Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

Last week, a friend from Boston e-mailed to ask me for a blueberry muffin recipe.  Well, of course, I had to send her my Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins recipe.  Jordan Marsh was one of the two major department stores in Boston when I lived there, the other being Filene’s.  At Christmas, the Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh was the place to go to talk to Santa about what you wanted for Christmas and to have your picture taken with him.  There were no shopping malls when I was a kid with ubiquitous Santas—there was just the one Santa at Jordan Marsh as far as I was concerned!

Me on Santa's lap!

Since my mother didn’t take us kids into Boston that often, it was always a special treat when we did go.  We’d take the “T” (Metropolitan Transit Authority, now the MBTA—Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) made famous by The Kingston Trio with “Charlie on the MTA.”  When I was younger, I couldn’t understand why Charlie’s wife just didn’t put a nickel in with his lunch!  If you ever go to Boston and take the “T,” you’ll see that they sell “Charlie” tickets as a tribute to the “man who never returned.”  For nostalgia buffs and those who want to hear the song, here’s the YouTube link:

Jordan’s had an in-store bakery that sold the most wonderful blueberry muffins.  When you broke it open, the muffin had a purply-bluish hue unlike any other blueberry muffin I’d ever had.  The muffin was loaded with sweet, wild Maine blueberries and it had sugar sprinkled on the top.  About 15 years ago, Macy’s bought Jordan Marsh; and I don’t know if they still make the blueberry muffins—or if they even have a bakery any more.  Thankfully, someone sent in a clone recipe for them to the Boston Globe years ago; and I have been happily making these wonderful muffins ever since.  Now you can, too!

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

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  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups blueberries, divided
  • 1 to 2 tbl. sugar for sprinkling over top of muffins before baking

Fran’s note: The original Boston Globe recipe states that it makes “18” muffins.  Back then, the muffin tins were smaller than those sold today.  I still have some of those tins, and they measure 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  I did get 18 muffins out of the recipe using those tins.  My newer muffin tins measure 3” across each cup, and I get 12 larger muffins using those.


Grease 12-cup muffin pan well including the top surface.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix until well blended.  Add baking powder, salt, and vanilla – mix well.  Add flour alternately with milk.

Mash 1/2 cup blueberries and add stirring by hand.

Mash blueberries with fork until pulpy.


Mashed blueberries to be stirred into batter

Stir in remaining blueberries.

Note the change in batter color to a bluish hue.

Use an ice cream scoop or alternatively spoon into muffin cups and pile mixture high.  Sprinkle a little sugar over tops if desired.

Bake at 375o for approx. 20 to 25 minutes until golden.  Makes 12.


Source: A very old, pre-internet Boston Globe recipe

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