Recipe: Fruit, Nut, or Berry (or whatever you want them to be) Whole-Wheat Muffins

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Whole-Wheat Muffins from 100 Days of Real FoodOh muffins, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… First, you can serve these muffins as part of breakfast, lunch, or just by themselves as a snack. Second, they really are easy to make and with so many possibilities of what you can add to the muffin batter I am certain you will find a combination that you (and your kids) will love. Third, my kids scarf down their beloved customized versions, and I feel good about what they are eating. And last but not least, they freeze beautifully!!

I definitely have to give credit to my 5-year-old daughter for inspiring me to make these whole-wheat muffins. She got very excited one morning when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and responded with “blueberry muffins!” We had not made muffins in years and I think she likes the idea of them because, well, the shape is strikingly similar to a cupcake! Once we got started my creative juices started flowing….these don’t just have to be blueberry muffins! I put strawberries in some and some leftover pear that I had on hand in others…and why not raisins? My 3-year-old loves raisins. So anyway, you get the idea how you can take the plain batter and add whatever flavors your heart desires. Make one big batch that’s all the same or each one different…and most importantly, have fun with it!

4.6 from 32 reviews

Fruit, Nut, or Berry (or whatever you want them to be) Whole-Wheat Muffins
Serves: Makes 12 Muffins
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup orange juice or apple juice
  • About 1 cup of total filling (berries, fruit, nuts, etc. – see below for details)
  • Muffin/Cupcake liners
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl with a fork or whisk mix the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs, honey, vanilla, oil and orange juice. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together – do not overmix.
  4. Now here is the fun part. If you are in a hurry just add 1 cup of blueberries, mashed up banana & nuts, or other filling of your choice. If you have 5 or 10 minutes extra (and some anxious helpers) do not add anything to the muffin batter before continuing with the next step.
  5. Line a muffin pan with liners and fill ⅔ to ¾ of the way full with batter. If you didn’t already add your filling, sprinkle 1 – 2 teaspoons of whatever you would like (from the list below or from your own creation) onto the top of each raw muffin in the pan. Then gently mix each one with a fork or spoon.
    Here are some options to consider for the fillings:
    - blueberries
    - diced strawberries
    - peeled and diced pears
    - applesauce
    - either diced or mashed up bananas and chopped walnuts
    - raisins and chopped pecans (I add an extra pinch of cinnamon to the muffins with this filling)
    - grated carrot and chopped walnuts
    - orange or lemon zest (only add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of zest per individual muffin)
    - a mix of dried fruit bits
    - jelly
  6. After the filling has been mixed into each muffin slide the tray into the warm oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature and freeze some for a later date.

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448 comments to Recipe: Fruit, Nut, or Berry (or whatever you want them to be) Whole-Wheat Muffins

  • think i may have to try these. i was planning on making strawberry muffins tomorrow anyway, sooo i’ll try yours:) i’m sure they will be a bit healthier!

    making them to go with that cynthia rylant book for kids about a house. in it she talks about strawberry muffins. it’s lovely.

    the girls may love it…
    Let’s go Home: the wonderful things about a house.

    LOVE this blog!
    miss you.


    • Thank you Heidi…I will have to check out that book to go along with our muffins next time. Please tell me how they turn out and if your kids like them! :)

  • Kate Luxon

    I made these muffins after work tonight since we were having “breakfast for dinner”. They were so easy to make and soooo yummy. Connor ate 2 along with his organic scrambled eggs. We put blueberries and raspberries in ours. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Lisa

    I made these muffins the other night and they turned out great! I added a variety of fruit as you had suggested. I never heard of OJ in muffin batter but glad I found such a recipe!

    Thanks for the healthy recipe…keep it up! I also look forward to your recipes!

  • Natasha

    Thank you for this blog and the information and recipes it provides. My family loved the banana pancakes and the muffins.

  • [...] some whole wheat muffins, some with fresh strawberries and some with apples and walnuts. I  used another recipe from “The Food Illusions”. I tweaked it a little and used apple sauce instead of orange [...]

  • Kristi Billingsley Toms

    Hey Lisa,
    I made these for the first time the other day and my hubs loved them; alas, my picky eaters weren’t too fond. I plan on trying them again; just different add ins. Have you ever tried them w/ peanut butter?

    • I am sorry to hear that, but I completely understand picky eaters! Only if I could have a dollar for every time my 3-year-old says “yucky” just because of the way something looks without even trying it. Back to the muffins though…for starters, what do your kids really like, what are some of their favorite things you could considering adding in there? I have not tried them with peanut butter yet, but I do think that could work. I do know of one person who used applesauce instead of orange juice, although I don’t know how much that would change things. Why don’t I experiment with the peanut butter thing tomorrow and let you know how it works out…also, let me know if there is anything else they love that might entice them to eat it if it was added in!

  • Genny

    Made these just a few minutes ago to pair with some leftover quiche for dinner, and between myself, my 1, and my 2 year old, there are only 7 left and they are still asking for more! Make that 6…my son just stole one…oh well, at least they’re healthy to some degree! :)

    We didn’t have any orange juice, so I used a combination of pineapple juice and pomegranate juice that we did have, I subbed coconut oil for the canola/vegetable oil, and I ground my own soft winter wheat right before mixing it all up. They still turned out great. I think I would have preferred them a little sweeter, so I may try adding a little more honey next time, but they were still delicious and the kids didn’t seem to mind at all. Thanks for the great recipes!

  • [...] Whole-wheat muffins (pictured below) with a side of fresh fruit and a hard boiled egg [...]

  • Janiek

    I tried making these and followed the recipe and made it with forest fruits.
    Yet somehow, they came out al soggy… I put them in the over for 35(!!) minutes in the hope of getting them harder but nothing would help. Where could I have gone wrong?



    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Are you sure you had your oven on the right setting? One time my friend’s son accidentally turned her oven down in the middle of baking…it took her forever to figure out what went wrong!

  • Karis

    I always use organic applesauce instead of oil in my muffins, delicious! Is the orange juice supposed to be a natural sweetener? Just trying to figure out why that is needed.

  • Just made these and they are yummy! Hubby…not so much! But who cares?! More for us!

  • Lee Anne

    Mmmm. That’s what my little dude and my husband said when they sampled these before dinner last night! I subbed applesauce for the oil and I didn’t have any OJ so I used milk. I had added carrots and raisins and my husband said he didn’t even miss the sweetness of the muffins because of the tastes of the add-ins. I think I may try an apple version today!!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I love hearing about all the substitutions! It is amazing how many variations there are to some recipes.

    • Lee Anne

      Just an update. I made these again and the OJ makes a major difference. If making fruit muffins they are sooooo much better with OJ than milk, but if you want to go savory then milk makes them less sweet.

  • Crystal

    We made these the other night, but we made surprise muffins. I filled the muffin cup half up with batter, but some jam in the middle and topped it off with more batter. They were so good and both my girls loved the surprise of jam in the middle.

  • I’m confused about your choice of oil in this recipe. In your post on oils to avoid, vegetable and canola are listed. Is this a typo or am I missing something? Thanks! :)

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      No you are not missing anything. Everything we’ve learned and shared about oils happened after this recipe was posted. I have not had a chance to update all my old recipes yet.

  • Sara

    We are taking your challenge, and doing the 100 day. We are already mostly there as we grind all our own grains, have our own garden, chickens, etc…. HOWEVER, we are bad about buying the things in the snack and breakfast department that are HORRIBLE! lol! So we’re doing this challenge! :) I was so excited to read about you in the News and Observer a couple of days ago! We tried these muffins this morning! I added fresh blueberries, and they were DELICIOUS!!!!!! They were a hit with all 6 of our children, and the husband loved them as well!! :D Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes!! (we also tried the PB&J smoothie yesterday morning, and are making cheese crackers this afternoon!!! :D I can’t get my husband to eat ANYTHING with a banana, and he loved the PB&J smoothie!) I couldn’t believe it!! :D Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D–Sara

  • Sara

    OH!!! I used coconut oil instead of veggie!!! :D YUM!! :D

  • Nicole

    My kids liked these, but I thought they could be a little sweeter. Could more honey be added or do you ever use raw sugar? I’m slowly getting rid of processed foods in the house!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      It takes time for your palette to adjust to foods that are not as sweet as the packaged version…but yes you could add more sweetener if you prefer.

  • Sara Casey

    I just made a bunch of these and put them in the freezer to take on an upcoming camping trip. I expect that my niece and nephews (whose palettes aren’t used to a sugar-free diet) will notice that they aren’t as sweet as the typical muffin, but I don’t think that that will stop them from enjoying them. :) For me, they’re perfect – I love that I could make & bake these in about a half hour! Perfect.

  • Hi Lisa, Had a bake day today to prepare for school starting. Thought these would be perfect to freeze for a quick breakfast option. Wish I would have doubled the recipe because they are so yummy. Made according to directions with frozen blueberries. Will definitely make again. Thanks so much!

  • Sarah

    What if I don’t have orange juice? What can I use as a substitute?

  • Lee

    I made these with fresh chopped pineapple and they came out beautifully. My eight year old and five year old really liked them and they’re not big muffin eaters, so thank you!

  • Danielle

    I substitute oil with greek yogart! Its super yummy.

  • Shannon

    Thanks for a great recipe! We have a gluten free preschooler and these baked up great with our favorite gluten free all purpose flour. The kids have declared that we had the best breakfast ever! I’m glad to say good bye to our old muffin recipe that called for a 1/2 cup white sugar.

  • Melinda

    Love this recipe; although I like them more fruity so I add 2x as much fruit. I freeze them and put them in my toaster oven for breakfast. Fast and easy.

  • Brianna

    Our palettes are more accustomed to sweeter treats, so the fruit muffins weren’t quite sweet enough for us, but they’re a good start. However, in half of the muffins I instead used real jelly. I poured 1/2 muffin cup of mix, dollop of jelly, then mix to cover and they were great!

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