Irish Oatmeal Cookie Muffins from Cleo Coyle

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Packed with the nutrition and fiber of whole grain oats, these muffins taste like fresh-baked oatmeal cookies, redolent with the flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. They're fantastic with coffee or tea; and, because of the oats in the mix, they can help curb your appetite between meals.

Click for Cleo's
free recipe PDF.
Irish Oatmeal works great in these muffins, you don't have to use steel cut oats. I often use plain "old fashioned" Quaker oats for this recipe.

Learn about the differences between these two types of oats in my full post. Just scroll down or on the "read more" link here or below, and may you always...

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

So what’s the big-deal benefit
about eating whole grains like oatmeal? 

For one thing, fiber-rich whole grains take longer to break down in your body, which means your glucose levels will remain more constant instead of shooting up and crashing down, consequently helping you control cravings to overeat.

And what's the difference 
between steel cut oats and rolled oats?

Steel cut oats (right), such as McCann's Irish Oatmeal, are whole oats that have been chopped up a bit. Rolled oats (left), such as Quaker Old Fashioned, are whole oats that have been literally rolled flat. "Quick cooking" oats are rolled oats that have been chopped up even further so they'll cook faster.

There is no significant difference in nutrition or dietary fiber between these different types of oats, simply taste. When you cook the steel cut oats (right), they're chewier and nuttier in flavor and texture than rolled oats (left).

To learn more about the difference between these two oats, click here or on the photo above and you'll jump to a web page with more info. 

And now for the recipe!

Cleo Coyle writes two
bestselling mystery
 series with her husband.
To learn more, click here.
A Recipe Note from Cleo.

Before your begin to make these amazing muffins, which bring the taste of fresh-baked oatmeal cookies to your breakfast table, note that your results will be different, depending on the type of oats you use. 

ROLLED OATS - If you use rolled oats in this recipe (for example, Quaker Old Fashioned), your muffin will be tender and cake-like in the crumb. 

STEEL CUT OATS - If you use the steel cut version (like McCann's Irish Oatmeal), you'll get a chewier texture with a slight nutty flavor, as if you've added chopped walnuts to the batter. They're both delicious, the choice is yours!

The reason I call these muffins "Irish" is because when I make them, I soak my plain old Quaker rolled oats in buttermilk overnight, which is a technique I borrowed from the directions on the container of McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal (i.e., one way of making plain oatmeal). Again, you can use either type for this recipe.

Oatmeal Cookie Muffins
by Cleo Coyle

Makes 6 standard muffins


1 cup buttermilk (low fat is fine or make your own, see how at end of recipe)

½ cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking, I use Quaker brand; for a chewier, nuttier texture use steel cut, such as John McCann's Irish Oatmeal)

1 egg

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable or cold-pressed coconut oil)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup raisins

1 cup all-purpose white or “white whole wheat” flour (*see note below)

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

*NOTE ON WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR: I often use “white whole wheat” flour in this recipe. The King Arthur brand is the one I use. It's a lighter kind of whole wheat flour that gives you the fiber and nutrition benefits of whole grain but with a taste and texture closer to white flour. According to the King Arthur web site, you can substitute "white whole wheat" flour for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio. While this won’t work in an angel food cakes or puff pastry, you can get good results using it in cookies, muffins, brownies, quick breads, and yeast breads. Learn more by clicking here.


Step 1 – Soak oats overnight:
Very easy. Combine the buttermilk and rolled oats in a bowl or plastic container. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight (or at least six hours before making muffins). This soaking will soften the rolled oats, giving your final muffin a tender cake-like crumb. (If using steel cut oats, the muffin will be chewier and nuttier, but the soaking is still necessary to soften the hard grain.)


Rolled oats combined
with buttermilk.

Photo above is before soaking.
Photo below is after soaking overnight.
To make the same day, soak 6 hours.

Step 2 – Make batter: Crack egg into a mixing bowl and beat lightly with a fork, add buttermilk and oat mixture (from Step 1), dark brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, raisins. Stir well to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to create a lumpy dough. Do not over-mix at this stage or you will develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender.

Step 3 – Bake: Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Line muffin cups with paper liners and lightly spray the papers and top of your muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. (This dough is low in fat and may stick to your papers otherwise.)

Using two tablespoons, drop the sticky dough into the muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake in your well preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until top of muffin is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. Remove pan from oven, and...

NOTE: If muffins remain in the hot pan, the bottoms may steam and become tough. Remove muffins from pan as soon as possible. Finish cooling on a rack.


Buttermilk adds a wonderfully bright tang to recipes, deepening the complexity of flavor beyond plain milk. To make your own "sour milk" replacement for buttermilk, simply place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into a measuring cup and fill it with milk until the liquid reaches the 1 cup line. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, then use as you would buttermilk in any recipe.

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Cleo (Alice) with her husband Marc

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