Baking with Blueberries

Illustration - blueberries in muffin batterHave you ever noticed that in muffins and other baked goods, fresh and frozen blueberries can easily sink to the bottom of the pan? This is easy to prevent! Just spread half of the batter in the pan, then add half the blueberries, top them with the remaining batter and top it off with the remaining blueberries. You can also coat blueberries with flour before stirring them into your batter.

One reason blueberries sink is because the batter may be too thin. Another reason might be that too much air has been incorporated into the batter: avoid over blending during the first stage of mixing. Here are a few more tips for baking with blueberries:

  • Try substituting dried blueberries for fresh or frozen ones. They remain suspended in the batter during baking and maintain a more structured texture than their fresh or frozen counterparts. They’re also less likely to burst when they get hot.Illustration - blueberries in muffin tin
  • When adding blueberries to your batter, minimize streaking by gently folding them in at the end of the mix cycle.
  • If you’re using frozen blueberries, add them before they have a chance to thaw and bake your dish immediately to prevent color leeching and streaking.
  • The secret to beautifully colored berries in baked goods or smoothies is proper pH. Blueberries turn reddish when exposed to acids, such as lemon juice and vinegar. Blueberries turn greenish-blue in a batter that has too much baking soda (or grey in a smoothie with a lot of dairy), which creates an alkaline environment. Add a little lemon juice to your batter or smoothie for a more vibrant color.