This blueberry muffin bread is tender and soft (just like muffins!) and is bursting with blueberries. Topped with an easy streusel topping, this quick bread is sure to be a breakfast and snack favorite.
There are few aromas more welcoming than blueberry muffins baking away in the oven. And while my go-to muffin recipe has to be blueberry crumb muffins, sometimes muffins in loaf form are just a better option.
"Blueberry bread" didn't quite fit the bill when naming this one. The batter bakes up with such a tender and soft texture that blueberry muffin bread was much more apt.
No matter what you call it, a quick bread brimming with blueberries and topped in a spiced up streusel topping is always a favorite around our breakfast table.
Why This Recipe Works
- Alternating adding the flour and the buttermilk helps the liquid ingredients absorb better into the batter, leading to a soft crumb and not one that's dense.
- Using both baking powder and baking soda in this blueberry muffin bread ensure a nicely rounded loaf.
- Walnuts add crunch to the warmly spiced and sweetened streusel topping, though there's also a nut-free option.
Batter Ingredient Notes
- Room temperature butter: You need the butter to be at room temperature to optimally cream it together with the sugar to achieve a fluffy texture. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before starting this recipe, or longer if your kitchen is on the cold side.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is more acidic than regular milk, and that's VERY important for this recipe. Baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to react with to result in rising. Do not substitute regular milk in its place (but do refer to the recipe card notes to make your own buttermilk from whatever milk you have on hand).
- Blueberries: Either fresh or frozen blueberries will work for blueberry muffin bread. If using frozen, do not thaw them beforehand.
Streusel Ingredient Notes
- Brown sugar: The molasses in brown sugar brings a welcome warmth to streusels. Either light or dark brown sugar works.
- Walnuts: Nuts provide excellent crunch to sweet toppings. Raw is my preference as this bread has quite a long bake time and you don't want them to get too toasty if using pre-toasted. Walnuts work great here, as do pecans. If you'd rather have a topping without nuts, one batch of crumb topping will deliciously do the trick.
How to Make This Recipe
Be sure to set aside some time before beginning to allow the butter to soften to room temperature, potentially up to sixty minutes. The butter is ready when you can press your finger into the stick fairly gently and have it leave an indentation.
- Cream together the softened butter and sugar. This is done by mixing on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until it forms a cohesive, light, and fluffed up mixture.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
It may seem out of place to add some of the dry ingredients at this step, but it's correct. We'll get them well-incorporated before adding the flour so we don't need to worry about overworking the batter later on.
- Mix well, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will look a bit heavy and liquid-y but that's okay.
- On low speed, add half of the flour. Once it is just mixed in, add half of the buttermilk. Repeat for the second half of the flour and buttermilk, taking care not to overmix the batter.
- Toss blueberries with a small bit of flour to coat, then add them to the batter.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula (not an electric mixer), gently fold the blueberries into the batter until just evenly mixed throughout. Take big sweeping passes along the bottom of the bowl to make quicker work of this step.
You don't want to work the batter too hard after adding flour to a baking recipe. Doing so can cause the gluten to be overdeveloped, which leads to tougher, less tender baked goods.
- Grease only the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Not greasing the top half of the sides gives the batter something to cling to as it rises and leads to a taller loaf.
- Stir together streusel ingredients and sprinkle over top of the loaf in pan.
Bake at 350°F for 65-75 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the tallest part comes out clean. Let this blueberry muffin bread cool completely before slicing, serving, and storing.
- Coating the blueberries in flour helps give them buoyancy and prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf. If using frozen blueberries, toss them in flour just prior to folding them into the batter.
- Loosely tenting the loaf pan with foil partway through baking ensures the streusel topping doesn't burn before the center of the bread is done. Look to do this around the 40 minute mark (or thereabouts). Opening the oven door too early in the process can interfere with the rise.
- Wait until the bread is completely cool before removing it from the pan and slicing. If it's too warm it more easily will crumble.
Yes. If using frozen berries do not let them thaw, as that makes it more likely for their juices to color the entire batter blue/green/purple. Pat them with a paper towel, toss with flour, and fold them immediately into the batter.
Toss them in a little bit of flour before folding them into the batter. One tablespoon is fine for two cups of berries. This dry outer coating helps hold them up in the batter and not all sink to the bottom of the loaf.
