Bright lemon, juicy blueberries, a delicate and tender crumb, and a crunchy sugar crust make this Blueberry Lemon Bread Recipe an instant family favorite.
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This post was updated with new photos and recipe instructions in June, 2020.
The experience of a muffin in a quick bread, this Blueberry Lemon Bread is an easy-to-make treat you can enjoy almost any time of day.
Recently, a friend asked me what I'd be doing with my time if I was retired and money was no issue. I quickly replied, "cooking, baking, running, doing friend's hair, and traveling the world."
And, for the first time in my adult life, I realized I'm doing for work something which I'd be doing even if it wasn't for work. I was-- and am-- so grateful.
And so, this past Sunday -- my first full day off in 2 weeks -- I woke up only to rush downstairs and instantly start whipping up a new bread recipe I just couldn't get out of my mind.
Fighting off a head cold, I wanted something light and bright and I wanted something that could hold up for breakfast and snacks in the following days.
So, I grabbed my whole wheat pastry flour, melted some butter, zested and juiced my lemon, and snagged my frozen blueberries and was off to the kitchen races.
What resulted was a Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread Recipe my Instagram friends insisted I share the recipe and one that reminded me of just how lucky I am to be able to do what I do... and I hope that you, can enjoy this bread and a career (however you define it) you love, too.
This Blueberry Lemon Bread is...
- Brimming with bright lemon flavor
- Complete with a crunchy sugar topping
- Easy to whip up
- Perfect for a crowd
- ... or brunch
- ... or dessert
- ... or a quiet, all-by-yourself mid-afternoon snack
It's the perfect sweet treat that's low on work but high on reward. With just one mixing bowl and 10 minutes of preparation, this sour cream lemon bread with blueberries is pretty much made for any celebratory or indulgent moment.
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Ingredients in this Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread:
Sour cream: this cultured milk product makes the bread super tender and delicate while contributing a bright taste to the bread.
Whole wheat pastry flour: get the whole grain benefits of whole wheat flour with the lightness of white flour with this more delicate, lower protein whole wheat flour.
Lemon zest & juice: lemon zest adds an addicting pop of lemon flavor while the extra lemon juice rounds out the lemon notes and adds some extra moisture to the bread. See my notes below on how to zest a lemon.
Unsalted butter: enjoy indulgent butter flavor and a moist crumb in this blueberry muffin bread thanks to melted unsalted butter.
Granulated sugar topping: is there anything better than a caramelized sugar bread topping? I sure don't think so. Sprinkling just a tablespoon on top bakes up for an addicting & crunchy crust I just can't get enough of.
Flour -- whole wheat pastry flour adds a nice tenderness to this bread, but you can also substitute in part white whole wheat flour and part white all purpose flour instead of the pastry flour. It may be slightly less tender, but will still be delicious.
Lemon juice -- bottled lemon juice can be used instead of fresh, but go for the fresh juice if you can. It has that extra brightness to it.
Sour cream -- if you don't have sour cream, you can substitute in Greek yogurt in its place. I recommend 2% or 4% fat for the best end result!
Lemon zest -- I know lemon zest may sound complicated, but I offer notes below. Dried lemon zest doesn't provide the same experience as fresh, so go for fresh for this recipe.
How do you make blueberry lemon bread?
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter spray an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, & sugar) until combined.
- Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest until all the flour is combined but do not over mix.
- If using blueberries, lightly fold them in until they're distributed, but don't overmix if using frozen berries.
- Pour the bread batter into the baking pan and spread the batter out evenly. Sprinkle the extra tablespoon sugar on top of the batter and bake the lemon loaf for 50-55 minutes, or until the bread is baked through and a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean!
And a quick video to see how to make the bread:
How do you zest a lemon?
You want fresh lemon zest for this recipe. You create lemon zest by gently running a Microplane (or lemon zester) over the outside of the lemon peel.
Don't zest the lemon down to the white pithy part, as this pith is bitter; instead, zest each section of the lemon peel and move on to the next portion of unzested peel.
How do you melt butter?
You can easily melt butter in the microwave. First, cut your butter into inch cubes (so it melts easily). Next, put your butter in a glass bowl and cover the bowl with a paper towel.
Then heat the butter at 30% heat for 1-1.5 minutes in 30 second intervals, or until the butter is melted.
What is the best way to measure flour?
I know, you might think I'm nuts -- the best way to measure flour, really?!
But, how you measure flour can affect the outcome of your baking. In fact, the way you measure flour can increase the flour in a recipe up to 20%, making your bread denser and not as flavorful as you'd like.
So, to most accurately measure you flour, you will want to weigh it on a food scale (here's my favorite food scale, by the way. Less than $10 at the time of publishing!!).
And here's my quick video on how to measure flour:
What is a sweet bread?
A sweet bread is a form of a quick bread that doesn't use yeast as a leavening agent and has sugar added as a sweetener.
Sweet breads are best served as snacks, breakfasts, or dessert as they are not savory.
How is sweet bread different than pound cake?
Pound cake is more of a dessert cake than sweet bread is. Pound cake, for example, typically calls for a pound each of: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.
Our sweet bread, on the other hand, has much less sugar and butter and has sour cream added to the mix to add some tang to the bread. It also isn't as dense as pound cake traditionally is.
What is whole wheat pastry flour and where do you find it?
Whole wheat pastry flour is a form of whole wheat flour that is lower in protein, meaning that it produces baked goods that are more tender than those that are made with standard whole wheat flour.
You can find whole wheat pastry flour at most American grocery store chains, or at Whole Foods or Amazon. Here's my favorite brand of whole wheat pastry flour!
What can you use in place of whole wheat pastry flour?
