go to basket

Corn and Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Sugar

A moist crumb, a near-jellied profusion of ripe berries, and a lacy lemon sugar crust.

12 muffins


10 minutes to put together, about 30 minutes to bake


Corn. Blueberries. Yogurt. Lemon. Liftoff. This muffin has it all: a compelling synergy of flavors and a moist, rustic, velvety crumb. And blueberries, of course—tons of them. With yogurt as the sole liquid agent, the density of the batter keeps the blueberries from drifting to the bottom of the cups. An après-oven dip in melted butter and lemon sugar makes these muffins extravagantly good. They’re still great the second day, but who wants to wait around and find out?

Baking Notes

Fresh, ripe, in-season blueberries are the obvious choice for these muffins. But if the only fresh berries you can find are wincingly tart, stick to frozen (small, wild, frozen blueberries, if possible). Stir them into the batter while they’re still frozen and expect the muffins to need 4 or 5 minutes longer in the oven.

Using 1 cup of sugar for the batter and the other ½ cup for the lemon-sugar topping creates a sweet-tart balance between the blueberries, the batter, and the crust. If you like things sweet, increase the sugar in the batter to 1¼ cups.

Nonstick muffin tins will toughen the crust on these (or any) muffins. Simple, old-fashioned uncoated steel is the best material for heat conduction and crisping.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a digital kitchen scale, a standard 12-cup muffin pan, a small saucepan, a medium mixing bowl, a large mixing bowl, a whisk, a rubber spatula, a small bowl, a rasp-style grater/zester, and a wire rack.

    • Vegetable oil spray or softened butter for the muffin pan
    • 4
      ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter
    • 7 to 8.75
      ounces (1 to 1¼ cups) sugar (see Baking Notes), plus 3.5 ounces (½ cup) sugar for the topping
    • 1
      large egg
    • 9
      ounces (1 cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
    • 5
    • 6.25
      ounces (1⅓ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour or an equal amount by weight of Anson Mills Colonial Style Fine Cloth-Bolted Pastry Flour
    • 1
      tablespoon baking powder
    • ¾
      teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1
      pint (2 cups) fresh ripe blueberries or 10 ounces frozen wild blueberries
    • 1
      lemon, washed

    Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil spray or butter and set aside.


    Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it melts. Spoon ¼ cup into a small bowl and set it aside. Pour the remaining butter into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in 1 to 1¼ cups sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries), the egg, and the yogurt. Set aside.


    Turn the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. If you’re using fresh berries, toss them in the flour until evenly coated.


    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently fold to combine. If you’re using frozen berries, gently fold them in until they’re evenly coated. The batter will be quite thick—like a cookie dough. Do not overwork. Scoop or spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, dividing it evenly among the cups. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan from front to back and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue to bake until the muffins test clean with a toothpick and are nicely risen and brown around the edges, about 15 minutes longer.


    Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully lift out the muffins and stand them upright on a wire rack. Let cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the ½ cup sugar for the topping into a small bowl. Finely grate the zest from the lemon into the sugar and mash the mixture with a fork or your fingertips until the sugar is tinted pale yellow. Rewarm the reserved butter if it has solidified. Working one at a time, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter and then into the lemon sugar to coat. Set the muffins upright on the wire rack. Serve warm.