Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins on AprilJHarris.com
One of my greatest places to find recipe ideas is my late Mom’s recipe box. It is one of the resources I am using to write my first cookbook of family recipes. Yes, I’ve finally starting work in ernest on the cookbook I’ve been planning for years! I have been gathering notes and writing snippets for ages but now I’m really going for it. In addition to Mom’s recipe box I also have my Mom and Dad’s recipe books (complete with handwritten notes and additional recipes stuck inside), a recipe book put together by my mom and I and tons of recipes shared by kind family and friends for this purpose at my request. You probably already know how passionate I am about family food history and I can’t tell you how excited I am that work on this as yet untitled labour of love is finally properly under way!

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Anyway, as I go through looking for the many recipes I want to include, I often stumble on one that I just can’t wait to share – and this was the case with my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins. It was one of my favourites when I was a kid. Like nearly all of my family recipes, this one has a story behind it.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins on AprilJHarris.com
My Mom was one of the first generations of what were then referred to as ‘career girls’. She had a job as a home economist with her local Public Utilities Commission in Ontario before I was born.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

It was Mom’s job to visit folks who had bought new appliances from the Public Utilities Commission and teach them how to use them. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have that service now, instead of only receiving a book you have to search through just to find the instructions in your language?) Mom also had a radio show on the local station, sharing recipes and homemaking tips. I believe this recipe may have been from that era as it had ingredients typical to the period – including margarine. Back then, margarine was believed to be a healthier alternative to butter – it’s hard to imagine now.

I remember Mom making these Oatmeal Raisin Muffins and they were one of my favourites. So, I had a play with the recipe to make it a little healthier without losing its originality. The first step was to replace the margarine. I did try using melted butter but in the end I found that mild olive oil (not extra virgin) was the alternative I preferred. I also reduced the sugar and salt and added a little bit more spice. Less sugar, more spice…it was a delicious compromise!

I love working with recipes like this because it makes me feel close to my Mom, who has been gone for seven years now, and who I miss like crazy. She loved cooking and entertaining and was great fun to be with in the kitchen. She was also very into healthy eating so I know she wouldn’t have minded me making the changes that I have. The recipe is still very true to the original and tastes just as I remember it when she made it. Sigh!

Mom used to get a few more muffins per batch than I do (muffins were smaller back in the day). However I find that the batter is absolutely perfect for 12 muffins and as all my muffin pans have 12 cups it works out just right. For UK readers, I’m referring to an ‘American’ muffin pan here – if you are using pans without the deeper cups you will have more muffins but you should reduce the baking time slightly.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 1 cup all purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 cup juicy raisins or sultanas
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170° for a fan oven).
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper baking cups.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.
  6. Gently stir in the raisins or sultanas.
  7. Scoop the batter into muffin cups - I use a quick release ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup measure to do this.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  10. Muffins taste best slightly warm but they reheat well the next day.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Cinnamon Struesel Yogurt Muffins

Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Throw Back ThursdayFoodie Friday, What to Do Weekends, Foodie Friday, Funtastic Friday, Inspire Me MondayCooking and Crafting with J&J, What’d You Do This Weekend, Try a Bite Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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  1. Ruby Corman says:

    Hi April ,
    Thanks for sharing that about your Mom’s job . I knew she was a Home Economist but that was about it . I never knew she had a radio show either . That’s a lovely picture of your Mom , she is missed . Just the other day I was going through my pictures and found one of your Mom and Grandpa up at the cottage . She looks like a teenager , they are standing on the dock holding up a string of fish . I was going to send it to you if you don’t already have it .
    Good Luck with the cookbook , can’t wait to see it !

