These Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legend here in New England! Big, tender, bakery-style muffins are studded with juicy blueberries and topped with crunchy sugar to yield the best blueberry muffins recipe. The ultimate weekend brunch muffin with history and beautiful Boston memories!
What Are Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins, Exactly?
If you aren’t from New England, or if you were born after 1990, you might not know what a Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin is. And that would be a travesty. So let’s get you educated. (And fast!)
- Jordan Marsh was a Boston department store that started in 1841. It grew to be a regional department store chain in New England until 1996, when the last of the Jordan Marsh stores were converted to Macy’s.
- Jordan Marsh was one of the first stores ever to offer charge accounts (thanks, I think) and a money-back guarantee. It was also the first department store ever to feature electric lights, glass showcases, telephones, and elevators.
- For many years, the flagship Jordan Marsh store in Boston housed the Enchanted Village at Christmas time. The Enchanted Village was a detailed and lavish Christmas display that covered an entire department store floor.
- But today, we’re talking about the famous Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin! On the first floor of the Jordan Marsh flagship store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing was a lovely bakery that sold big and yummy sugar-topped blueberry muffins. These are legendary in the Boston area. To quote the December 2004 issue of the Boston Globe: “For decades, any decent downtown shopping trip ended at Jordan Marsh, where the promise of a sugar-crusted blueberry muffin could make annoying children angelic.”
Why I Love These Blueberry Muffins
My mom always made these Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins when we were growing up. They’re sweet, moist and cakey inside, packed with luscious blueberries. The muffin tops are crunchy and sugary, while the interior is moist and fluffy. (Even Elaine would approve!)
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are a huge treat in our house. Thanks for this great recipe Mom! These muffins are easy to make with consistently fantastic results.
Surely many of you grew up visiting Jordan Marsh in Boston and elsewhere eating fresh, sugar-topped blueberry muffins. Hope this recipe brings back fond memories!
You only need some standard baking ingredients and big, blue, juicy blueberries to make the absolute best blueberry muffins recipe ever in the comfort of your own home.
- Butter: One stick softened to room temperature.
- Sugar: Just white, granulated sugar; brown sugar — even light brown sugar — would make the muffin batter too dark. Save some for topping the muffins before baking, too!
- Eggs: Two large eggs also at room temperature.
- Milk: Just a half of a cup will do the trick! I prefer whole milk for baking, but you can use whatever you have in the fridge.
- Flour: You’ll need all-purpose for this homemade blueberry muffin recipe.
- Salt: Anything sweet always needs a little salt to compliment the sugar, so add just half of a teaspoon to this recipe.
- Baking Powder: Helps these muffins rise, along with the eggs.
- Vanilla: Always opt for pure vanilla extract over the imitation stuff!
- Blueberries: I prefer using fresh, local berries, but you could still use frozen. Just make sure to thaw and drain them before baking, if you do.
How To Make the Best Blueberry Muffins
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and get your ingredients ready for measuring.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: With a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Scrap down the sides of your bowl with a spatula, and add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each.
- Add the Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together or mix well with a fork. Add them to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla, and ending with the flour mixture.
- Fold in the Blueberries: Add them in very gently by hand with a spatula so they don’t burst.
- Bake the Muffins: Grease muffin pan well and carefully grease the top of the muffin pan also to protect the tops. Be sure to use tin foil muffin cup liners also. Fill muffin cups completely full. (A cookie scoop works nicely) Sprinkle sugar over tops and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or ’til golden brown. Cool in pan for 20 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy: Gently loosen muffin “crowns” from the top of muffin pan with small, sharp knife and remove muffins from the pan. Allow them to cool on a wire rack until they’re cooled enough to eat. Serve warm and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- If blueberries were frozen, thaw and drain; then sprinkle with some extra flour to absorb the blueberry juice. The muffin stays whiter if you use fresh blueberries.
- I prefer to use King Arthur’s Sparkling White Sugar for sprinkling on top before baking. It doesn’t melt, and stays very crunchy!
- The muffin tops will spread less if you refrigerate the batter (in the muffin pan) for 30 minutes before baking.
- Be sure to grease the tops of your muffin pan well. Also use foil muffin liners. Paper just doesn’t hold up well enough for this recipe.
- Feel free to swap out the berries in this recipe! Raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and pitted cherries would also be delicious.
