Buttermilk Granola Muffins: crunchy granola, meet your tender muffin.


So many recipes… so little time!

There’s a running list I keep called “recipes I’d like to develop someday.”

A baking bucket list, as it were.

SOMEDAY… I’m going to figure out how to make s’more cupcakes. And triple chocolate scones. And 100% whole grain baguettes.

Now, tell me, doesn’t cheeseburger pizza sound good? How about iced carrot cake cookies? Or a giant soft pretzel, perfect for a crowd-sized sandwich?

Well, today is the day I’m actually making progress on this list. Because Granola Muffins were on it for the longest time, before becoming reality.

Crunchy granola. A moist, substantial whole wheat muffin.

Whole grains, meet whole grains.

As it turns out, the granola adds a certain pleasant chewiness to the muffins’ texture, and crunch to their tops. Plus lots of toasty/nutty flavor.

Looking for a quick and easy high-fiber breakfast treat?


No brag, just fact: our recipe for Crunchy Granola makes the best granola I’ve ever eaten. And it’s perfect for these muffins.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

2 cups (8 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 cup prepared granola

Whisk everything together thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 cups liquid whey – the liquid drained from plain yogurt when you make thick, Greek-style yogurt).

Note: Want to make these muffins vegan? Substitute 1 1/4 cups orange juice, vegetable juice, cranberry juice, or the juice of your choice for the buttermilk or whey.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.

Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan; or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them nearly full. A slightly heaped muffin scoop of batter is the right amount.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional granola, if desired.

Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes; they’ll dome nicely.

Remove them from the oven.

Test one of the center muffins by inserting a toothpick into the middle – it should come out clean.

If the muffins are too hot for you to handle, use a table knife or chopstick to tilt them in their cups; this will prevent their bottoms from steaming and becoming soggy.

Once the muffins are cool enough to pick up, transfer them to a rack.

Save and enjoy any granola left behind – it’ll be nice and crisp/crunchy.

Serve muffins warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers loosely wrapped at room temperature.

Did I mention these are 100% whole grain? Now THAT’S a tasty way to enjoy fiber!

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Buttermilk Granola Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...


  1. Sarah

    These look great. What is the effect of the buttermilk (besides being a liquid)? Could you substitute the buttermilk for another liquid (regular milk, water, cream, etc.)?

    Thanks for the great WHOLE GRAINS recipe!
    Buttermilk gives recipes an extra rich and “bitey” flavor while aiding in digestion because of all its “friendly” bacteria. Since buttermilk is acidic it gives baked products and extra tender consistency. So go ahead and substitute buttermilk when ever milk, water, or cream are called for. Just remember, the flavor will change slightly. betsy@kaf

  2. calico

    PJ, I love this recipe. I’ve made it 3 times. Twice with the granola topping, and once without. I believe my oven is running a little hot because both times my granola burned! It wasn’t burned to a crisp, just a tad bit too dark. Oh, but I do LOVE these muffins, so easy to make and SO delicious. They’re incredibly moist and flavorful. Thank you for this recipe and for all the recipes you share. My husband thanks you, too. Whenever I make a new recipe he always asks, “Is this a PJ recipe?”. Your recipes have never failed me. Thanks again, PJ. Take care!

    So glad you’re enjoying these, Calico (and hubby too!). Here’s a tip: lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the muffins about 5 minutes before they’re done baking; this won’t affect how thoroughly they bake, but will definitely help keep the granola from burning. Enjoy! PJH

  3. Anne

    I think I’ll go whip up some of these muffins before I settle down for my morning paper work. Just what we need on this rainy day! It just happens I have some leftover granola from last baking. But I’ll need to substitute KAF buttermilk powder for the fresh stuff, unless I want to run to the store. (Probably not, not in this grey, wet morning.) I wonder if buttermilk still keeps some of its friendly bacteria that Betsy mentioned above, even in its dry powdery form? PJ, thanks so much for keep giving us all these great baking ideas!

    Buttermilk – what an amazing ingredient, whether you use the liquid or powder form! The acidity helps the leavening produce more carbon dioxide, giving the muffins more lift or rise than using “regular” milk. Irene @ KAF

  4. kaf-sub-piazzonw

    Printed off the recipe to try…noticed that there are no eggs. I am used to using eggs in my muffin recipes and am wondering if the omission will affect the tenderness/moistness of the muffins.
    I thought I’d better ask the question, BEFORE I bake a batch.

