Nothing comes close to the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins wafting through my kitchen. They are one of my favorite sweet treats to whip up when I’m in the mood to bake. For extra flavor, I typically add lemon zest to the batter for a citrusy zing or pour in a little extra vanilla extract for richness. However, I was shocked to learn that about a unique spice that makes blueberry muffins even more flavorful: ground coriander!
Why Coriander Is a Natural Fit in Blueberry Muffin Batter
Think a savory spice like coriander doesn’t belong in blueberry muffins? Well, think again!
Food author Niki Segnit explains in her book The Flavor Thesaurus (Buy from Amazon, $18.99) the science behind why coriander seeds and blueberries are a match made in flavor heaven.
“Coriander seeds can contain up to 85 percent linalool, a [plant] compound with a woody, floral, and slightly citrusy quality that’s a key component of synthesized [or chemical] blueberry flavor,” she writes.
“Freshly ground [coriander seeds] … can lend a fragrant background note to your home-baked blueberry muffins.”
Adding that extra oomph to your favorite blueberry muffin recipe is what will take this classic baked good to the next level.
How to Make Coriander-Spiced Blueberry Muffins
Using McCormick’s blueberry muffin recipe as a guide, I decided to add 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander to the batter. This small amount infuses the muffins with the spice’s flavor without being overpowering (more on that later!).
Here’s how to recreate their signature blueberry muffins with a spiced twist.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups with vegetable oil or line with paper baking cups. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, 2/3 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground coriander, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, milk, oil, egg, orange zest, and vanilla together. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until it resembles a thick, lumpy batter. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter to avoid over-mixing it.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cup of the prepared muffin tin so 2/3 of the way full. Mix the two tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the muffins.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean.
Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve slightly warm with a slather of butter.
My Taste Test
Taking a bite from one of the muffins, I first noticed the coriander’s subtle taste. To my pleasant surprise, it balanced out the tanginess of the orange zest and caramel flavor of the vanilla extract.
The blueberries had an intense tartness and sweetness, thanks to the berries and coriander both containing linalool. Also, the cinnamon sugar topping was a crunchy addition that complemented the muffin’s soft interior.
All in all, I’m truly blown away at how adding one ingredient made such a difference in baking a more delicious batch of blueberry muffins!
It’s a guarantee that I’ll be adding this spice to my blueberry muffin batter going forward.
And if you’re looking for other ways to use up that bottle of ground coriander, we’ve got you covered. Try using the blueberry flavor-enhancing qualities of this spice to your advantage when making other desserts, like blueberry soup and this triple berry poke cake!