Hundred-Year-Old Oatmeal Muffins Recipe


A hundred-year-old small promotional cookbook published by the Calumet Baking Powder Company has lots of intriguing recipes. I decided to try the Oatmeal Muffins recipe.

The muffins were easy to make, and lovely  – though I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t really tell that they contained any oatmeal. Instead the seemed very similar to muffins made using only all-purpose flour. The bottom line – if you are looking for a nice basic muffin, you’ll like this recipe.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)
Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Oatmeal Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 24 regular-sized muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup water

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease muffin pans (or use paper liners).

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan, then stir in oatmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk.

In the meantime in a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oatmeal mixture, egg, and butter; then stir just enough to combine. Spoon batter into muffin cups; fill each cup about 3/4ths full. Place in oven. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned and the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

25 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

    1. No, I couldn’t tell from the texture – which really surprised me. I agree that half a cup probably wasn’t enough to really affect the texture. Also, perhaps the way the recipe called for cooking the oatmeal first resulted in the oatmeal being softer in the muffins than if uncooked oatmeal had been used.

  1. I have a bread recipe which uses oatmeal. But the same thing happens as with your oatmeal muffins; the oatmeal just disappears into the batter and is barely noticeable. I still love the recipe though.

  2. The recipe uses a small amount of oatmeal to the amount of flour. Might want to experiment with a higher proportion of oatmeal and add brown sugar, berries or toasted nuts to change/improve flavor and texture.

  3. I wonder if they had quick-cooking oats a hundred years ago? That could explain adding the cooked oatmeal to the batter. Today, being able to add quick-cooking oats makes for a more substantial texture. I wondered, too, about the absence of nuts, raisins, and spices such as cinnamon. Could it have been a matter of economics? Perhaps they were presenting a recipe that could be used even by those without the ability to buy the “extras.”

    I do have a dynamite muffin recipe that includes bran cereal. It, too, is combined with hot water before being added to the batter, and it does just disappear. Of course, the wheat germ and oats that go in provide the texture that would otherwise be missing.

    1. There are so many kinds of oatmeal available today- instant, quick-cooking, old-fashioned, and steel cut. You may be right that that they didn’t have quick-cooking oatmeal back then. I also wondered if this recipe was designed as a way to use up left-over oatmeal rather than to feature the oatmeal flavor and texture. People a hundred years ago didn’t want to waste food.

    1. I also was intrigued by the way the recipe called for using cooked oatmeal. I think that probably affected the texture of this recipe as much as anything.

    1. It’s a lovely muffin recipe – but if you’re looking for a recipe that has a distinctive oatmeal taste and texture this isn’t the right recipe for you. I think that the old recipe didn’t have as high an oatmeal to flour ratio as would be typical in a more modern recipe.

  4. I would say add 2 cups of dry oatmeal and one cup less flour. Use on tsp bitter baking powder and add 1 Tsp Baking soda, then use buttermilk instead of milk, add4 TB butter and up the sugar to 1/2 cup!

  5. I wonder if the reason for the oatmeal is to keep it moist, I like to use it in bread for that reason and once again you can’t taste it in the bread.

    1. I hadn’t thought of that – but now that you say it, I think that you may be right. It makes a lot of sense that they used the oatmeal to make it more moist.

  6. I will have to try this…I know there was another recipe of yours I tried but forgot to let you know it turned out…forgot what it was now!! But I remember we liked it… I am going to have to find it in my pinterest. Old age – it is an adventure. lol

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