Oatmeal Muffins with Dates, Cranberries and Pecans

You may not believe what I’m about to tell you. I only half believe it myself. But I really think that I am sweet-ed out from the holidays. I don’t even think I ate all that much, but all of the baking, oiy. I kinda don’t even want to look at a cookie right now. I have no yearning for cookies, chocolate, or anything of the sort. So I’m tackling some less-rich baking projects this week. Enter these muffins. I love having quick and easy breakfast options during the week, and oatmeal is one of my go-to favorites, so these were definitely calling my name.

The original recipe calls for dates, raisins and walnuts as the add-ins, but I somehow blew through 6 lbs of walnuts over the holidays and was completely out, and I had dried cranberries in the pantry, so I did some shifting based on what I had available and wanted to use up. These turned out absolutely fabulous. They have a great, soft yet hearty texture thanks to the oatmeal and the dates, cranberries and pecans all contribute to little bursts of contrasting flavors with each bite. Mine turned out a little dark because I forgot to turn down the oven a bit to account for the non-stick pan. I was also out of paper liners. Oops, my head is still in the snowy holiday clouds I guess!

One year ago: Chocolate Babka
Three years ago: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Oatmeal Muffins with Dates, Cranberries and Pecans

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


1 cup traditional rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the pecans, dates and dried cranberries. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir together just until the ingredients are mixed and moistened.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)


49 Responses to “Oatmeal Muffins with Dates, Cranberries and Pecans”

  1. Silvia on January 6, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Great idea, i just had so many dates left over from Christmas, nodoby likes them so much after all and this way I get to finish them.


  2. Blog is the New Black on January 6, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I am outsweeted myself! I have some leftover dates from the holidays and this would be a great way to sneak them into something.


  3. Maggie on January 6, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I’ve felt the same way for the past couple weeks (I haven’t baked since Dec 15!!!), but I think I’m getting out of my funk. By the way, I’m making your red velvet cupcakes tonight for my boyfriend!

    The muffins looks great – I’ve tried a couple recipes from Simply Recipes. Everything from that site is perfect.


  4. Katrina on January 6, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Mmmm healthy muffins! These look much better than the store bought muffin I had today. Puuuuuke!


  5. Lauren at KeepItSweet on January 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I wish I was sick of sweets! It would make my renewal to healthy eating so much easier;-)


    • Sandra on January 6th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      I’m with you!


  6. Lynn Brown on January 6, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Oh, I am definitely making these either today or this weekend, I have lots of cranberries to use up and always have lots of nuts! I am needing some more go to morning muffins, Thanks for the Recipe!


  7. linda on January 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

    i am absolutely going to bake these…probably this w/e as it looks like another snow storm is on the way!
    i have been using i can’t believe its not butter sticks (50% less saturated fat) for unsalted butter in my muffin recipes & they have been pretty tasty.

    still LOVE my chocolate but am trying!


  8. Caroline on January 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I like to disguise my muffins with glazes and frostings – I love sweets, unfortunately they don’t love me back. I think these would be just fabulous all on their own, no “extras” needed.


  9. briarrose on January 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

    What a hearty muffin. Love it!


  10. Paula on January 6, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Seriously good breakfast food!


  11. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat on January 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I totally agree! Now time to gorge myself on savory recipes. Pass the cheese please!


  12. Angela on January 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Just the mention of oatmeal & buttermilk and you had me. Sounds like these will be comforting and taste healthy too. I don’t have any cranberries left but might try this recipe with some blueberries.


  13. Robyn on January 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

    i’m totally on a baking hiatus after the holidays! it’s nice to have a break and then get back into it around valentine’s day.


  14. Delishhh on January 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I felt the same way. Great muffin!


  15. Wendy on January 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    These sound great. I have a surplus of oats. Now I know what I will be doing with them!


  16. Steph@stephsbitebybite on January 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    These look fantastic! I could see myself breaking these in to chucks and pouring some milk over it!


  17. Belinda @zomppa on January 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    6 lbs? Nice!! =) I know I ate a lot…and could keep eating more with this!!


  18. Dionne Baldwin on January 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I wish I were sweeted-out! I think maybe my moderation didn’t satisfy my sweet tooth over the holidays…

    These muffins sound like a very tasty break from my usual muffin repretoire! (Pardon my spelling.) Thank you for sharing this.



  19. Laura on January 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I’m surprised but somehow I also managed to get to the point where I no longer want chocolate. And my response was really similar to yours, I made bran muffins!