    I’m trying to offer more vegan options, and these can become vegan very easily, since they don’t use eggs. I find the egg-less muffins I make are often moister than those with eggs – so I wouldn’t worry too much about the lack of eggs leaving them dry. PJH

  5. bakeraunt

    You should probably call these cupcakes, given the one cup of sugar. If the idea is for people to eat healthier, the high sugar content undercuts the health benefit. I will probably try the recipe, but I will cut the sugar by half. I do approve of their lowfat content (depending on what kind of granola is used, since some is very high in fat)–at least they are not using much added fat.

    Not really making health claims here – but fiber is good for you, and these are tasty and easy to grab as you go out the door, as opposed to a bowl of oatmeal… Thanks for the reminder about high-fat granola; it can be deceptive, it’s true. PJH

  6. Glennie

    Mm, can’t wait to try these – perhaps with some nuts (pecans?) and dried cranberries? I feel like the probiotic bacteria would probably not survive the baking process, but I do love the flavor of buttermilk anyways.

  7. tisa

    Serendipity is a lovely thing. I was reading my email, first of which was a link a friend forwarded to a recent posting on the food blog A Pastry Affair, all about S’mores Cupcakes. Then your blog starts out with you commenting on wanting to make just those same sweeties. Must be karma. Here’s the link. http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2012/4/9/smores-cupcakes.html

    Tisa, that’s just what I was envisioning – graham cracker crust, chocolate cake, meringue (marshmallow) topping. Boy, don’t those look good! Thanks for posting and yes, serendipity is a lovely thing. PJH

  8. lishy

    I made these recently and my kids (both currently 4 years old) told me I needed to make these every week. They loved them, and so did my slightly pickier husband. I used homemade carrot cake granola, and they were awesome. Next time I might substitute some carrot juice for the buttermilk if using that granola again. This week I am going to make vanilla almond version using the buttermilk. Thank you for an amazing and healthy go to recipe for breakfast!

    Love the different types of granola you’re suggesting here… Thanks for the inspiration! PJH

  9. argentyne

    these look wonderful. And I’m absolutely ready to chew cardboard at the moment, but I have 20 minutes before lunch.

    However, I think these will go on the To-Do list at home. After I make granola. ;)

  10. elark1

    i would love to see a calorie count for these. most muffins have high calories and we try to stay away from them. we would like these better if we knew the numbers.

    Tia, the calorie count (269) is at the bottom of the recipe, along with the rest of the nutritional info. They’re not low-cal, but they do offer 3g fiber. PJH

  11. JuliaJ

    Didn’t have granola so subbed in half the amount of (thick) rolled oats. I forgot to add in the vanilla (saw the bottle sitting on the counter JUST as I put the pan in the oven) but did add in the cinnamon so still was quite tasty. I reduced the sugar to 2/3 the amount but as bakeraunt says, they were still quite sweet–next time will halve the sugar. These overfilled my 12-cup muffin pan though the muffin papers kept the batter reined in (and not flowing over the pan edge!), so will probably try a 3/4 batch next time. Still yummy even with all the goofs, thanks, PJ!

    Glad to hear it, Julia – guess the recipe is goof-proof! PJH

  12. waikikirie

    PJ – this recipe looks great. Can’t wait to try it along with the crunchy granola. I so love that you and your fellow bloggers use your well used/loved pans and not picture perfect, brand-spanking new ones in your photos. Some how I feel inadequate with photos of beautiful pans. Like I should have been cleaning the groves with a toothpick or something…teehee Anyhoo….looking forward to baking these up this weekend to have during the week…..xoxoxo

    Real people, real pans, right? I’ve always loved that about King Arthur; we’re “allowed” (encouraged) to be regular people, not Photoshop opportunities. Anyway, a well-used pan is bound to show its age; same as a well-loved grandma! PJH

  13. Nutrilisa

    Dear PJH,
    As usual a wonderful recipe! Can’t wait to make these, for my family and friends! While you may not be making any health claims, these have healthy ingredients. Thanks from a grateful home baker. Nutrilisa