- Love lemon? It’s a great flavor to pair with blueberries (or any berries, really.) Garnish these homemade blueberry muffins with some freshly grated lemon zest, or make a simple glaze out of powdered sugar and fresh-squeezed lemon juice!
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
- Store leftover blueberry muffins in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap to maximize freshness.
- Freeze cooled, cooked muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. Again, wrap each muffin in plastic wrap to maximize freshness and keep them from sticking to one another.
- Reheat by allowing the muffins to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, then warming in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.
More Bakery-Style Recipes To Try
- Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
- Homemade Fresh Strawberry Crepes
- Blueberry Pound Cake
- Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
- Easy Scotch Shortbread Fingers
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups blueberries if frozen, thaw and drain
- 2 tablespoons sugar for topping
- With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time.
- Mix well after each.
- Separately, sift dry ingredients together or mix well with a fork.
- Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla.
- (If blueberries were frozen, thaw and drain, then sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of flour to absorb the blueberry juice.)
- Fold in the berries very gently.
- Grease muffin pan well and carefully grease the top of the muffin pan also.(These muffins spill over onto the top of the pan, aw shucks.)
- Be sure to use tin foil muffin cup liners also.
- Fill muffin cups completely full. (A cookie scoop works nicely)
- Sprinkle sugar over tops and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or 'til golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 20 minutes.
- Gently loosen muffin "crowns" from the top of muffin pan with small, sharp knife and remove muffins from the pan.
- Big, beautiful, yummy muffins... comin' your way!
Those muffin tops look great! It’s always a debate whether to eat the top first, or save the best for last….
Bresca, I vote for muffin top first, and leave the rest for one of the hungry teenage boys…they’ll eat anything (and everything!!!) Elaine would agree.
Allie Taylor says
I agree. You agree. Elaine agrees. All is well with the world.
Yum!! I have had these and made these and love them. You say your mom always made these, I wonder if she was looking for any annoying children to magically turn into angelic children. Certainly not any of your siblings… 😉 (Love that picture of Hudson!!)
Allie Taylor says
Nothin’ slips by you girlfriend. Maybe that’s why she made these muffins…
[email protected] says
I wish someone wanted to make me angelic. I’m eating sort of low carb right now and I REALLY want these. I can just taste the little turbinado sugar on the top… Whoa I’m slobbering…gotta run before I eat my keyboard.
Ruth Ann Moody says
Love this post,Allie. I remember enjoying these muffins after a marathon shopping excursion with Mrs.Mel years ago. Thanks for reminding me of her today.
Allie Taylor says
So now I’m teary. What could be more fun than a marathon shopping excursion with you and Mrs. Mel in Boston, eating Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins? XO
I have made these famous muffins and they are excellent! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I also LOVE that picture of Hudson! So cute!!! Thanks for sharing and I think I will also share to my FB friends!
Allie Taylor says
Thank you Tracy!! And for spreading the word.
I am not a New Englander but I do know about Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins thanks to you, Allie! They are scrumptious. You may have given me the history of them when I first enjoyed them at your home in Easley, but, alas, I had forgotten it. The next time I make them I will utter thanks for the Jordan Marsh department store and whomever may have originated this recipe…and you, of course. =)
We visited the Enchanted Village at Jordan’s this year and yes…we had the blueberry muffins too!! Can’t wait to try them at home.
Cheryl VanMaasdam says
We LOVED going to Boston and seeing the windows of Jordan Marsh and having their muffins!
Allie Taylor says
Yes, I can just see you and Mr. Van downtown Boston, having a BALL!
Well, Sheryl, we did have ONE child whose behavior might have improved with a Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin once in awhile, but now butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth — RIGHT, Sheryl?!! Heh heh! Many thanks to Dublin Christian Academy in Dublin, NH for all help received in that area! And speaking of DCA, a trip ANYwhere with Mrs. Mel Moody would have made my day — thanks for the memories, Ruth Ann!
Brings back many fond memories of shopping with my grandmother!
Aunt J says
I have warm memories of my Dad stopping at Jordan Marsh after work and bringing home these wonderful blueberry muffins to his girls. We were very happy that his office was fairly close to Jordan Marsh and that he too loved their blueberry muffins. Thanks for the recipe, Allie and the adorable picture of Hudson!
I can almost smell them! Those were the days my friend. I have wonderful memories of shopping downtown Boston with my mom and sister and then later on, taking the T from Quincy to downtown Boston with my friends. I think I’m going to have to make these for my mom and sister!