  20. Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes on January 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    these look right up my alley! Oats in a grainy fruit nutty muffin? I’m there…
    cathy b. @ brightbakes


  21. Toby on January 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I feel the same way about being sugared out. And on top of it, I had to test 3 different samples of chocolate chips for a survey…it was all I could do to just open the bags.

    Love the oaty muffins. Oatmeal creates just a distinct texture that you just can’t get with any other grain

    Thanks for sharing!!



  22. foodlvr on January 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    they look amazing. I am also “sweetened” out – I am also trying to watch what I eat and lose 8 lb. So I am looking for healthy options for breakfast – not necessarily really low fat or low cal but full of fiber and good complex carbs. These look so good.

    Your blog recipe always looks so good I imagine my hips growing every time I read it.


  23. irena on January 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Wonderful pictures, very nice recipe…great job:)


  24. Tina from PA on January 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I hear you ,I too am all cookied out! These muffins sound so good ,maybe I’ll bake them tomorrow,if I can shake this nasty cold!! That’s what I brought home from our Christmas visit to Greensburg!


  25. Stephanie on January 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Did you get a new camera? Your pictures look great!


  26. Hanaa on January 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    These look soft indeed. What a wonderful texture! Sorry if I asked you this before, but how do you measure your flour? Do you weigh it, dip-and-sweep or spoon-into-measuring cup? Thanks much!


    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Hanaa – I always weigh everything 🙂


  27. sara on January 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Oooh, these look so yummy! Perfect for breakfast – I definitely need to make them soon!! 🙂


  28. Kim-Liv Life on January 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I’m with you ! We are a bit over done with sweet too, though muffins are a good substitute. Oatmeal is one of my favorite muffin ingredients, I love the texture and knowing that it is healthier makes me less guilty when I reach for a second!


  29. Kate @ Diethood.com on January 7, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I love the ingredients you used … these sound incredibly delicious!


  30. Norah on January 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    These looks perfect! My try these soon!!


  31. bianca on January 8, 2011 at 6:46 am

    i made these this morning and my boyfriend as eaten almost all of them already!


  32. kitchenarian on January 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I love dates and cranberries so I will definitely be baking these soon.


  33. Wanda on January 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I made these today, getting ready for the ice storm heading my way, and they are delicious! Definitely a keeper!


  34. Carol on January 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I love dates and cranberries, so I made these tonight – delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I’m sure I’ll be making them again soon.


  35. Steph on January 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Made these when hubby was home from work for a snow day. Went with ingredients I had already so I used chopped almonds, cranberries, and raisins (no dates) and whole wheat flour. He loved them!


  36. Mary-Lynne on January 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    These were so good. I have made these on two different occasions. I froze them for school and breakfasts, and they were still tasty. MY hubby and my kids like them. It’s a keeper! 🙂


  37. Anne @ Have a Cookie! on January 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I made these yesterday substituting 1/2 cup of applesauce for the melted butter. They were moist and delicious!


  38. Marla on January 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I’m baking these right now. The batter was amazing. I love the smell that was produced when I spilled the melted butter mix all over the dry ingredients. Man, that sounds kinda dirty. Anyway, thanks for the recipe.


  39. Emily on April 15, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Possibly my new favorite easy breakfast muffin. I added a few mini chocolate chips the second time, but I think I preferred them your way. So good!!


  40. Sofi on July 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I tried the cake and it came out so well. Thank u so much


  41. Lainy on November 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    This is one of my fav’s thx for the idea! it turned out great!:)


  42. Cindy on January 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I was looking for a moist oatmeal muffin and this combination worked out splendid. This muffins are delicious. I made mini muffins and they took 10 minutes to bake. Just the right size for my toddler. Thanks 🙂


  43. Shehla on March 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I baked your muffins, my family loved the fact tht they weren’t too sweet. I added pistachios instead of pecans, since I didn’t have them. Thank you for a wonderful breakfast treat!


  44. Carrie on May 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Absolutely one of the best muffins I’ve made or had. I try to use oatmeal where possible. One batch I just used dried cranberries, another fresh blueberries. I also subbed almond milk with a little apple cider vinegar vs. the buttermilk. Amazing. Moist, delicious. Thanks.


  45. Karen on April 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Was the batter supposed to be very runny or did I do something wrong?


  46. Bern on February 13, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Made muffins today. I used whole wheat flour instead of regular and added additional nuts, I love nuts. Muffins are very good, will make again.


  47. Leslie on March 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Made these today. These are the best muffins I’ve ever had. The prep was fast, easy, and no-fuss. I can always count on your recipes. Thank you for another keeper.


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