provides an initial high level of heat, thus activating the rise process much more quickly. This will lead to a bigger taller muffin with that pretty domed feature that is so appealing!
These tasty muffins will stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 days loosely covered in a container. Chill muffins in the refrigerator if you expect they will last longer than 3 days.
Yes! For best results, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container, and freeze for 3-4 months.
But want a quicker solution?
-Place unwrapped muffins in an airtight container and simply lay a layer of plastic wrap over the tops of all the muffins. Place the lid on top to help the tops stay frost free.
To thaw, remove desired number of muffins from the freezer, unwrap each muffin, if necessary, and allow to thaw completely at room temperature.
-To taste them faster, remove any plastic wrap from the muffin (and the muffin liner if it is made of foil). Place individual muffins on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for about 30 seconds (or a bit longer for that warm fresh-from-the-oven satisfaction!)
That depends on when you plan to serve them!
For Breakfast: Because of my aforementioned memory growing up eating blueberry muffins in the morning, my favorite time to eat them is at breakfast.
-For a balanced breakfast, I like to have a warm gluten free blueberry muffin with 1-2 links of turkey sausage and a fresh cooked egg when I have the time; scrambled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, over medium, whichever type of cooked egg floats your boat.
-I also love having these muffins with a serving of low-fat plain Greek yogurt topped with chopped walnuts and a touch of honey.
-Or together with a glass of low-fat milk, maybe your morning coffee or tea, and even some fresh fruit, you can be happy that you’ve started out your day in a colorfully balanced way!
For a Delightful Snack: Again, use the microwave here to a warm your homemade muffin for 10-15 seconds and savor it with a tall glass of low-fat milk. Yum!
Delectable Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
- Standard Muffin Pan
- Hand Mixer
- Large Cookie Scoop
- 1 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend* spooned and leveled, plus 1/2 Tbsp more
- 2 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon*
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 Tbsp more to top muffins before baking
- 1/2 cup stevia sweetener (measures cup for cup for sugar) OR replace with 1/ 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries washed and dried in (paper) towel
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place 12 foil or parchment baking cup liners in a standard muffin pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1/2 tablespoon gluten free flour blend to dust, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten free flour blend, almond flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; be sure to combine well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat softened butter for one minute. Add sugar and cream together for another minute until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add half the applesauce and blend well; add the remaining applesauce and all the stevia, beating well to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low, and then add vanilla and almond extract.
- To the butter mixture add half the flour mixture and beat slightly; add all the buttermilk and beat again slightly. Then add the remaining flour mixture, beating until well blended, but do not overmix. Gently fold floured blueberries into the batter just to combine, being careful not to squish the berries.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide batter evenly into prepared muffin liners, smoothing tops with a butter knife. Carefully sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar across the tops of all the muffins.
- Place on middle rack in preheated oven; then immediately turn down oven to 375°F. Bake for 21-23 minutes or until muffins are baked through and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
- Cool for 4-5 minutes in muffin pan and then transfer out of the pan to a wire rack to cool completely…if you can stand it that long. Enjoy!
Your Own Notes
I hope you delight in these blue-studded gems as much as we do. They are so tasty it may be hard to share them!
When you try these gluten free blueberry muffins, please consider leaving a recipe rating and comment below!
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Julie Christensen, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian with over ten years of experience in the field of dietetics, specializing in Wellness, Prevention and Heart Health, Weight Management, Celiac Disease, and Clinical Nutrition. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, & Health as well as a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.