Cooks Illustrated (Really Good) Oatmeal Muffins

The test kitchen at Cooks Illustrated figured out a way to bake with rolled oats and end up with muffins that actually taste like oats, or actually more like oatmeal with brown sugar and pecans, or even big fluffy oatmeal cookies. In any case, what you get is delicious.

The trick is to toasts the oats in a bit of butter until golden and grind them into a flour in your food processor… an extra step, but worth it.

Cooks Illustrated Oatmeal Muffins

Serves 12
From magazine Cooks Illustrated


for the topping

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped finely)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

for the muffins

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for toasting oats)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Large eggs (beaten)


for the topping
1. Combine oats, flour, pecans, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and stir to ­thoroughly combine; set aside.
for the muffins
2. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring frequently, until oats turn golden brown and smell of cooking popcorn, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer oats to food processor and process into fine meal, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to oats and pulse until combined, about 3 pulses.
3. Stir 6 tablespoons melted butter and sugar together in large bowl until smooth. Add milk and eggs and whisk until smooth. Using whisk, gently fold half of oat mixture into wet ingredients, tapping whisk against side of bowl to release clumps. Add remaining oat mixture and continue to fold with whisk until no streaks of flour remain. Set aside batter for 20 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (about ½ cup batter per cup; cups will be filled to rim). Evenly sprinkle topping over muffins (about 2 tablespoons per muffin). Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.
5. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin tin and serve or let cool completely before serving.


  • Reply
    June 28, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Your recipe has a huge typo. Making these this morning and hope I didn’t mess up my muffins by stirring in 1 ¾ cups of flour into my muffins after I mixed the batter. Not 1 ¾ teaspoons.

    • Reply
      June 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      You are absolutely right that the correct amount was 1 3/4 cup of flour! Someone else called me about it and I changed it just as soon as I could get to my computer. Thank you for being observant and for letting me know…just an incorrect click of the mouse but as you said, a huge typo. Happy baking!

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