    • Hi Ruby, I’d love the photograph if that’s okay – I know they had a lot of fun up at Crow Lake. Thank you for the good wishes – I’m feeling really excited about it all! If there are any recipes you’ve got that you think I should consider including, please do send them 🙂

  2. Absolutely adore this! 🙂

    Also, I didn’t know British muffin tins were different. I learn something new every day.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah 🙂 They didn’t really have muffin tins in England when I first arrived 20+ years ago, just little cupcake tins (or fairy cakes as they were called). Muffins as we know them in North America are a relatively new thing in the UK. When they first started to appear in the shops about 15 years ago they were very much like cupcakes. Even now it’s rare to find a muffin in a UK shop that has bran or oatmeal in it, muffins tend to be super sweet here. I love a good cupcake but I like a muffin that is a bit healthier 🙂 Anyway, now you can find ‘American style’ muffin tins with larger muffin cups in UK cookware shops- I often point out they are Canadian style too 😉

      • Fairy cakes? Oh my goodness I LOVE IT!!! Everyone else has the coolest terms for stuff. American’s are so boring!!! I found out last year that Australians call cotton candy “fairy floss”. And I was like… oh my goodness that is the best term ever!

  3. These look delicious.

  4. April, I wish you all the luck and joy in the world with all the recipes and memories and hopefully when you complete your first recipe book it will surely be one of the very best tributes you could give to your parents. I am sure they (and your grandparents too!) would be so very proud to have their recipes live on for so many more people to enjoy and also cherish.
    Good luck and have lots of fun making it too!

  5. MMMMmmmm, these muffins look and sound fantastic April. Nice and hearty with that oatmeal and raisins!

  6. Your mom had a cool job!! I love these muffins too!

  7. What a beautiful post on your mom, April! I love her photo and that you still make her recipes. I bet this one would be easy to make gluten free, too. 🙂


  8. God Bless you in this venture!

  9. April, I am so excited for you and wish you the very best with your cookbook. I am still in the decision making process as to whether I should dig my heels in and finally make one of my long-standing dreams come true. You have given me much needed courage and inspiration and I thank you my friend! And…your muffins look fantastic!

  10. Dear April, what a beautiful post. I wish I had my mom’s recipes. I have only a few recipe cards from my mom and grandmother. They were such wonderful cooks and inspired me to do what I do today. These muffins sound wonderful. I wish you all the best with your cookbook dear. xo, Catherine

  11. I love classic recipes like this. Reminds me of my childhood. I can’t wait to make these – such a hearty and comforting breakfast!

  12. These definitely sound delicious!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  13. Hi April,
    What a lovely tribute post for your Mom, such a beautiful photo of her, I can see the strong family resemblance in you. These muffins look delicious, a muffin that we would really enjoy, family recipes are so special. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  14. So excited to hear you are taking steps towards a cookbook! And what a terrific way to carry on family traditions and honour your Mom. I bet she’d be thrilled.

  15. How wonderful that you mum had the same job that Mary Berry started out doing when she was younger:-) Your muffins look fabulous and bet they are great with a cup of tea!

    • I didn’t realise that was Mary Berry’s job too! Wow, that is really cool, Camilla. Thank you for telling me that 🙂 Thank you for the compliment about the muffins – they really are delicious with a cup of tea 🙂

  16. April: I just love old fashioned oatmeal cake and I am sure these will be just as delicious. Thank you sharing at the Recipe Swap.

  17. Hi April,
    I love that you are working on a cookbook and the story of your mom. I know it will be a lot of work and with you success with it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this muffin recipe with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the rest of the week.
    Julie xo

  18. What a heart felt post April! Gorgeous photo and story of you mum! I could go for one of your muffins right now!

  19. I loved reading about your Mom, April, and your exciting project – I can’t wait to follow your progress!

    As for the muffins – YUM!

    Congratulations – you are our Friend Of The Week at Friendship Friday at Create With Joy!

    You’re one of the first bloggers I remember connecting with when I began my blogging journey and I am SO glad that you are still going strong! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, my friend, and thank you also for the very kind feature! I’m on my way over to visit now 🙂 You are one of the first bloggers I ‘met’ as well – I’m trying to think how long it is ago now. October marks my 13th year on the web! Thank you so much again. x

  20. Loving this and I’m drooling! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing this at our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we get to party with you again! Lou Lou Girls

  21. Yummy! I love muffins for breakfast- oatmeal raisin has to be one of my favorites!

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