As I noted above, you can make also make this bread with a combination of standard whole wheat flour and all-purpose white flour.
To do so, just use 1 cup standard whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose white flour in place of the pastry flour.
Can you make this bread gluten-free?
You can try making this bread with a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend (like Bob's Red Mill's Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, but I haven't personally made the bread yet this way, so I can't guarantee any results. If you do try it and like it, please let me know in the comments section on the bottom of this post!
If you'd rather not risk it, however, check out a Virtual Vegan's Lemon Cake with Blueberries-- it's developed to be gluten-free and delicious!
What tools do you need to make this lemon quick bread?
Thankfully, this recipe only takes one bowl and doesn't require a stand mixer so the list of tools we need for the bread are fairly commonplace and easy to find:
- Large mixing bowl
- Microplane (a lemon zester)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Silicone spatula
- 8 x 4" glass baking loaf pan (1.6 quarts)
With a delicate crumb and bright lemon flavors, this Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread is like a fresh-baked muffin, but better! It's perfect for brunch, an afternoon snack, or even dessert. Make this recipe today! #baking #blueberrymuffin #easybakingrecipe #lemon #wholewheatbaking #breadrecipe
Does Lemon Blueberry Bread need to be refrigerated?
Nope! This lemon blueberry muffin bread does not need to be refrigerated. Just seal it up in an airtight container and it will store just fine at room temperature. If you want to refrigerate, however, there is no risk in doing so.
Can you make this quick bread recipe at high altitude?
Yes, this quick bread recipe bakes up just fine for me at high altitude! I've also had readers at low altitude have success with this recipe.
If you're concerned that your bread won't rise enough at low altitude, just add an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe and you should be all set!
Are fresh or frozen blueberries better for muffin bread?
Both fresh and frozen blueberries work perfectly in this muffin bread recipe so use whatever you have on hand or is the best quality. If it's the middle of the winter, for example, frozen blueberries can are a great option. If it's the middle of peak blueberry season in July, though, have at it with fresh berries!
Can you freeze this lemon blueberry bread?
Yes, you definitely can freeze this bread! Just wrap it up in a freezer safe container and freeze for 2-3 months.
Can you make this bread at high altitude?
Yes, you can make this blueberry lemon bread at high altitude! In fact, I live at 5000 feet and have made it multiple times without any issue. So, there is no need to adapt the recipe. Just follow it as-is!
How do you serve this blueberry lemon bread?
There are so many great ways to serve this bread. Here are some of my favorite ways:
- For breakfast: with tea or coffee and scrambled eggs
- For a snack: toasted with butter and a banana
- For dessert: toasted or even ala mode!
Other fun & tasty baking recipes you will probably enjoy:
- Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler
- Easy No-Yeast Dinner Rolls
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles
- Protein Breakfast Cookies
- Crunchy Turmeric Granola
- Classic Coffee Cake (Two Ways)
- Vanilla Spiced Coconut Granola
- Fudgy Date Brownies
- Peanut Butter Brookies
- Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
- Peanut Butter Dog Treats
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A delicate bread that has all the texture and goodness of a lemon loaf, this Blueberry Lemon Bread has a delicate crumb, a crunchy sugar topping, is brimming with bright lemon flavor. It only takes one bowl (and no stand mixer!) to make! Serve slices lightly toasted with a light spread of butter for the best brunch or snack!
Use whole wheat pastry flour and full-fat sour cream (not low-fat) for the most tender crumb.
You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries-- whatever looks best! If using frozen, do not thaw them before mixing them into the batter. To make this just as a lemon bread, just omit the lemons from the recipe.
- 2 cups (or 250g) whole wheat pastry flour*
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 1-2 minutes
- 2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (not low-fat), brought to room temperature**
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (or zest of about 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees & spray an 8-inch x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, baking powder, salt, and ⅔ cup sugar until combined.
- Add in the eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, melted butter, grated lemon zest, and vanilla extract and whisk in thoroughly for 30-45 seconds, or until no clumps remain.
- Sprinkle blueberries over the batter and fold them in gently with a rubber spatula until the blueberries are just mixed in. Pro-tip: if using frozen blueberries, stop mixing once the berries start streaking blue juice throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Move the pan to a wire cooling rack and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan onto the rack and let it cool until room temperature and serve!
* Whole wheat pastry flour will give you the best end result. I love Bob's Red Mill brand or Whole Food's 365 brand whole wheat pastry flour. If you don't have or can't find, you can do half all-purpose white flour and half whole wheat flour.
** Full-fat sour cream or 2 or 4% Greek yogurt work for this recipe. Don't use a low-fat sour cream or yogurt as the fat helps the bread be nice and tender.
1. Take out the eggs and sour cream 30 to 60 minutes before starting the recipe. To bring the eggs to room temperature quickly, just place them in a cup or small bowl and cover with room temperature (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
2. For best results, either weigh or spoon and level your flour in measuring cups. This will keep the bread nice and light.
3. This bread will store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. It will freeze in an air-tight container for 2 months.
4. For best results, make sure you have your oven preheated to the correct temperature.
5. You want fresh lemon zest for this recipe. You create lemon zest by gently running a Microplane (or lemon zester) over the outside of the lemon peel. Don't zest the lemon down to the white pithy part, as this pith is bitter; instead, zest each section of the lemon peel and move on to the next portion of unzested peel.
6. To serve the bread toasted just toast each slice on low heat for 1.5-2 minutes, or until just browning around the edges. Smear with 1 teaspoon butter and enjoy!
8. You can also make this bread a simple lemon loaf by omitting the blueberries from the recipe.
Amount Per Serving Calories 307Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 56mgSodium 212mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 5gSugar 14gProtein 8g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.