Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (with Saskatoon berries)


There are Saskatoons at the dog park. (Sandy Beach, and the hill up to and down from Brittania.)

I noticed this when I was about two-thirds of the way through my latte. Stopping by a particularly fruitful bush, I chugged it so that I could fill my cup with Alberta’s Own blueberries. As in Blueberries for Sal, I walked along the path, dropping berries into my little bucket: kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk. (Only it was more like tut, tut, tut – far more unceremonious in my Starbucks cup.) I went home with the better part of a grande – enough to make muffins. Sundays, after all, are meant for making muffins.

(But then W ate most of them – just like in Blueberries for Sal – and I had to pad the muffins a bit with some Saskatoons my neighbour brought over.)

I recalled a recipe for Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins from Joy the Baker (and wow, have you checked out her newly-made-over website?) – I am enamoured of browned butter anything – it’s even fantastic over popcorn – and this was no exception. I knocked the butter down to 1/3 cup (from 7 tablespoons, just shy of half a cup) – but if you’re trying to better your fat intake, these work smashingly with canola oil instead. The batter is thick; just enough to hold 2 cups of berries together. A few months ago I made a similar crumble for the tops of other muffins, and because I for some reason always view this as a bit of a (albeit delicious) hassle, I made a big batch (while I was at it) and froze it. Now I have a baggie of brown sugar rubble to toss over fruit, or muffins, or whatever needs to be made a little homier/fancier by a little smattering of something. Simple.

A dozen (less a few) homemade muffins tucked in the freezer will help alleviate some of my guilt over sneaking out of the house at 5 am for the next two weeks in order to take over traffic duties on the Eyeopener. (Listen if you’re up – CBC Radio One – 1010 AM, 99.1 FM – and please do call if you see a traffic snarl.)

Or hey, I could bring them in for the crew and score a few extra brownie points.. muffin points?


Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins

Recipe link


August 23, 2009

These truly are spectacular muffins - a lovely, moist, dense-yet-light crumb, and somehow buttery even if you make them with canola oil - I promise. Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, by way of Joy the Baker, then tweaked a bit by me. Really, they would take on any kind of berry well - try fresh cranberries, and spike the batter with grated orange zest.

  • Makes: Makes 1 dozen.


1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk (you could just use another whole egg, but I didn't want to take too many liberties - Joy is the Baker, after all)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups fresh or frozen (don't thaw them) blueberries or Saskatoon berries


3 Tbsp. butter, cut into bits

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar (I like to use brown)


1Preheat the oven to 375F, and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, keep it over the heat until it starts to turn brown and smell nutty - keep an eye on it - little browned bits will appear in the bottom like a scrumptious sludge. Take it off the heat and set aside.

3Whisk together the milk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. In a larger bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter mixture and stir until almost combined; add the berries and gently stir just until blended.

4Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork or your fingers to blend until crumbly.

5Divide the batter among the muffin cups. (Mine was thick enough to pick up wads with my fingers and press in, filling them pretty much up.) Sprinkle with the crumble and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

Makes: Makes 1 dozen.

Dinner was leftovers – lemony parsley potato salad with peas, marinated tomatoes and burgers from last night, eaten naked with our fingers, dipped in ketchup. I think they were better today. It would never occur to me to add sesame oil and nutmeg to a burger – let alone together – but it totally worked. And it was such a big batch that I now have a stash in the freezer for inevitable dinner emergencies.

One Year Ago: Double-Whammy Brownies and Grilled Cinnamon-Sugar Mini Donuts with Caramel Dip


About Julie

17 comments on “Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (with Saskatoon berries)

  1. theungourmet
    August 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Blueberries for Sal is such a great book! Your muffins are mighty fine too! ;0)

  2. Buddiegirl
    August 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Your leftovers are better than some of the things we have for dinner. I would gladly come to your house for leftovers any day of the week.

    I love blueberries and saskatoons so I would be happy to have either baked into a muffin. I have 3 bushes in my yard, but they usually only yield a small handful of berries. It’s enough to go on a bowl of cereal or shove in your mouth, but not enough to make anything with. Maybe some day there will be enough to make a pie. I do love saskatoon pie.

  3. Carolyn
    August 24, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I’ve been making your crumble cake (from Grazing)like crazy this summer, making it with sour dough starter and lots of different fruits. You’ve got me thinking of trying browned butter (instead of oil) in the batter is my next cake. Have you tried it?

  4. Cheryl Arkison
    August 24, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I was out for a jog there last week and noticed the berries, and more on my bike home on the other side of the river. Such a treat.

  5. Barb
    August 24, 2009 at 7:11 am

    More berry than bun. Catchy slogan!

  6. Biz
    August 24, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I’ve never heard of these berries before, but the muffins look amazing!

    Happy Monday!

  7. Natalie
    August 24, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Oh, How I have missed you! I moved from Michigan to Georgia 3 weeks ago and just now have the internet working. You were the first website I went to. I look forward to being in your kitchen once again!!

  8. Erica B.
    August 24, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I’m here courtesy of a neighbours unlocked wifi…shaw promises to be here sometime Thursday. If I could find my muffin tins in amongst all the unopened boxes I’d make these muffins asap.

  9. Hillary
    August 24, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I love blueberry muffins, but these look extra great! You should submit this recipe to Recipe4Living.com!

  10. Chaya
    August 24, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I made brown butter chocolate chip cookies today. The brown butter makes a big difference, one I like. I have to try it with my muffin recipes. I think it would be especially good with apple muffins.

  11. LisaMer
    August 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Browned butter, is there anything you can’t do? 😉

    Just made these with the s’toons in my freezer for our trip to Regina tomorrow. Deadly good, deadly to my diet. 😉 Nearly 5 points on Weight Watchers!

  12. Barb
    November 12, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I made these this morning with vanilla roasted pears cut into little chunks! So fabulously delicious!! I want to marry browned butter!!

  13. Erica B.
    May 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Here it is almost 10 mo later and I finally made these muffins. I found the batter really (underscore really) thick. It was pretty much impossible to get the frozen blueberries in the batter without turning the entire batter purple… pretty but not as pretty as the pictures above. I’ll try these with fresh berries in a few months :)

  14. Carma
    November 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    This was great. I just made these with my daughter and I am always scared to tired online baking, but this worked nicely. :) We added fresh rasberries along with the blue berries.
    Thanks so much.

  15. Carma
    November 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    **try not tired. I am tired lol. :)

  16. Heather
    November 10, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Loved these! Just had a bunch of ladies over for brunch and these featured on the menu. I had lost my normal blueberry muffin recipe and I knew that you would have one – loved the brown butter. Definitely my new “go-to” blueberry muffin recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.