Allie Taylor says
They are both going to LOVE that… it’ll be a trip down memory lane. XO
Linda Jenkins says
Allie, I was just telling friends of mine about the yearly trip into Boston around the Christmas holidays. The Boston Common and the Public Gardens were so beautifully decorated. However, it was the animated window displays that always entranced me. I could have watched those displays forever, never even thinking about the cold temperatures. Jordan Marsh and Filene’s: a piece of my childhood resurrected!
Jack, the real cook in our home had misplaced his recipe for those muffins (he makes them often). You two must have been on the same wavelength. He had printed the recipe before I had even had a chance to check my email. Thanks for making our day. Love the picture of Hudson, pure bliss written all over his little face.
I am making this asap…mouth watering!
I remember these muffins fondly, so delish! Can’t say I will try to make them, since I’m not much for cooking, but I will gladly eat them anytime you want to make them, Allie!! 😉
Allie Taylor says
Ha ha. I like your style Dawn! Your birthday is coming up too…hmmmm….
Fern and I made these this morning. Delicious!! Eating them with thick snow falling outside the window was so cozy. Thanks for the recipe!!
Allie Taylor says
Yay Aster! And yum. What a perfect way to spend a snowy morning.
I’ve never heard of Jordan Marsh, but I love hearing about your recreation from a childhood memory.
I love a sparkling sugar topping on muffins, so yum! Can’t wait to try these!
Such a wonderful and interesting post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this…the muffins look wonderful. xo, Catherine
Ok, I was definitely born before 1990 and raised in NY yet had no idea what Jordan Marsh was before reading this! Kinda wish I did though because these muffins look amazing. That sugar on top is calling my name 🙂
I love blueberry muffins and these ones look AMAZING! Can’t wait to make them!
Aida @ TheCraftingFoodie says
Allie, these muffins look so good – just the way I like them: moist and fluffy with a crunchy, sugary muffin top! Your story about Jordan Marsh sort of reminds me of Marshall Fields in Chicago. I’m new to Boston, so I came many years after Jordan Marsh, but I wish I could have seen those Christmas decorations. At least I get to eat the muffins thanks to your delicious recipe!
Mary Pearson says
Oh how I loved these! In high school, (45+) years ago, I worked in the bakery at Jordan’s in Peabody at the old shopping center. Everything was put in boxes, and we had an automatic machine that wrapped the box in string and tied it! The lines never seemed to stop! They were famous for their brownies too! We workers got to eat the edges, yum! Alas, I graduated and had to move on, but I never forgot their taste, nor their smell! Best ever!
For those of you not familiar with Jordan’s, they were bought out by Macy’s, and sadly, did not keep the bakeries. 🙁
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Mary – I loved reading your comments, especially from one who actually worked at one of the bakeries. I didn’t know about the brownies.That’s something I’d love to research and put here on the blog. Jordan Marsh Brownies…has a ring to it!!! I also didn’t know about the machine that wrapped the boxes with string. And you got to eat the edges??? It must have been such a busy bakery. Heaven! Thank you SO MUCH for dropping by today, absolutely made my day and I learned so much. Have a wonderful day!
Carole Consigli says
Are u aware that the original recipe does not use all purpose flour but a combination of pastry and bread flour?? That’s why some of these so called Jordan marsh muffins are not the same the original baker was recently on TV and explained why u can’t use all purpose flour
Hi Carole, no I was NOT aware of this info., and I am thrilled you took the time to comment here about it. I have been making these muffins with this recipe since I was a little kid. I am definitely going to do some more research and see what I can find out about the proportions of the pastry and bread flour. I’m excited that the Jordan Marsh muffins I know and love might somehow get even BETTER!!! If that is even possible. Thanks so much for dropping by Carole and now I have my work cut out for me. Have a great day!
Manila Spoon says
These muffins look moist and yummy and perfect for the blueberry season!
every year I go to jordans furniture in stoughton/Avon m to see the enchanted village and get Jordan marsh muffins.
Thanks so much, did you know the Enchanted Village is still on display at Jordan’s Furniture in Stoughton, MA every year at Christmas time? We often go….
Patty McGowen says
My mom made this recipe many times when I was a child. I remember her getting this and many other greats while listening to the “Gus Saunders” show on the radio. Every week she would kick us kids out of the house so that she could listen carefully, pen in hand so as not to miss anything. Thanks for bringing back the memories, going to go make some now.
