Julia Child Blueberry Muffins

Baking cupcakes earlier this week inspired me to bake their [breakfast] cousins – the muffins. I was craving something light and fluffy that could get me through the rest of the week with a big muffin top smile. Nothing too sweet, but more of a ‘melt in your mouth’ biscuit-type muffin.

Light & fluffy blueberry muffins

Having been recently introduced [by a friend] to my new baking bible “Baking with Julia”, I decided to go with one of the recipes that resulted from [arguably] the most famed television cooking show of the late ’90s. The result? Eighteen perfectly-sized, biscuit-like, not-too-sweet, light & fluffy blueberry muffins that melt in your mouth with every bite. No joke.

Biscuit-like blueberry muffins

Just a few side notes on these goodies. You’ll notice that while my muffins have a relatively flat top, they don’t have a flying saucer flat top that is characteristic of muffins.  The blueberries have also marbled on top of my muffins, which I like, but you may be looking for the plain golden top without the marbled look.

Blueberry muffin that is a bit less marbled on top

A few notes on that. First, if you’re looking for the flying saucer flat top, make sure that you fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way up or more. When the muffin is not given sufficient room to expand before reaching the top of the cup, it will flatten on top. Second, if you’d like golden tops without the blueberries peeking through, finish off the top of each cup with a scoop of the batter without blueberries. That’s it. Whichever way you decide to bake these, they’ll be absolutely yummy!

Read on for the recipe.  Happy hump day baking!

Turned out muffins on cooling rack

Ingredients (recipe courtesy of “Baking with Julia)

~ 1 3/4 cups cake flour

~ 2 teaspoons baking soda*

~ 1 teaspoon cream of tartar*

~ 1 teaspoon salt

~ 1 pint fresh blueberries

~ 3/4 cup milk

~ 1/4 cup sour cream

~ 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

~ 2/3 cup sugar

~ 1 large egg, at room temperature

~ 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

* baking soda + cream of tartar = homemade baking powder!


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter or spray 18 muffin cups or line them with paper bake cups. If you have 2 muffin tins with 12 cups, fill the 6 cups that will be empty in one of the tins with water – this will help the muffins bake evenly.

Sift the cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together twice, and leave sifted dry ingredients in the sifter or strainer; set it on a piece of waxed paper.

Remove a tablespoon or two of the dry ingredients and toss with the blueberries. In  separate bowl, stir the milk and sour cream together and set aside until needed.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or work with a hand-held mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until white and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture no longer feels grainy about 3 minutes, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift half of the dry ingredients into the bowl. Add half of the milk and sour cream and, using a large rubber spatula, delicately fold the ingredients together, stopping when barely combined. Add the remaining dry and liquid ingredients and fold in only until just mixed – don’t be concerned about getting everything evenly incorporated. Sprinkle over the blueberries and fold them in only to the just-mixed stage.

Barely mixed batter - do not overmix!

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup at least 2/3 full, and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

2 thoughts on “Julia Child Blueberry Muffins

  1. Hi Linda! One of the reasons these muffins are so light and fluffy are the leavening agent, which is the homemade baking powder – cream of tartar + baking soda. The other reason is the way it’s mixed, which is minimally. If you’re looking for this particular type of texture, I recommend using the homemade baking powder version over store bought baking powder. Hope this helps!

  2. Hi! These look lovely and the ingredients listed are familiar to me because I’ve made a lot of muffins in my life, but mine are mostly nutrient-rich, which means they end up quite dense. Recently, though, I’ve been looking to make a lighter, fluffier muffin just for a change of pace. That’s how I came across your recipe. I saw your note about baking soda+cream of tartar=baking powder….so why not just list baking powder in this recipe? If I wanted to use baking powder instead, would I use 3tsps of it? That seems like a lot and I’d think the taste of the muffins would be affected. I rarely use cream of tartar so I’d prefer to avoid purchasing it just to try a recipe. Thanks in advance!

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