Sometimes I do this really dumb thing where I forget how amazing Trader Joe’s is, and for months I shop at other grocery stores. Then, I suddenly come to my senses, head down the street to Trader Joe’s, and jump with joy when my grocery bill is practically half of what it usually is, yet my shopping cart is twice as full.  Their prices truly are amazing. I bought about ten gallons of berries for these muffins and those amazing blueberry crumb bars, and it was less than the price of a measly little pint of berries at a regular grocery store. Plus, you gotta love those free samples. I’ve considered packing a few wigs in my purse so I can switch out my look and go back for 10 samples without being noticed. Although, I usually grab at least 2-3 and they are always very nice about it.  I promise I don’t work for Trader Joe’s on the side, nor are they giving me extra free samples to write this, I truly just love them! And you will love these muffins, they are a perfect gourmet summer treat. Get on it.


For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 TB (3/4 of a stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Muffins:

  • 1 cup plus 2 TB all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 TB finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh  blackberries (about 6 ounces), halved lengthwise (frozen will do, but fresh is best)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme


To make the Crumble:

1. Whisk the first five ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the butter, and using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend together until pea-size lumps form. Add the egg yolk and stir until evenly combined. Chill for at least one hour (you can also make this the night before, keep covered in the fridge)

To Make the Muffins:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Whisk 1 cup all-purpose flour and next 4 ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until well incorporated, 2–3 minutes longer. Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl to blend; gradually beat into butter mixture. Continue beating until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes.

4. Combine buttermilk and lemon zest in a small bowl; gradually beat into butter mixture. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix just to blend (do not overmix).

5. Toss blackberries and thyme with 2 Tbsp. flour in another small bowl; fold into batter, gently crushing berries slightly to release some juices.

6. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into the prepared muffin pans. Top each large muffin with 1 rounded TB of crumble. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center. Let cool in pan at least 20 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine