My Favorite Oatmeal Muffin

Favorite Oatmeal Muffins
Photo by Gail Jokerst.


It’s probably foolhardy to claim I have a favorite oatmeal muffin any more than I have a favorite pie or flavor of ice cream. If my taste buds shout hosannas, whatever I’m eating qualifies as my favorite—at least for the moment.

Despite having said that, I really do have a go-to oatmeal muffin recipe I’ve relied on for some 30 years—and for good reason. Aside from the fact that I crave the slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture of this muffin, it unfailingly comes out perfect. So far it has never disappointed me or anyone else who has eaten one.

Additionally, it’s easy enough for kids to master yet satisfying for adults to create from scratch. A moist muffin with a tender crumb, it hits all the right notes for me and freezes beautifully.

It may sound odd, but I especially appreciate the simplicity of these muffins. No added nuts or raisins are required to lend interest. No added butter is necessary to slather on top, unless you’re feeling indulgent. Since they aren’t overly sweet, they seem right any time or any meal of the day.

I’m even fond of them as trail fare, though they aren’t sturdy travelers.

While not as speedy as using a Betty Crocker boxed mix, whipping up a batch of these muffins is hardly a world-class challenge. Whether on the spur of the moment or planned in advance, it always brings me joy to transform pantry staples—no exotic ingredients needed—into something this irresistible.

Having made these muffins so many times, I think I know the ingredients and measurements by heart. However, I still double-check the recipe before beginning again for the umpteenth time—just in case.

The Recipe


  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (apple or white)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup flavorless oil


  1. Stir vinegar into milk. Pour milk into a mixing bowl, then add oats. Let soak one hour. Meanwhile sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Blend together brown sugar, egg, and oil, then add to oat-milk mixture. When well mixed, stir sifted dry ingredients into wet batter.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees in greased muffin tins (or use paper liners) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center tests clean when poked with a toothpick.