Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Discard Muffins

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 16, 2024
5 from 3 votes
These moist sourdough muffins are bursting with lemon blueberry flavor and have the softest crumb. They're easy to make and the recipe uses up leftover sourdough starter! I love the bright flavor from both lemon zest and juice. The muffins rise tall and lofty, topped with a little extra sugar that makes for a bakery-worthy, crunchy lid. You can bake the muffin batter right away, or do a long ferment for up to 16 hours in the refrigerator.
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blueberry muffins in white liners on a pink backround

Why I Love This Recipe

If I’m being honest, I love muffins because they’re basically cake. 😊

These incredibly moist Sourdough Blueberry Muffins have my heart. Bursting with just the right amount of fruit, they’re perfectly sweet, brightened with lemon zest and lemon juice. Their tall and lofty texture is everything you’ve dreamed of, and sourdough discard provides acidity and moisture to give these muffins the softest crumb.

Each muffin is topped with a little extra granulated sugar before baking, which creates a bakery-worthy crunchy, crystal lid that leads to the moist, tender crumb below. The blueberries turn jammy, and any tartness mellows. All around, the best blueberry muffin I’ve EVER eaten.

crumb shot of sourdough blueberry muffins

Long-Ferment Option

Here’s the other great thing about this recipe: you can bake them as soon as you mix them up, OR you can put the batter in the fridge and let it rest for up to 16 hours. This allows for a longer ferment, and easier digestibility without any change in the end result.

The Secret to Tall and Fluffy Blueberry Sourdough Muffins:

This recipe uses a few tricks to make the muffins tall and lofty like you’d expect from a bakery!

  1. Resting the batter while the oven preheats allows the flours to absorb some of the moisture, giving the structure needed to result in tall, domed muffins. I do this for my Banana Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins as well.
  2. Rather than filling each muffin tin, leaving one open muffin cup in between allows the muffins to have enough room to expand and achieve beautiful round tops, along with better air circulation for even baking.
  3. Fill the muffin cups liberally. Most people are used to making cupcakes, where you only fill the cups 2/3 full. With muffins, you want to fill the cup all the way, mounding just slightly above the lip.
ingredients for lemon blueberry sourdough muffins

Main Ingredients for Blueberry Sourdough Muffins:

  • sourdough discard
  • all-purpose flour
  • almond flour
  • buttermilk
  • lemon juice and zest
  • fresh or frozen blueberries
  • eggs
blueberry muffin batter in clear bowl

What role does sourdough discard play in muffins?

Sourdough discard doesn’t make these muffins tangy or sour. Instead, it makes them fluffy and soft because it increases the acidity of the batter, which weakens the gluten in flour. And because it has already been fermented, the gluten in the sourdough discard itself has also been weakened. It has the same effect in this fabulous Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread and Sourdough Rhubarb Cake.

The other thing discard does in baking is bring out the flavors of other ingredients in the recipe. This is due to the naturally occurring alcohols that develop in sourdough starter, and alcohol is a flavor enhancer. That means the main components of this cake; lemon and blueberry – really shine.

How Long Does Sourdough Discard Last in the Fridge?

You can keep sourdough discard in your refrigerator for about 10 days. The discard will become more sour the longer it stays in the fridge.  For that reason, when I’m making something sweet like these muffins, sourdough chocolate chip cookies, or pumpkin scones, where I don’t want the sourness to come through, I use discard that is less than 5 days old.

blueberry muffins in a muffin tin
sourdough blueberry muffins in muffin tin

How to Store Sourdough Blueberry Muffins:

I have found that storing muffins in the refrigerator in a sealed container or plastic bag lined with a paper towel helps capture extra moisture that may form on the top of the muffins, while ensuring the muffins stay fresh. When you’d like to eat one, reheat an individual muffin in the microwave for 15 seconds and they’ll be just as delicious as the day you made them.

You can also freeze these; it works incredibly well. They reheat in the microwave just like they are freshly out-of-the-oven.

sourdough blueberry muffins stacked with pink linen behind them

More Sourdough Discard Recipes:

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Soft Sourdough Discard Lemon Blueberry Muffins

These moist sourdough muffins are bursting with lemon and blueberry flavor and have the softest crumb. They're easy to make and use up leftover sourdough starter! The muffins rise tall and lofty, topped with a little extra sugar that makes a bakery-worthy, crunchy lid.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Resting Time :30 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 225 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams finely blanched almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) sunflower, canola, or coconut oil
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 180 grams (3/4 cup) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 75 grams sourdough discard (unfed sourdough starter)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
  • extra granulated sugar for topping



  • Thoroughly grease top of muffin pan and cavities, or use muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Add the lemon zest on top and use fingers to rub zest aggressively into the flour, which releases the oil and give these muffins the most wonderful lemon flavor. Make a well in the center.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, buttermilk, and sourdough discard until combined. Then add the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla; whisk to combine and smooth.
  • Pour into the well of the dry ingredients and gently mix until almost all combined. Fold in the blueberries until just incorporated, as to not overwork the batter. Let batter sit on counter, (OR you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 16 hours) covered, while oven preheats to 400 degree F. (This rest period for the muffins is helpful in making them rise tall.)
  • When oven is preheated, till every other muffin cup (If you have a 12 cup muffin tin you will fill 6 of them. This also helps the muffins to rise tall.) to the lip, full with batter. The batter should mound slightly. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over each muffin (don't skip this!).
  • Place muffins into the oven and turn heat down to 375 degrees F. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until they are light golden brown and toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, rotating the pan halfway through baking, 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently remove them to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter.


This recipe is adapted from my Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins, which was adapted from Sarah Kieffer’s Blueberry Muffins

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April 12, 2024


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Recipe Rating

5 from 3 votes

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  1. Janet D

    Amanda, your descriptions as well as your recipes are so great! I’m hoping to make the sourdough rhubarb cake tomorrow.

  2. Jeri Jo Brokaw

    Love your website. I don’t have any almond flour, is it possible to use all A/P flour?

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi! You could use all AP; the almond flour gives them the most tender, light crumb, but they are still delicious if made with all AP. I recommend getting some almond flour for the future, it’s great to bake with!

  3. Bettina

    5 stars
    The BEST blueberry muffins ever! My dough was pretty thin, so I am wondering, whether buttermilk might be quite thick in the US? More like sour cream? Looks like it in the picture above. And if anybody was wondering: the recipe is working with rye based sourdough as well. Simply delicious!

    • Amanda Paa

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the muffins, Bettina! Full fat buttermilk can be thicker here in the US, has the consistency of heavy cream usually.

  4. Jill

    5 stars
    Delicious light lemon blueberry muffins. Very pleased how they baked up.

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoyed them, Jill! Thanks for making the recipe!

  5. Sara Capecchi

    5 stars
    5 star recipe! The flavors were fantastic. Easy to make and loved by all!