If enjoying this bread within 2-3 days it's fine for it to be left at room temperature. Line a resealable bag or container with a paper towel, place the loaf on it, then seal. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture. Any longer and it's best if the bread is wrapped, sealed, and frozen.
More Quick Bread Recipes
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Blueberry Muffin Bread
- ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (4 oz) buttermilk see note for homemade
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup chopped walnut pieces or pecans
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9" x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray, or grease with butter. Set pan aside for now.
- In a mixing bowl add room temperature butter and granulated sugar. Cream together on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color and slightly fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix again until combined.
- While the mixer is on low speed, add about half of the flour (one cup) and mix until just combined. Then add in about half of the buttermilk (¼ cup). Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk, mixing just until the ingredients are worked in.
- If using fresh blueberries, rinse and pat dry as best you can. If using frozen, do not thaw. Toss blueberries in a bowl with one Tablespoon of all-purpose flour until they are all coated evenly. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter using broad, sweeping strokes, taking care not to overmix the batter. Scoop/pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Next make the streusel. Add the brown sugar, nuts, flour, cinnamon to a medium bowl and stir or whisk until the sugar is broken up and the ingredients are combined. Stir in the melted butter. The streusel will form a semi-moist consistency that can clump easily if squeezed. Scatter the streusel evenly over top of the batter in the loaf pan.
- Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until the top has turned a nice golden brown color and a long, thin tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the bread is browning too quickly ahead of the bread being done, place an aluminum foil "tent" over top of the loaf around the 35-40 minute mark and continue to bake until the middle is done.
- Once done, remove the pan from the oven and place the bread still in the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Use a paring knife or thin spatula to gently loosen the edges of the bread from the pan, then carefully remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing, serving, and storing.
- Coating the blueberries in flour helps give them buoyancy and prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
- Loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the loaf pan partway through baking ensures that the streusel topping doesn't burn before the center of the bread is done. Don't do this earlier than the 35 minute mark or so, as opening the oven door too early in the bake time can interfere with the bread rising.
- Wait until the bread is completely cool before slicing. If it's too warm it will crumble up more easily.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Adapted from Food Network
If you're returning to this blueberry muffin bread recipe from a saved link or pin, you may notice the photos have been updated from the initial publish date. Additional detail has been added to the recipe card, as well as a tiny bit of baking soda to the recipe itself to help this bread rise even more.
Margaret C says
I just popped this guy in the oven, can't wait to taste it!! The batter was yummy as is & the strussel topping will add that extra goodness! I used plain Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. Added a bit of water to it to measure 1/2 cup. Perfect!
Smart! That sounds like a great substitution. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Claire Grove says
Hi Claire, yes you can! Here are some tips I like from the King Arthur Flour blog on using frozen blueberries in bakes like this: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2013/09/08/too-blue-the-secret-to-baking-with-frozen-blueberries
Claire Grove says
Can I use frizen blueberries?
Just baked this up yesterday as instructed, and it came out exactly as pictured and described. Tender, moist, full of berries, with such a nice streusel topping! I did use parchment paper to make a "sling" in my 9x5 loaf pan (I greased the pan and also the parchment); it made this loaf very easy to lift out of the pan. Thanks for the lovely recipe.
I'm so happy to hear that Diane! That's a great tip about the parchment paper - I'll have to start doing that. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂
Haha too funny Rebecca! Hearing my voice on answering machines always gets me. Like who is that?!? And thank you! I had to stick a big chunk of this bread in the freezer so it didn't tempt me!
Thanks Gayle! I feel like if I took a video of myself I'd reshoot it a million times before posting something...and then freak out about how inefficient I was haha. Someday!
Thank you for the encouragement Jess! One of these days I'll take the leap. 🙂
Haha that scene sounds pretttty familiar. 🙂 Thanks Denise!
Thanks Sarah! I had a hard time taking these pictures...I just wanted to dive in! 🙂
Hahaha I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with "snap unworthy" moments! Thanks Ashley!
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says
This quick bread looks just perfect! I love that streusel topping - always the best part of quick breads! 🙂
Thank you Stacey! And yes, so agree on the streusel!