You are going to LOVE the way the chai spices pairs with the tart blackberries in these Healthy Blackberry Muffins! Oh, and the pecan oat streusel – too good! Dairy free recipe and vegan friendly.
This post is sponsored by California Giant Berry Farms. I am honored to be a CalGiant Berry Ambassador and I thank you for continuing to support the brands that help Fit Mitten Kitchen bring you new recipes!
I actually visited their California blackberry farm and WOW – what an awesome experience. (More on that trip HERE.) Hearing from the grower, John Navarro, firsthand and learning more about blackberries (and other berries too!) was so interesting.
Some Notes About Blackberries
- 1 serving of blackberries has 8 grams of fiber. That’s legit!
- They’re a versatile fruit and wonderful with all kinds of dishes. From chicken (check out this recipe!), harissa pork, salads, cobbler and of course these healthy muffins!
- Blackberries are best kept refrigerated and enjoyed within 1-3 days at home. So make sure you use them or freeze for later!
- When selecting berries at your local grocery store, look for firm berries with a deep, even color and glossy sheen.
It hasn’t been that long since I’ve made muffins but it has been quite some time since I’ve made muffins with streusel…
And it got me thinking, I really ought to always add some kind of streusel because hot dayum are these blackberry muffins delicious!
The pecan oat streusel topping adds a little extra sweetness and you get the crunchy textured muffin top you know and love – just like at your favorite coffee shop bakery joint <– you know what I mean, right?
- whole wheat pastry flour – I like using this whole grain flour for muffins because it keeps the texture soft but you still get the benefit of whole grains. If you don’t have this type of flour, use half all-purpose / half whole wheat. OR use all whole wheat white flour (you’ll get a slightly more dense muffin this way, but you can try omitting 2 TBSP flour which may help.)
- baking powder and baking soda – use both leaveners for the right amount of lift with this muffin recipe.
- salt – flavor enhancer. Don’t omit it!
- chai spices – made up of cinnamon, cardamom (that’s the key one in chai), nutmeg, ginger, cloves and all-spice. If you’re not a fan of chai, simply omit the spices from the recipe.
- non-dairy milk + vinegar – AKA homemade buttermilk. You can make a dairy-free “buttermilk” by combining your choice of dairy-free milk with a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- oil – keeps these muffins nice and soft and adds moisture
- maple syrup – a refined sugar-free sweetener option. But the maple syrup also adds to the liquid ratio so you can’t omit it without compensation for another liquid or oil.
- egg – helps bind the ingredients together. I imagine a flaxseed egg would work great here, as I’ve tried that with many of my other muffin recipes.
- vanilla extract – flavor!
- fresh blackberries – make sure to cut the berries in half or even thirds, depending on how large they are. I used about 1 1/2 pints of berries, plus a few more for topping.
For the pecan oat streusel it’s a simple mixture of oats, flour, chopped pecans, and oil or butter. I used a non-dairy butter here for optimal flavor and texture but I’ve made an oat streusel like this with coconut oil as well.
How to Make Blackberry Muffins
Mix together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
Also, make sure your blackberries have been washed, dried and chopped in half or thirds. Set these aside for the end where they’ll be added last.
Start mixing together the dry ingredients, as well as the ingredients for the pecan streusel. Set those both aside while you start with the wet ingredients.
Begin mixing together the wet ingredients (maple syrup, oil, egg and vanilla). Add about half of the milk mixture. Begin to slowly add the flour mixture, about half of it, and stir. Then add in the rest of the milk, remaining flour, stir a little then fold in the chopped blackberries until no dry flour appears.
TIP: Don’t over-mix here. The more you stir the batter after it’s already been combined fully, the tougher the texture of the muffins will turn out.
Evenly distribute the batter into a 12-cup muffin pan. You’ll end up filling about 2/3 of the way (use a medium cookie scoop!) and then I like to add in one more halved blackberry to the top of the batter before adding in the pecan oat streusel topping.
Bake the muffins at 425ºF for the first 5 minutes. This creates a better rise in the muffin. Then drop the oven temperature down to 350ºF and continuing baking about about another 10-12 minutes. Check with an inserted toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean with no wet batter, you’re good.
Then cool and eat!
I hope you love these blackberry muffins as much as I do!
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to comment and leave a review below! I love hearing from you and it helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
for the muffins
- 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (or your choice of milk)
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon chai spices (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or melted/cooled coconut oil**)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh blackberries, rinsed, patted dry and chopped
pecan oat streusel
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Grease 12 muffin cup muffin pan or use silicone liners. Set aside.
- Prepare the “buttermilk”: In a glass measuring cup add milk + ½ TBS of apple cider vinegar; Set aside for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse and dry blackberries, then chop in half or thirds, depending on how large the blackberries are. Set these aside for later.
- Combine crumble ingredients separately in small bowl and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, chai spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together oil with maple syrup. Add in egg and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour half of the milk-vinegar mixture and gently stir to combine. Add about half of the bowl of dry ingredients into large bowl and begin to stir gently. Add the remaining flour and milk, along with the blackberries. Gently stir everything together until dry flour is no longer visible; Batter will be somewhat thick. Avoid over-mixing the batter or you’ll end up with tough muffins.
- Evenly distribute batter into 12-cup muffin pan, filling 2/3 full (about ¼ cup of batter). Sprinkle crumble mixture on top of batter in each cup, gently pressing slightly into batter.
- Bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375ºF and continue baking for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until inserted toothpick in center of muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before gently removing. TIP: if greasing muffin pan, I use a butter knife to remove from pan. Transfer blackberry muffins to wire rack and allow to cool completely before storing. Muffins are best enjoyed fresh or within 3 days.
Homemade chai spice blend using six simple ingredients!
*You can sub half whole wheat flour + half all-purpose flour. If using all whole wheat white flour, remove 2 tablespoons. You can also sub a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour. I’ve had success with Bob’s Red Mill.
**If using coconut oil, make sure it is cooled after melted and egg is room temperature. Just let egg sit in hot water for about 3 minutes.
VEGAN SUB: use 1 TBS milled flaxseed + 3 TBS water in small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes until gel forms. Incorporate into batter as directed for egg.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 236
- Sugar: 10
- Sodium: 204mg
- Fat: 13
- Saturated Fat: 4
- Unsaturated Fat: 6
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 16mg