Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Legendary Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin

I've heard of this legendary recipe, and decided to try it. While I never visited the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston, this recipe is famous. Through the 1960s, their in-house bakery was a frequent stop at the end of a shopper's visit, and people bought these muffins by the box-full. When Macy's took over the store and the bakery closed, the baker who'd been making the muffins for so many years opened his own shop to meet the demand for the iconic muffins. He eventually retired and closed up shop, leaving these muffins as only a memory. People talk about the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin as if it was a dear friend, missed terribly. So, I thought it fitting to bring the recipe to you. I decided to trust an authentic Boston source, the Boston Globe, because there are a lot of inauthentic recipes out there. Here's the link to the article. 

While the original recipe used fresh blueberries, I used frozen (Dole, actually) and they came out great. I dusted the frozen blueberries in flour which ensures that the berries don't sink in the batter! I do recommend using paper liners as they were a bit of a challenge getting out of a greased (and non-stick) muffin pan. Make sure you grease the top surface of the muffin pan very well, too, so any oversized muffins will release easily.

I did add a bit of zested lemon to the recipe (about a teaspoon or so) but that is not part of the original recipe. I just like lemon. 

What sets this recipe apart from other blueberry muffins is the addition of 1/2 cup of smashed *FRESH* berries which gives the muffins their signature purple hue - frozen berries are too juicy for the smashing step - if you only have frozen berries, skip the smashing. And then there's the crunchy sugar crust on top, also specific to the JM muffin. 

If you are lucky enough to have had a Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin and have been wanting to replicate that experience, here's the recipe!

Sorry it's a l title blurry - still getting used to my new camera!

Oven 375 degrees F

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½  cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 1/4  cups sugar (divided - 1 cup for batter, 1/4 cup for muffin tops)
2 large eggs
½  cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½  cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. 

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside.In large mixing bowl, combine butter and 1 cup sugar and beat at low speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. (This is where I added lemon zest.)

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and mix well. 

Gently mash ½ cup of blueberries (if frozen, allow to thaw for a few minutes) and carefully fold them into the batter, then gently fold in the rest of the berries.

Fill lined muffin cups 3/4 full.  Sprinkle remaining sugar over the muffin tops, Bake for 25-30 minutes (I baked mine for 30 minutes), until the muffins are done (top are golden and spring back when pressed lightly with finger).  Remove from oven. 

Adapted from:


  1. I can't think of any baked good that satisfies me more than a Blueberry Muffin, and I love that you added the lemon zest, Jeannie, as right up there with Blueberry Muffins as a favorite of mine is anything Lemon, and in the Fall, Apple! Hopefully next Fall I can commission you to bake an Apple creation of your making in my Grandma's old pie dish I gave you! :-)

  2. Jeannie, I wish I could eat everything you share. It all sounds wonderful. Alas, I ate whatever I wanted for too many years, and now I am paying the price! Sue Dunbar Smith

  3. This is one more recipe that I am going to copy and try. They all look so good. Thank you for sharing all of your recipes.

  4. Ok so r lemon scones still up for grabs?

  5. How much would u charge to make me those blueberry muffins n send them to me?

  6. I would really enjoy those lemon scones! and your grandsons are adorable!

  7. This is a test. GL

  8. Thank you so much! I had the Boston Globe's Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin recipe but I lost it. I had originally cut it out and kept it inside a cookbook. I remember my mom getting a dozen Blueberry Muffin's from Jordan Marsh whenever she went to surprise us after school. Also she'd get a dozen of Jordan Marsh's huge Oatmeal Cookies which were just as popular as the blueberry muffins. I didn't know which ones I'd eat first they were that great! If you can find that recipe that would be awesome! Oh and another store across the street from Jordan's and Filene's was Gilchrist. They had the best Macaroon cookies that were out of this world. They were my mom's personal favorite. She'd hide them from us. lol.

    1. I love your comment! I will now search for Jordan Marsh's oatmeal cookie recipe! Stories like yours warm my heart!