Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with Flaxseed

December 24, 2013

Merrill's daughter Clara has quite the appetite -- and it's all Merrill can do to keep up. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon and a minimal amount of fuss, she steps into the fray.

Today: Blueberry, oatmeal and flaxseed muffins.

blueberry oatmeal muffins

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My child is a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast. She goes for a wide variety at lunch and dinner: stews, pasta, bean soups, chicken any old way, and most things that grow in the ground -- with the notable exception of potatoes that haven't seen the inside of a deep fryer.

More: Clara likes these oven fries.

But for over a year, Clara wouldn't eat anything for breakfast except for toast with butter and yogurt. Maybe with a piece of fruit on the side. Hoping to switch things up a bit, we tried oatmeal (along with every other type of hot cereal), pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs with cheese, strata (which she'll happily eat for lunch or dinner). She'd have none of it.

She may not have been bored by this routine, but we were certainly tiring of it.

blueberry oatmeal muffins

A few weeks ago I started taking Clara to Du Jour, my favorite local coffee bakery-cum-coffee-shop, for breakfast on the weekends. I'd give her a piece of buttered toast at home and bring her yogurt with us so she had something to eat while I enjoyed my latte and ham and cheese brioche. One morning, feeling unusually virtuous, I spied a blueberry oatmeal and flaxseed muffin and decided to sub that in for my usual savory breakfast.

As I peeled back the paper lining, I saw Clara watching me with interest. And then a minute later: "Cake?"

I broke off a corner of the muffin, staining my fingers with blueberry juice, and handed it over. I think I managed to get about three bites of that muffin.

blueberry oatmeal muffins

Apparently, this muffin is a favorite among neighborhood kids. It's hearty and airy at the same time, thanks to a base of oats and whole wheat flour lightened with both baking powder and soda. It's chock full of plump blueberries and has a generous punch of cinnamon, which make the muffin seem sweeter than it actually is.

Clara now requests a muffin most mornings -- and because they're probably healthier than anything I eat for breakfast on any given day, I'm happy if she has one several times a week. Vera, one of the owners of Du Jour, who knows how much Clara loves her muffins, was kind enough to give me the recipe so we can make them at home whenever we're away -- or if the the bakery happens to be closed, like it is later this week.

We finally have a breakfast alternative, and I didn't even have to resort to frying potatoes.

blueberry oatmeal muffins

Blueberry, Oatmeal and Flaxseed Muffins

Adapted from Du Jour Bakery

Makes 24 muffins

280 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
450 grams (5 1/2 cups) rolled oats
300 grams (1 1/2 cups) light brown sugar
80 grams (2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) ground flaxseed
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup neutral oil (vegetable, olive, and coconut are good choices)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups blueberries (or use other fresh berries, or dried berries)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom and Mark Weinberg

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I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


