This recipe is for my fellow bakers living high above the sea.I feel like baking is hit or miss in my neck of the woods. We sit just above 7000 feet. While some baking recipes turn out beautifully, others are a total flop. I like to blame things on the altitude. I haven’t had great luck with muffins. Or cupcakes. I follow a loose set of rules when adjusting recipes for high altitude but even then things don’t always turn out. This particular recipe has been made, adjusted, readjusted and made again more times than I’d like to count. I started with a basic muffin recipe and then added a little of this and a little of that to make what I think is an absolutely delicious muffin.

I did all the hard work so you wouldn’t have to. I’m kind like that! If I do say so myself, the hard work paid off; these muffins are crazy good. The addition of blueberry preserves and crunchy lemon-sugar topping put on just before baking is what makes these over the top yummy.


These are not for the calorie conscious and there is nothing low-fat or light about them but then again, that wasn’t what I was going for. These are a full fat, full flavor, double berrylicious muffin. I think these are best the day they are made as they get soggy if stored in a baggie or airtight container. If you are going to make them in advance, store them LOOSELY covered with saran wrap or foil so some air can get in and out.


If the muffins weren’t indulgent enough, my favorite way to enjoy these is slathered with cold, salted butter. I love one with a cup of my afternoon tea and my boys love them as an after school snack. To my fellow high altitude bakers, let us rejoice for these are the best high altitude blueberry muffins to ever come out of my kitchen!

Blueberry Muffins (Adjusted for High Altitude)

This recipe developed for my high altitude kitchen yields a perfect blueberry muffin. Light, lemony and bursting with blueberries in every bite. It took years to perfect, but I've done it!!


  • Enjoy!
  • Blueberry Muffins

  • 1/4 cup coarse white sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup blueberry preserves


  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. In small bowl, combine coarse white sugar and lemon zest, pinching and squeezing the lemon zest between your fingers so it releases it's natural oils; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture stirring just until combined taking care not to over mix.
  5. Fold in the blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly among 24 standard size prepared muffin tins. (Either grease really well or use liners.)
  7. Using your finger, make a small indent on top of muffin batter. Fill each indent with 1/2 teaspoon of blueberry preserves.
  8. Sprinkle muffin tops with lemon scented sugar.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.


This recipe was developed for high altitude. If you need a recipe for sea level, turn to google- there's plenty!
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33 Responses to Blueberry Muffins

  1. Yum, these look great especially on a cold day like today. Having blueberries brings a hint of summer. Thank you for adjusting these for altitude. I’m pulling the bag frozen blueberries out of my freezer and warming up the oven right now!

  2. Oh yes… one of my favorite things in the world are blueberry muffins. Summer can’t come soon enough.

  3. Leslie says:

    I made these this weekend with a house FULL of guests. 2 dozen muffins is a lot, but these babies didn’t make it through the night. They were awesome! The lemon scented sugar topping is a MUST! Thanks Kelley.

  4. beth says:

    hey Kelly. i would like to try these muffins out, but i live pretty close to sea level. what should i change?

    • Kelley says:

      Hi Beth, I would increase the sugar by a few tablespoons, increase the baking powder by maybe 1/2 a teaspoon and decrease the buttermilk by 2 or 3 tablespoons. Good luck………let me know how they turn out!

  5. Zev says:

    Just made these here at 7,500 ft. We used some orange peel from a spice jar since we didn’t have any lemons, so I’m sure it’s not quite as good as fresh lemon zest, but they were still amazing! Best muffins I’ve ever had, and much better than many of the other recipes we’ve tried at our altitude. Thanks for posting.

  6. Liz Stockham says:

    Ok, finally a bluebery muffin worth the cost of the blueberries~! I wanted to make my kids a treat and ran across your blog. Since I was searching for high altitude muffins, this was the first one to pop up and boy, am I glad. Your recipe has now made it to my “Family Recipe Binder” in the 5 star area…courtesy of my kids, 11 & 9! What a great treat…Thanks again!

    • Kelley says:

      Yes!!! I’m so glad you love the recipe. High altitude baking can be so discouraging and disappointing. I’m so glad you like them! And your kids too! 🙂

  7. Laura says:

    You are my new best friend! This is the first muffin recipe I’ve made since I moved to CO that didn’t explode and then sink. These muffins are delicious! My husband is a commander at the Air Force Academy so these will be passed along to the cadets (after I eat a few). Thanks so much for sharing all your wonderful high altitude recipes. I can’t wait to try more.

    • Kelley says:

      That makes my day! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the muffins. If you ever have any questions about high altitude or have a suggestion, please reach out and ask!

  8. Herman Van Bavel says:

    I live alone so 24 muffins would spoil before I could finish eating them (sad!). Is there a way to adjust this recipe so as to make only 6 muffins? Please advise, Thanks

    • Kelley says:

      Baking recipes are temperamental. I would start first by cutting the recipe in half, yielding 12 muffins, and giving some away. Also note they freeze beautifully!

  9. Carole says:

    Would this recipe work in Boulder, CO at about 5,200 feet or do I need to adjust since it’s not as high elevation as you?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

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  11. Lisa Andrews says:

    Hi!! I can’t wait to try your recipe. I too live just above 7000 feet and baking is a bit of a challenge for sure. One tip that I’m not sure you know or not is not to beat the eggs too much, just until they are incorporated. I find that this usually works for me in cakes, cupcakes and muffins or anything that rises. Sorry if you already know this tip but thought I would pass it along.

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  13. CK says:

    Blueberries are at such a premium here in Ecuador, do these muffins turn out without the blueberry preserves? We’ve just gotten about a quart of fresh Peruvian blueberries for the first time in 3 years and I want to make as many muffins as possible with them.

  14. Joana says:

    What if you don’t have buttermilk? Just omit it, or substitute something else for it like regular whole milk? Please advise. Thank you!

  15. Amanda says:

    These came out perfect (didn’t have lemon though). I just moved to Nevada and have been so sad that my baking is NOT what it used to be! The change in baking is worth the views and fresh air though. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SITE!

  16. Sara says:

    I just moved to an High Altitude area (5,184) and have had many issues with baking (fallen cake, exploding cake!, dense cake, dry cookies, etc etc) but still wanted to try and make muffins for my students. This recipe was an amazing success. Thank you so much! It was so fulfilling to pull something out of the oven and have them turn out! And, my students loved them. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. I’m going to try your cookie recipe next.

  17. Kate says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I tried these muffins the other day, but somehow the muffins were extremely dense. I’ve had success with your other recipes. Any idea what I might have done wrong?

    • Kelley says:

      I’m not sure. Perhaps you added extra flour or maybe beat the eggs too long. Sorry these didn’t turn out for you. I’ve made them numerous times and haven’t had them turn dense.

  18. Lauren says:

    Can I substitute regular milk for buttermilk?

  19. Dawn Briley says:

    Thank you so much, I didn’t have blueberry preserves so I used lemon curd. Altitude can be tricky and these turned out perfect. Can’t wait to see your other recipes.

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