Old-fashioned Blueberry or Huckleberry Muffins

Some fruits bring back warm memories of my younger days. Huckleberries are one of those fruits. I haven’t seen a huckleberry in decades, but they are a fruit of memories.

My father loved to pick huckleberries – or, as we often called them, wild blueberries. Dad worked hard all week farming, but found picking huckleberries relaxing and would often go to the mountains on sunny Sunday summer afternoons to pick them. He’d bring home buckets of the most lush berries. The huckleberries were smaller than store-bought blueberries and bursting with taste. We ate the fresh huckleberries by the handful, and made many wonderful baked goods. A favorite was huckleberry muffins.

So. when I recently came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Blueberry or Huckleberry Muffins, I had to give it a try for memory sake – even though I used blueberries instead of huckleberries.

The recipe was a winner. The muffins were easy to make and delightful.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Blueberry or Huckleberry Muffins
Source: The New Royal Cook Book (1920), published by Royal Baking Powder Co.

One teaspoon salt seemed like a lot of salt for this recipe, so I reduced the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.Ā  I also used butter instead of shortening.

And, here is the recipe update for modern cooks.

Blueberry or Huckleberry Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 15 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 cup blueberries or huckleberries

additional flour, if desired

If desired, first coat the blueberries/huckleberries with flour. (Some assert that berries are less likely to sink to the bottom of the batter if coated in flour). To coat: In a separate bowl, toss the berries in flour to coat. Set aside

Preheat oven to 400Ā° F. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add milk, eggs, and shortening; stir until combined. Then gently stir the blueberries or huckleberries into the batter.

Grease muffin tins (or use paper liners), and then fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full with batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned.


38 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Blueberry or Huckleberry Muffins

  1. Sheryl, is what you call a huckleberry as tiny as the exquisite wild blueberries that grow in Maine and farther north? If so, I much prefer them for muffins and pie than the “regular” blueberries cultivated in the Mid-Atlantic and elsewhere. For years I bought canned Wyman’s wild blueberries from Maine (the only canned fruit I’ve ever bought), but I don’t find them here any longer. The great thing about those northern fields is that in the fall, after blooming, the plants turn a beautiful shade of red.

    1. I found frozen Wyman’s wild blueberries in the local Kroger. I had a recipe that recommended them as the best blueberries (even though I had never heard of them) and bought a bag. They are delicious, and I use them in pancakes and smoothies. Now, I think I shall be forced to make wild blueberry muffins today. šŸ™‚

    2. I’m no expert on this, but I think they are the same. The berries that I call huckleberries are small. Similarly to you, I really prefer smaller berries when making muffins. It’s too bad that canned wild blueberries from Maine are apparently no longer available. I can remember buying them years ago, and they were very nice.

  2. Going to pick huckleberries is one of my favorite memories. We all went as a family, wearing belts with our sand buckets attached to them so we could pick with two hands. There are still huckleberries growing in the Pennsylvania mountains. I have a berry or two when I visit.

    1. What a lovely memory! I like how your family attached the buckets to belts so you could pick with both hands. It’s wonderful that you’ve had a chance to eat a few huckleberries when visiting PA. If I get back there at the right time of year, I’m going to have to look for them.

  3. Yum. I had some a couple years ago when we went geocaching in Oregon. When I buy (and pick) blueberries, I always save out the little ones for using in pancakes as they are better and don’t cause the pancakes to be doughy… Now I’m thinking we’ll have to go pick and get some more small ones to make muffins.

  4. When we lived in Oregon a retired factory furniture worker across the street took my husband into the woods near Mt. Hood to his “special” huckleberry patch. He had paint cans with wire handles he had made for his annual treks and gave one to Charlie. Mr. Holtzfus was quite elderly and needed Charlie’s help driving that time, his last visit to the patches. He wanted to make sure that the next generation knew where to find the berries.

  5. Huckleberries are amazing. (I didn’t realize they were another word for wild blueberries!) I need to try this recipe sometime.

  6. Nice to know where Huckleberry Hound got his name! It certainly is a good time to remember and make food from our childhood. July should be sour cherry season, and I am wondering if it was a bust year or if I am just sheltering-in-place so much I am missing things that aren’t so common, even in good times.

    1. I have two sour cherry trees in my yard. There were relatively few cherries on the trees this year – though they were tasty. That said, this is totally anecdotal – I have no clue how the cherries did in other locations. I’m missing some foods this year while enjoying others. I’m raising more vegetables this year than I’ve raised in years.

  7. Until I read this, I didn’t know huckleberries were a real thing. I’d only ever heard the word in the title of Huckleberry Finn, and thought it was a strange sounding name at that. I guess they’re not a Canadian thing.
    I’ve learned something new!

  8. I just made a batch and they are not sugary sweet but rather you really taste the berries. It was difficult to get the berries to mix into the dough but I kind of patted them in. I love historical recipes and collecting old and antique cookbooks. This recipe makes me want to look through my cookbooks to see what else I can find that is super old and easy to make. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. Thanks for taking a few moments to write a note about your experiences with this recipe. It really helps others who might want to try to recipe. Like you, I love old recipes and cookbooks. I’m often surprised how few ingredients many old recipes call for. I think that back then people often cooked 3 days a week, 365 days a year, and they wanted fairly easy recipes.

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