Baked Treats

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

June 1, 2016

I first ran this recipe story four years ago, when the Chicago Tribune gave me permission to take the Lost Recipes Found column I had launched for them & relaunch it as my own blog. In the years since, this muffin has become a family favorite. According to Michael Lisicky, department-story history expert, Jordan Marsh department stores were so well known for these muffins, that when Macy’s bought Jordan Marsh in 1996, they served the muffins at their press conference. Passed down from a former JM bakery employee , this recipe is the real deal. We’ve had several readers write in about it, saying they had similar versions. I liked Mary Yarbroughs note, telling us, “We’ve had this recipe in our family as long as I can remember, BUT, it was called Calumet Muffins for the Calumet baking powder brand, and, was without the blueberries. I had lost my copy and was very excited when I found this one from Jordan Marsh.”  The New York Times has also featured a very similar version of this recipe, supplied by one of their readers. (Their version includes a splash of vanilla, has fewer blueberries and a little less sugar.)

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
Bursting with blueberries, the Jordan Marsh department store blueberry muffin was legendary. This recipe was provided by a former employee.
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  1. 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 2 1/2 cups blueberries
  9. sugar for topping
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and whisk well to incorporate.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Gently fold in blueberries.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3rds full, and taking care to distribute the berries evenly. Sprinkle muffin tops with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan.
  1. Although you may be tempted to overfill the cups, don’t. The muffins come out better if you fill cups 2/3rds full.
Lost Recipes Found

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  • Reply ruth weinstein July 8, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    what are the copyright rules on the recipe?

    • Reply Monica Rogers July 9, 2019 at 5:26 am

      Hello! Recipes are very hard to copyright, for many reasons. But credit should always be given to the originator, if known, even if the recipe has changed. Here, the recipe came from an employee who adapted an institutional-sized baking quantity into a recipe that could be made by a home cook. Changing an institutional-sized recipe to a home-cook-sized recipe is in itself altering the recipe quite a bit because strictly reducing quantities mathematically does not ensure a workable recipe: a recipe that has been significantly reduced in serving size often has to be tweaked to get proportions right, and measurements adjusted which, in fact, constitutes a “new” recipe. As well, changing quantities of berries, or amount of salt or fat are also adaptations equivalent to a “new” recipe. Hence the difficulty of copyrighting a recipe. But I want to reiterate that it is important to list the source of an “original” recipe, to give credit where it is due–even if the recipe has been tweaked or adapted. As a footnote: With each recipe I publish, (unless I have created it from my own cooking experiments) I do my best to give credit or to include the story of a recipe’s provenance. I also test each recipe and then alter it as needed. Very best regards from Monica Kass Rogers

  • Reply Caitlin W August 22, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I am going to attempt to make these today.
    I wanted to add.. I have read this recipe in several different places and one blogger said the key to the perfect muffin is to smash about 1/2 cup of the blueberries and keep the rest whole. I don’t know if you’ve heard this variation.

    • Reply Monica Rogers August 26, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      That sounds yummy, too! I’ve had success making them the way the recipe is written, but I’ll try mashing a few next time! Enjoy!–Monica Kass Rogers

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