Pillowy, tender, and bursting with a generous amount of juicy blueberries and zippy lemon, these Vegan Blueberry Muffins are sure to become a favorite in your household.
With their bountiful muffin tops and a crunchy and caramelized walnut crumble topping, these are next-level bakery-style muffins that are a step above your standard muffin.
Bonus: they’re easy to make gluten-free (and they’re neither gummy nor dry!) and they freeze perfectly.
Why this recipe works
These muffins are fluffy and moist.
Muffins, especially vegan muffins, can often be too chewy or dense. To avoid that, I use a mix of vegan “buttermilk” and a good amount of leavening agents for lots of fluffiness. Creamy oat milk, a generous amount of blueberries, and brown sugar in addition to cane sugar all give the muffins the right amount of moisture.
These are bakery-style muffins.
These muffins rise high, have a bountiful muffin top with an irresistible crumble topping, and perfectly golden browned muffin sides and bottoms. To achieve all that, this recipe does the following:
First, we fill the muffin tins to the top with batter, which yields a large (but not too large) and glorious muffin. If you fill to just 2/3 or 3/4 full as many recipes instruct, you get smaller muffins.
Second, adding a walnut-brown sugar crumble topping takes muffins to the next level, adding a crunchy, almost caramelized texture that contrasts wonderfully with the tender, fluffy muffin bottoms.
Third, not lining your pan with muffin liners gets you smooth edges and a golden brown exterior, instead of soggy and pale ridged edges.
Finally, starting the muffins in a hot oven at 425ºF, then reducing the temperature to 350ºF (without opening the oven door) jumpstarts the leavening agents. This yields higher-rising muffins with a bit of crunchy top yet a soft, tender middle.
There are blueberries in every bite.
Berry muffins are sometimes unevenly distributed, with most of the berry action concentrated at the bottom (the berries sink the bottom during baking). And lots of moisture on the bottom = soggy bottomed muffins.
Here, we scoop roughly half of the batter into muffin tins before adding the blueberries to the remaining batter, which prevents them from sinking to the bottom.
Fresh blueberries. Blueberries are in abundance right now and are SO delicious here. Be sure to rinse and dry them well before adding them to the batter to avoid excess moisture. If using frozen berries, read the FAQ tip.
Vegan butter. The best muffins (and cakes) in my experience use a combination of oil and butter. Oil keeps them moist, while (vegan) butter brings the flavor. Muffins made with just oil are usually a bit lacking in flavor.
All-purpose flour. Brings the structure that vegan, egg-free muffins need. If you have a gluten allergy, check out the FAQ section for a gluten-free substitute (we tested it and it works great!).
Brown sugar + cane sugar. Adding some brown sugar adds more moisture and flavor than using just white sugar.
Lemons. A blueberry muffin is already delicious, but a blueberry muffin with zippy, fragrant lemon zest is even better. Adding the zest of two lemons, first to the batter and then in the topping, makes for an extra flavorful muffin.
Walnuts. These, along with brown sugar, add a nutty crumble topping that takes these muffins from good to great. If allergic to tree nuts, you can omit the topping or you can try using rolled oats instead.
Make the crumble topping. In a bowl, combine the finely chopped walnuts, brown sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Stir together until well combined.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cane sugar.
Whisk together the wet ingredients in a large bowl: oat milk mixed with lemon juice, zest of one lemon, flax eggs, melted vegan butter, oil, vanilla and almond extracts.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Use a silicone spatula to gently combine the ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix!
The muffin batter should be quite thick, almost scoopable (see photo 7). Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the batter into each greased muffin tin—you’ll only be adding roughly half of the batter to the muffin tin at this time (photo 8).
Now, add the blueberries to the remaining muffin batter in the bowl, and fold gently with a silicone spatula.
Fill each muffin tin with the leftover blueberry muffin batter to the top. Sprinkle the crumbling topping onto each muffin.
Bake the muffins at 425ºF/218ºC for 6 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350ºF/175ºC and keep baking for an additional 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted inside the muffins comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
Tips for the best vegan blueberry muffins
Weigh your ingredients (or spoon and level your flour).
If you don’t use a scale to weigh out ingredients (the preferred method for baking), be sure to correctly measure the flour: spoon the flour out of its bag or container into a measuring cup. Once the flour mounds at the top of the measuring cup, level it off evenly with a knife.
Don’t overmix the batter.
Where a tender texture is desired in a baked good, you want to avoid mixing the batter too much. Just 15 to 20ish strokes with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon should be enough to incorporate the dry and wet ingredients. No need for an electric mixer.
Muffin batter should be thick and scoopable.
Muffin batter is thicker than cake batter, but not quite as thick as cookie dough. Check out step photo #7 above to see how thiccc it should be. For some reason, if your batter isn’t that thick, you can add a bit more flour and stir to combine gently.
Spray the muffin tins generously and skip the muffin liners.
I don’t like using muffin liners for a few reasons:
(1) Muffin liners prevent the sides from browning and instead make them ridged and often soggy.
(2) The liners often stick to the muffin, so you lose some muffin on the liner.
(3) Liners actually inhibit the muffins from rising to their true potential.
