Not Too Sweet Breakfast Muffins

I can’t start the day without  a real breakfast. If all I have is a donut picked up at a drive through, I’m edgy and hungry in an hour. I need the protein of my morning eggs, and along with that some carbs.  Although toast is good, I’m quite fond of muffins. However, most breakfast pastries are too sugary and too rich for me, so I’ve been perfecting a Not Too Sweet Breakfast Muffin. I’ve made them with whole wheat flour and nuts so that I’m satisfied all morning. I sweeten the muffins with honey for complexity of flavor. Honey is tricky to bake with – recipes burn easily and the crumb (a baker’s term for texture) is hard to get right. Also, pastries made with honey stale quickly, so any muffins not eaten on the first day should be frozen. (I store them in a zip bag, and remove one at a time, and warm up in the microwave.) But, I love the flavor that honey brings to these muffins. Just be sure to buy local honey. Supermarket brands often originate from China, are adulterated, and have high levels of pesticides. I’m fortunate that there are beekeepers right here in my town.


Not Too Sweet Breakfast Muffins

2 cups                whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons      baking soda
1/2 teaspoon    baking powder
1/2 teaspoon    cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon    kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick)              butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup               honey
1/4 cup               sugar
1 cup                  buttermilk
2                          eggs

1/2 cup               chopped nuts
1/2 cup               raisins or chopped dried fruit

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Coat a 12- cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2. Combine the dry ingredients and stir until all is thoroughly combined.
3. Beat the butter, honey and sugar until smooth. (If using a stand mixer, use the paddle.) Beat in the buttermilk and eggs.
4. Beat in the dry ingredients until just combined (over-beating will make the muffins tough.) Stir in the nuts and dried fruit.
5. Fill the muffin cups with the batter. (I use an ice cream scoop for this task.)
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins spring back to the touch.



  1. These will make a great grab-and-go breakfast, and a nice afternoon snack with some tea. Thanks Terry!

  2. Local (especially unpasteurized!) honey is great and maple syrup is also fantastic as a sweetener (and an occasional good long slurp from a huge tablespoon!). Apparently some studies are just beginning to reveal positive health aspects of maple syrup (sweetener of the gods I say!).

  3. Can’t wait to bake these…I’m always looking for recipes that aren’t overly sweet plus have some extra dried fruit so I’ll try that instead of the raisins. Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Was just thinking of making muffins, and here they are. Thanks, Terry. They sound wonderful.

  5. your muffins look great and i do love muffins only mine come from the grocery store – i suppose they get them from some commercial food-service company. they’re the huge delicious,fresh-baked ones and they are very good. however, the bad news about them? 360 calories.
    well, i don’t diet as such, but that’s too much for one meal’s muffin i f you ask me, so i do the freezer step you mentioned. i cut one into 4ths, put the rest in a baggie in the freezer and end up eating one muffin over four days! with butter, naturally.
    i’d love to try the version you posted, only just the thought of whole wheat makes my lip start to swell and tingle from a reaction to the real kind of flour.

  6. Thanks for the recipe! Looks like a good substitute for sticky-sweet bran mufffins! :-)

  7. I think I just saw Beatrix lay an egg and sing her egg song. Very funny to see silent-movie style! I am eager to try your muffin recipe so I’m off to the store to buy some honey.

  8. After reading your post, I made these. I used dried cranberries and they are delicious. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper.

  9. This recipe sounds fabulous…would like to try dried apricot as well as cranberries~~oh, btw Terry, just arriving yesterday~ for my two flocks, their Rock Bottom feeders, in red and they unanimously agreed, they love them! Thank you for posting about Lindsay…. her work is beautiful and well made.

      • Terry, thank you again for even sharing all you do with us, you have a good size fan club! I for one, find every topic mentioned most fascinating and very useful. As for Lindsay’s wares…practical and artistic indeed they are, we say. You know from your flocks response at introduction….and to mine…”Geez, somehow these pellets seem MUCH more tasty than the ones yesterday???”

  10. Your muffins look delicious. I’ll have to try the recipe. That Food Safety News article is creepy scary. Luckily I now live where I can purchase honey from local beekeepers, or at least from Trader Joe’s. Thanks for the information.

  11. Terry,
    Thank you for your site and wonderful wonderful information. I just ordered some of that honey from Carlisles Honey. It’s cold here in Wisconsin and I needed that pic-me-up. Have a great day and thanks again! Russmew

  12. Terry, I love muffins too. This recipe sounds great and the finished product looks delicious. We use local orange blossom honey to sweeten everything as my husband and I do not use white sugar or processed sweeteners for anything. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing =)

  13. The first of many batches of these muffins just came out of the oven. They are just scrumptious. GoldiIocks muffins — not too little, not too much, just right. No desire to put anything on them. I used pecans and currants. Thanks again for the recipe.

      • Yes, currants stay nicely dispersed in the batter without extra flour. They are also
        “dip and dump” — no chopping needed. I ate one with a clementine for breakfast and I might try some orange zest in them next time. Love recipes that open the door to variations.

  14. Can’t wait to try these. I will be using Bruce’s honey harvested last season on Crossroads Farm, of course. It’s being tightly rationed around my house but your muffin recipe deserves the best!

  15. This will definitely be the my next batch of muffins to try. We’re eating up a batch of blueberry muffins that are “okay”. Store bought blueberries, need I say more?

    Was just watching you play goat maid on the camera and got to thinking about having cameras “watching” my every move at home. Kinda creepy, in a way. Thanks for being so generous with your life, because I do enjoy popping in for my virtual chicken fix.

    • Actually, I get so much enjoyment from sharing my animals with others, that I’m willing to put up with the few inconveniences – like I never wear pjs to the coop :) I’ve also oriented the cams so that you can’t see the house. Last week, during the snowstorm, an elementary school in southern California watched the weather and the animals on a smart board in their library. That made all of us happy!

  16. I read the article that was hyperlinked about honey. JEEZ we need truth in labeling of our food!

  17. Just made a batch of your Not Too Sweet Breakfast Muffins – super easy and successful!

  18. I made these for our traditional Friday evening supper of muffins and fruit and they were WONDERFUL. I think this is my new favorite muffin recipe!

    • It is always so gratifying to hear that one of my recipes translates seamlessly into someone else’s kitchen. BTW, I love your supper tradition. Brilliant!

  19. Hi:)
    I just discovered your blog and am loving it! I’m getting my first chicks in a few days and I am unbelievably excited ( and a wee bit anxious). Your site has a lot of helpful info and FYI — just made these muffins and they are delish!

    • Welcome! Use the website’s “search” button to find lots of info about raising chicks – I got a batch of 25 last year, and you can see what I did, week by week.