What great memories Patty. I never did hear the Gus Saunders show myself, but heard about it later. Good for your mom. My mom also kicked us out of the house growing up for various endeavors she was busy with. There were five of us….and life was different then. Thanks for dropping by and sharing, hope you enjoyed baking the muffins and the trip down memory lane.
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
I’ve never heard of the store before but if they have these banging looking muffins- Consider me a fan! 🙂
Lauren kelly Nutrition says
I was most definitely born way before 1990 but I have never heard of Jordan Marsh! These muffins look ridiculously delicious!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
I didn’t grow up in these parts – but – darn, I wish I did! These muffins look insanely good! In Sri Lanka (back in the day) there was this bakery that made “apple cakes” – these little cupcake type cakes were not made with apples – instead they were made with the days leftover bits and pieces of different cakes and the crumbs were smooshed into “apple” shapes and coated with a icing – I loved these so much and hated sharing, I once hid in the bathroom and ate the last one so noone in my family would bust me – yup, think I would do the same if I got my hands on one of these muffins! 🙂
Dear Shashi – I have also found the bathroom a great place to hide. (Even as an adult.) But mostly just for a few moments of peace and quiet…”apple cakes” sound so interesting and yummy…a surprise in every bite. I wonder why our bakeries here don’t do that. Love hearing your stories about Sri Lanka. xo
Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
My family loves blueberry muffins! These look amazing, although I have never heard of Jordan Marsh 🙂
Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
I’ve never had a Jordan Marsh muffin but wish I did – that sugar topping looks so good. Crunchy sugar on top of muffins has always been my weakness 🙂
sherie zucker says
I love your story about Jordan Marsh Muffins. I’m going to be making these today.
We have a farmers market here in Chicago and there is nothing better than fresh blueberries.
We have Macy’s here, but never knew about Jordan Marsh.
Wish we could grow blueberries here, I’ve tried with strawberries, but we have rabbits that enjoy them just as much so I can never get them before they do.
I’m going to be baking these today as well as the pound cake.
Your blog is awesome and plan on following it daily.
Thank you for your wonderful stories. Also loved that book Blueberries for Sal. Plan on buying it for my granddaughter.
Dear Sherie, I’m SO glad you found this blog. Thank you so much for visiting and for your very kind comments. Please spread the word! 🙂 Hope your cake and muffins come out perfectly today and that you have great joy in baking them! The Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are our favorite muffin ever. I love creating something beautiful in the kitchen. Also hope that your granddaughter loves Blueberries for Sal as much as we do, such a classic Maine story. Have a beautiful day!
I grew up in ft. Launderdale with a Jordan marsh. This recipe was printed in glamour magazine a number of years ago. They called them big blues. Love them. Been making them for years.
I had no idea there was a Jordan Marsh in Ft. Lauderdale. That’s awesome. Or that these muffins were called big blues. I just love piecing together the comments here, so many great memories happened around these delicious sugar-topped muffins. Thank you so much for dropping by Randi.
I have fond memories of going to Jordan Marsh with my grandmother to get an outfit for school and then we would go to the bakery and guess what I always got? The blueberry muffins! I can’t wait to make this famous recipe!!
Linda Muckerheide says
I had to share this. About a month ago, someone posted a recipe
claiming to be the authentic Jordan Marsh Muffins on the ne.food group I
read. I countered with ‘Martha and Gus’s Muffins” which my mother had
clipped from a paper decades ago (also ostensibly the REAL THING). Today, I
get the message below from a guy who was cruising around on the internet.
> From: “Ed Roberts”
> Date: Sat, 09 Feb 2002 21:09:07 -0500
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins
> I saw your post on Google for JM muffins. I thought that you would get a
> kick out of this story.
> My aunt worked in the JM bake shop for years. She did a big favor for the
> baker. He asked if there was anything that he could do for her. She asked
> for the recipe for the blueberry muffins. He explained that “The Recipe”
> was a closely guarded secret and besides “The Recipe” was for 25 dozen. He
> said that he would give her “A Recipe” for a couple dozen blueberry muffins.
> With a wink he gave her “A Recipe”.