Hien January 23, 2015
Are the muffins supposed to be not sweet at all? I was expecting them to be sweeter. Maybe I will adjust to my taste by 2 cup of sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe, texture is perfect.
Merrill S. January 23, 2015
They are not very sweet, no. Glad you liked the texture!
Rose B. July 30, 2014
Super good... I took some of the oats and blended to flour form. Great recipe for substitutions. Added almonds as well. Delist, a new favorite!
Amanda F. July 13, 2014
Do these muffin freeze?
Merrill S. July 13, 2014
Yes, they freeze nicely.
Ashley R. March 26, 2014
I jusy made these with two changes: Trader Joe's blueberry flax (with freeze dried blueberry pieces in it, awesome), and 450 grams of this oatmeal/quinoa/cocoa/cashew/some other grain mix that I found at Target. They're absolutely amazing, perfect texture and sweetness. It seems like it will take well to substitutions.
Thanks for a great recipe-and also for putting metric measurements!
Terri March 23, 2014
If I'm going to sub applesauce for oil, is it a one for one substitution? (I.e one cup oil=one cup applesauce)
Sarah February 20, 2014
Merrill - Loved these for my toddler! Quick question though. I am making them for the 2nd time and this time I am trying coconut oil but I have never baked/cooked with it. Do I melt it down to get the 1 cup portion in liquid form? Thank you!
Merrill S. February 20, 2014
Yes, that's exactly right. And so glad to hear you liked them!
Katy January 9, 2014
Hi, these look delicious. My husband is diabetic, so I'll probably use a sugar substitute. But do you have any idea about the carb count for these?
annier May 2, 2014
You can always throw any recipe into the Eatracker ( and it will give both a carb count and breakdown in comparison to the Food Guide (it's Canadian, however...)
xcell January 8, 2014
Healthy? Well it looked good until I saw canola oil in there. You just keep thinking you're doing good while ingesting that poison
Merrill S. January 8, 2014
I understand that people have strong feelings when it comes to specific ingredients and health -- that said, we're all about positive/constructive interactions on Food52, and the tone of your comment isn't in keeping with this. Since you're new to the community, just something to bear in mind.
xcell January 8, 2014
fair enough. I am personally affected by canola oil as I never knew my grandfather who died before I was born because of this poison. His doctor in his infinite wisdom converted him off olive oil over to the new "healthy" alternative of canola oil and he died within a couple of years of heart disease. The stuff is poison plain and simple despite whatever marketing mumbo jumbo they want to feed us. It's processed at high temperatures which destroys whatever healthy virtues it had to begin with, among other reasons. I would suggest looking into good healthy alternatives to replace junk like this, olive oil/coconut oil, heck even grass fed butter, all of those are WAY healthier alternatives and taste great too!
Merrill S. January 8, 2014
Thanks for your nice response, and your position is completely understandable. Thanks, also, for the substitution suggestions -- I'll add them to the recipe!
Callie January 8, 2014
You can also just substitute the oil with applesauce. That's what I did and they turned out great! I do that a lot with baking and oil.
Merrill S. January 8, 2014
Great suggestion!
laurel'skitchen January 4, 2014
Can you omit the flaxseed ? I don't have any, but it is a lot. Substitute more flour? Or all- purpose flour?
Merrill S. January 4, 2014
Yes, you can just sub in more of the whole wheat flour.
Cindy January 3, 2014
Made these fantastic muffins last night during our snowstorm and boy are they good. I had to make a few substitutions as I ran short on oats. I used three cups of raisin bran ( I had two cups rolled oats) and bumped the whole wheat flour up by a 1/2 cup. I also added two tsps vanilla extract and a heaping 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. I had dried wild blueberries on hand so I soaked those in hot water for 20 mins and drained them real good before folding them in at the end. My advice is to let the batter sit for a good 20 mins to let that buttermilk work. My second pan came out even fluffier and had a great craggy top.I found that 25 mins in a 350 degree oven was just right.
Merrill S. January 4, 2014
So glad you liked them, and thanks for sharing your tips/substitutions!
Nancy January 3, 2014
Everything about this recipes sounds great except 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I think that muffins are not cake and should have very little sugar, especially in this recipe with it's healthy ingredients.
Merrill S. January 4, 2014
Please feel free to reduce the sugar -- this is the recipe as it was given to me, but no recipe is set in stone.
Lin January 3, 2014
could you use frozen berries?
Merrill S. January 4, 2014
Yes, just don't thaw them before adding them to the batter.
Lee January 2, 2014
I don't bake enough to know what can be changed and what cannot in a recipe. Can I cut ALL the ingredients in half in order to make a smaller batch and still be successful?
Merrill S. January 4, 2014
Yes, you absolutely can -- I did this last week.
Lee January 4, 2014
Thank you! I'll try this tomorrow.
Lorraine January 2, 2014
Do you think ½ the oil could be substituted with coconut oil? I am trying to work more into my diet. I did not have ground flax seed on hand, so I did substitute chia seeds and they were just fine. They even added a little crunch. Thank you for a delicious, healthy muffin.
Merrill S. January 2, 2014
I don't see why not -- sounds like a great idea. And so glad you like them!
Lorraine January 3, 2014
Thanks for your reply.
Gayle January 1, 2014
Can you give me the recipe in a Gluten Free version? We have a couple of Celiac Family members who can not eat gluten. Thank you!! And Happy New Year!
Merrill S. January 1, 2014
Happy new year! Sorry, I haven't experimented with a gluten free version of this. As I understand it, oats cans be difficult for people with celiac disease, so this may not be a great recipe for your family.
k December 25, 2013
There's no water in the recipe that I can see, so if you added water that would make it thin / runny.
Merrill S. December 25, 2013
There is water in the instructions, just not in the ingredient list.
Callie December 24, 2013
I just made these. I found the batter a bit runny and had to bake them longer than stated. Is this because of the extra water? Not sure if I missed something.
Merrill S. December 25, 2013
The water amount is correct - how big are your muffin tins? They can take a little longer to bake depending on the size of your tins. How long did you have to cook them for?
Callie December 25, 2013
I didn't add the water because I thought it was a bit runny without it. I ended up baking them for about 25 minutes. It also made about 30 of them. I'm pretty sure it is just a standard size pan with 12 muffins in the pan.
Merrill S. December 26, 2013
Yes, you're right about the yield -- made the correction, and sorry about that! But I just made another batch of the muffins, and the measurements are correct. (My batter wasn't runny at all, and I did use the water.) Maybe you want to check your scale?
Callie December 27, 2013
I will have to try them again! & check my scale. It might be off. Thanks so much for the info.
ItsyBitsyBaker December 24, 2013
These look fantastic, and something my husband would eat! Going to give them a try tomorrow. Your daughter is beautiful!!
Merrill S. December 25, 2013
Thank you!