If you generously grease a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray (I use avocado oil spray) or brush it with oil, there will be no sticking and you’ll be rewarded with perfect textured muffins. I promise! Be sure to spray the bottoms and sides. This is the muffin tin I use (affiliate link).
As you see in the step photos #8-10 above, you will likely see some extra oil or cooking spray on the top of the pan. I like to leave it there, as it makes it easier to remove the baked muffins from the tin.
Don’t open the oven door during baking.
Opening the oven door during baking even for a couple seconds can reduce the oven temperature significantly. This is especially a no-no during the first half of baking, when the muffins do most of their rising. Resist any temptation you might have to peek on the muffins to see how they’re doing!
Don’t let muffins cool in the pan too long
You should remove the baked muffins from the pan after 20 minutes (or 30 minutes, if you must). If you leave them in the pan too long after baking, they can develop super sad soggy bottoms.
Make a double batch and freeze them.
When blueberries are in season, I highly recommend making a double batch and freezing leftovers. was shocked when I tasted one of these defrosted muffins. The blueberry flavor was more concentrated and delicious than the fresh muffins! Of course, the texture is not 100% the same, but they’re still excellent.
Frequently Asked Questions
In our testing, we had great results with the following changes to the recipe:
(1) Use 1 1/2 cups (200g) of a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour (use a blend with xanthan gum; we used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour) and 1 1/4 cups (136g) of oat flour instead of the all-purpose flour.
(2) Use less liquid: 1 cup (240 mL) oat milk instead of 1 1/4 cups.
(3) Allow to rest in the muffin tins for slightly longer, 25 to 30 minutes. Exercise care when removing the muffins, as they’re a bit more delicate.
You can replace 3/4 cup (94g) of the all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup almond flour (75g). Or sub all of the all-purpose flour with white spelt flour, or use 2 cups (224g) spelt flour and 3/4 cup (75g) blanched almond flour.
You can also reduce the overall sugar amount from 25 to 50% (FYI these muffins aren’t very sweet as is). You can also sub coconut sugar for the cane sugar and brown sugar but the muffins may not be as moist, as coconut sugar is drier. You might want to sub in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup instead.
Fresh berries will be best, but if you don’t have access to them or if it’s winter, be sure to thaw them first. Rinse them a few times (read here on why rinsing frozen blueberries for muffins is helpful here). Drain most of the liquid that the berries release to avoid watering down the batter too much and pat dry with some towels.
We’ve tried these muffins with soy milk with good results. I tend to use oat milk in baking because it browns the best.
Berry muffins will stay good in an airtight container or bag on the counter for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. And yes, these muffins freeze exceptionally well! Once cooled, add them to an airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature.
More delicious vegan breakfast recipes
If you love these Vegan Blueberry Muffins as much as we do, please rate and review the recipe below :) And I love seeing your remakes, so tag me on Instagram!
- 8 ounces (227g) fresh blueberries (about 1 ½ cups) (see Note 1)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) oat milk
- 1 medium lemon, zested + 1 tablespoon juice
- 2 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (see Note 2 for GF option)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional, adds more depth of flavor)
- ½ cup (100g) organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup (38g) loosely packed organic brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (sunflower oil, avocado oil, canola oil, etc.)
- 3 tablespoons (42g) vegan butter, melted (recommended, but can use more oil)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or just sub in an extra ½ tsp of vanilla)
- ⅓ cup (37g) walnuts, finely chopped
- ⅓ packed cup (50g) organic brown sugar
- 1 medium lemon, zested
- Pinch of sea salt
- Wash and dry your blueberries in a towel. You want them to be dry before using.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF/218ºC. Generously grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin on the bottoms and sides with coconut oil or cooking spray–be generous to avoid sticking (see Note 3).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and 5 tablespoons of warm water. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to gel up.
- Zest the lemon and set the zest aside for step 6. Juice the lemon and add one tablespoon of juice to the oat milk ("buttermilk"). Stir and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make the Walnut Crumble: In a small bowl, mix the finely chopped walnuts, brown sugar, zest of 1 lemon, and pinch of salt until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cane sugar, and the 1/4 cup brown sugar.In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, lemon zest, prepared flax eggs, oil, melted butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and stir until just combined, but do not over mix.****Do not mix in the blueberries at this point.
- Drop a heaping tablespoonful of the batter into the bottom of each muffin cup, making sure to cover the bottom of the tin. You'll only add roughly half of the batter to the muffin tins at this time.
- Now, add the blueberries to the remaining batter in the bowl and use a silicone spatula to gently fold them in. Divide the blueberry muffin batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling to the top. Sprinkle the Walnut Crumble evenly over each muffin.
- Bake at 425ºF/218ºC for 6 minutes, or until muffins have risen nicely. Then, without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 350ºF/175ºC. Bake for another 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. Use a small offset spatula or butter knife to loosen the muffins. Store cooled muffins in an airtight container on the counter for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for 5 to 6 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Swap the AP flour with a mix of 1 1/2 cups (200g) of a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour + 1 1/4 cups (136g) of oat flour.
- Use just 1 cup (240 mL) of oat milk.