> A few years latter she called the Gus Saunders show and offered a blueberry
> muffin recipe. The way the show worked was if someone wanted to hear the
> recipe they would call Saunders and he would ask the original caller to
> call back. My aunt read the receipe on the air. She told Gus that it was a
> recipe that she found on the street. She called them “trash can muffins”
> For the next few days people were calling Gus’ show saying that they tasted
> just like the JM muffins. Gus asked for the person who gave the recipe to
> call back. My aunt didn’t..she was having too much fun being mysterious.
> The recipe that you posted is exactly the recipe that she gave me about 35
> years ago. I’m pretty confident that it is a cut down version of the real
What I had posted was (including the recipe) :
“I was the original poster– looking for a cook book collection of old
Boston recipes. As it happens the one recipe I have is a recipe that
I have it on no authority that this is the authentic recipe, since there are
about a dozen floating around claiming to be “the one”. However I have made
this over the last 30 years and it comes close. Buttermilk and cake flour
seem to be the secret to the cottony interior texture that most muffins
I have no idea who “Martha and Gus” are but I wonder if Gus is Gus Saunders
who for years did the Yankee Kitchen call-in show on the radio.
Powdered buttermilk is an acceptable substitution. Follow directions to reconstitute buttermilk on the package. Cake flour is essential.
Also, this recipe has a lot of strange quantities, so measure carefully.
Once I experimented with lopping off all the odd tablespoons, but the end
result was tougher, so I reverted back to the original. Whether you use
blueberries as prescribed, or divide the batter and make some with finely
diced apples, dates, cranberries, raspberries or bananas, this is a really
If you have them, use those giant muffin pans, but this still makes quite a
large batch, at least several dozen, so plan to share or freeze!
Martha and Gus’s Muffins
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon solid shortening
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 extra large eggs
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unsifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups cake flour (Soft-as-Silk)
2 pints blueberries or 4 cups other fruit.
2 egg whites, beaten with 1 tablespoon water until frothy
Preheat oven to 400∂. Cream first all purpose flour with salt, shortening,
and sugar. Add eggs all at once and beat 3 minutes with electric mixer.
Add remaining remaining all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Beat again. Blend in buttermilk and vanilla. Add cake flour and beat until
mixed. Batter will be very stiff. Fold in fruit of choice, dividing batter
if you want to make several kinds. Grease muffin tins well and fill 3/4
full. Brush egg white mixture over tops with brush or your fingertips.
Sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden. Let cool
in tins for 10 minutes, then remove to racks to finish cooling. Batter may
be stored 3 days before baking. I usually add the fruit just before baking,
Ed Roberts says
It seems that the JM muffin mystery lives on, I think we both know that the WCVB recipe isn’t the “trash can muffin” recipe.
Aunt Pinkie says
They look yummy! Mmmmm!
Another victim of Macy’s. Boo. We lost Marshall Fields and Chicago traditions to them as well. I will just have to console myself by making some Jordan Marsh muffins and then eating Marshall Fields Frangos. 🙂
Marshall Fields Frangos??? I’ll be googling ASAP my friend! XO
Oooo…just googled. I LOVE chocolate and mint. Hmmmm….food for thought. (Literally!)
Mmmmm, love blueberry muffins! So does my son, so I’m thinkin’ I might have to give this recipe a go! Thanks, Allie!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Jordan marsh is new to me. I am so much in love with the muffin tops. If any muffin looks like that then I can’t resist myself from eating the top. We are a muffin and blueberry loving family, so I can’t tell that my family would go gaga over these. Thanks for this wonderful share my dear friend.
I don’t know Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins but I would like to meet them right now!! This looks gorgeous! xoxo
Snidely Whiplash says
The muffins sold by Jordan’s in Avon bear no resemblance to the original recipe sold at Jordan Marsh. The JM recipe had mashed blueberries incorporated INTO the batter, so that when you cut them open, the muffin waslight blue. Also, the tops sold by Avon aren’t even close to the flavor and texture of the JM Muffin. Nice try, but if you ever had the originals, you too would be disappointed.
cakengifts.in Gurgaon says
Yes!!!! This article is too simple that everybody can learn and make cake after reading this article. Thanks!!!
Found these on pinterest and just had to make them. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and frequented JM. I don’t really remember trying their muffins back then.
I made them twice now and they are to die for! Best muffins ever! Thanks for sharing this recipe! The tops are the bomb!
Hi Lynn – So glad you love them too! I grew up with my mom baking these in RI. I always think of the muffin top episode in Seinfeld (w/Elaine) when I make these, lol. I just made a batch last week and brought them to my book discussion, where they disappeared fast!