Healthier Blackberry Muffins the Whole Fam Will Love

blackberry muffin hero

Not sure what to do with all those fabulous fresh berries from your recent foray to the u-pick farm or farmers market? Pull out your muffin tin and you can have a delicious and actually pretty healthy breakfast or snack ready to eat in just over 30 minutes (full recipe below). Our recipe cuts back on the fat and added sugar you typically find in baked goods, without sacrificing texture or taste.  

If you don’t have blackberries, substitute raspberries, blueberries, chopped apples, chunks of peaches, slivers of pear, or any other fruit your kiddos like. But if you do go the blackberry route, layer them in rather than mixing—unless purple muffins are exactly what your kids want.        

muffin ingredients

Applesauce and yogurt replace the oil or butter found in most muffin recipes, reducing the fat without sacrificing moisture. We suggest using unsweetened applesauce and Greek yogurt, which has more protein than regular yogurt. But you’re welcome to use any yogurt you like, including non-fat or full-fat, plain or flavored, or versions made from coconut milk, soy milk, or goat milk.

muffins on board

In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing them to get in on the serving action can also inspire them to try new foods. That said, we doubt you’ll have a problem finding takers for these spiced berry delights.

If you’re sitting down to a family brunch, place a platter of muffins on the table along with other dishes to round out the meal, like a bowl of scrambled eggs, a tub of yogurt, plates of uncured bacon and turkey sausage, and lots of fresh summer fruit. Then invite everyone to build their own breakfast. Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead (we’re looking at you, yogurt), but also lots of smiles. 

dinosaur and muffin alt hero

We’re big fans of make-ahead meals and snacks—and with just a few easy steps, you can be eating these tasty muffins for months!

Make sure they cool completely—first in the pan for a few minutes and then on a wire rack. If they’re even just a tiny bit warm, they can omit heat that will cause condensation when stored in a closed container (nobody likes soggy muffins). 

The muffins actually emit moisture as they age regardless, so your second step is to include a couple paper towels in your storage container or bag—one paper towel beneath a single layer of muffins, and one on top. Seal the container and store at room temperature.

If storing for more than four days, your third step is to stash the container in the freezer—the muffins should last up to three months. To eat, let them come to room temp, or pop them in the microwave for 20 or 30 seconds.

BLACKBERRY MUFFINS

Total time: About 35 minutes

Yields: 12–18, depending on the size of your tins, if you use liners, and how much batter you add to each cup

* Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Ingredients

For the oat streusel:

topping ingredients

  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the muffins:

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups white whole-wheat flour, measured correctly (you can also use half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries, chopped in half

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or fill with cupcake liners, and set aside.
  2. Make the streusel: Toss the brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon together in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Make the muffins: Add the brown sugar, yogurt, applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and milk in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously until combined and smooth. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly mixed together.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then pour the wet ingredients into the well. Gently stir together until just combined. Don’t try to work out all the lumps—overmixing baked goods can make them tough.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup, and then top with a few chopped blackberry pieces. Repeat the process until each cup is filled to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel.
  7. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes; then, keeping the tin inside the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees and bake for another 13–15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake, as baked goods with limited fat can easily dry out.
  8. Cool the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
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