  14. Anne

    Super easy, super quick, whole grain, and quite tasty, too. Five stars.
    These muffins start out with granola, which is essentially toasted oats, nuts, coconuts, etc. With all these good favors packed into them, how could these muffins not come out good? A clever concoction, I say. But the merit of this recipe, to me, is easy and quick. From start to finish in about half an hour, and voila, come these hot, cinnamon-scented, whole-grain muffins from the oven. What’s not to like?
    I used the powdered buttermilk plus 10 oz. of water. I also reduced the sugar to 5 oz. The batter came together a bit on the thin side, something like a pancake batter. But when done the muffins rose to the full height of the cups and domed as expected. The sides and bottom were nicely caramelized. Maybe a little too well browned. I made a note to lower the temperature after the first 10 minutes in my next batch. Adding a tablespoon or so of shredded fresh carrot for color, perhaps. Or, sneaking in a bit of the unfed starter? Too many (good) recipes, too little time – indeed.
    Love the idea of unfed starter, Anne. Why not? I always have that on hand, too! Elisabeth

  15. ebenezer94

    Looks yummy. Thanks for the suggestion of using whey. I make a lot of Greek style yogurt and never know what to do with the whey. It generally goes down the drain. Would this work in other recipes calling for buttermilk as well? For example, Bert’s Buttermilk Biscuits, my usual biscuit recipe (converted to whole wheat)?

    Yes, I find whey steps in for buttermilk pretty well. Since it’s a lot thinner, though, you’d use less of it – at least in recipes that call for a significant amount of buttermilk. If the recipe calls for 1 cup buttermilk or over, I’d reduce the amount of whey by about 20%. Give it a try – it’s fun experimenting. PJH

  16. kendria

    Made the granola and muffins and brought them into work. By 10am they were gone. :-) Consensus was most people liked the fact that muffins were not as sweet as store bought muffins, they were made with whole wheat flour and the dried fruit in the granola. Overall thumbs up from me and my co-workers. :-)

  17. binag

    These look fantastic and are going to be breakfast tomorrow morning. Just wondering if I could substitute melted butter for the oil, and if so how much? Thanks for all the great recipes.
    Yes, you can use butter for the oil, same amount. Enjoy! ~ MJ

  18. gaa

    PJ= As usual, a wonderful recipe!! I made these yesterday using traditional WW flour and my own granola. These are wonderfully moist, flavorful (LOVE KAF Vietnamese cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Crush extract!!!) and not too sweet (desppite the 1 c. brown sugar) I mistakenly made mine a little smaller (realized it as I was putting pans in the oven) than called for but adjusted baking time so all is well. In fact, the smaller size works better for me and my husband (less calories you know!!). I froze most of them so that we can grab one in the morning and have it with coffee or tea later in the day while at work. These will be a staple in our house for sure!!

  19. kristinquinby

    Made these this morning and went ahead and added 2 eggs, ’cause the kids are crumbly-averse. Not sure if that would’ve happened, but didn’t want to waste a batch no one would eat. They turned out great – a BIG HIT. Now to go put this one on my mobile device so I’ll have it when I travel to family.

    Thanks for sharing your tweak, Kristin; they’re not crumbly without the egg, but by adding eggs you were adding protein and vitamins for the kids, always a good thing… PJH

  20. thorofare

    These muffins are GREAT!!!! They were moist and flavorful with a subtle cinnamon flavor. I threw in some dried tart cherries for a little zing. Very satisfying in that you don’t feel like you’ve had an unhealthy snack. My husband, who shys away from anything made solely with whole wheat flour, LOVES them!! These will be a standard in our house!

  21. moniqueterrio

    I made these a couple days ago. I weighed ingredients, followed the directions, used everything as listed, but my batter was very “wet”. I baked them anyway, thinking that the hot oven would use up some of the ‘wet’, but they needed longer to cook, and sank in the middle before being done. Sad looking that they were, they were Delicious! It was difficult to limit myself to just one. Needless to say, they were very moist and stayed that way until they were gone. They just didn’t look very much like the photo. When I make them again, I’ll add more flour/less milk and see how it goes. I know that my “test subjects” (everyone at work) will inhale these when I bring them in.


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