Acorn Muffins

5 from 7 votes
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Acorn muffins cooling on a rack.
Photo by Hank Shaw

I have no idea why it took me so long to post a recipe for acorn muffins. Actually, I do. Most recipes I’ve tried bored me to tears.

After all, you spend so much time making your own acorn flour, why make a muffin that’s dry and dreadful… “healthy.” Ew. Nope, my acorn muffins would be memorable.

As a conceptual base I decided on a fruit-nut bran muffin, adapted for my forager’s life. So I’d use my acorn flour, some frozen red huckleberries, which are very small, as well as acorn grits for texture and interest. Acorn grits are just bits of acorns larger that have had their bitter tannins leached out.

I also gilded the lily with the last of my acorn oil I got from my friend Sam Thayer. (Alas, it’s out of stock now.) So use something similar, like walnut, hazelnut or pecan oil instead. Or you could use butter.

acorn muffins recipe, ready to eat
Photo by Hank Shaw

The result is a real muffin — not cake in the shape of a muffin — that is a little bit sweet but not cloying, tender but not so loaded with fat you feel sloggy after eating one, and interesting enough in texture to make you reach for more.

Aside from the obvious breakfast, these are good as trail snacks, a handy pick-me-up for road trips, or just to munch on between meals.

Once made, these acorn muffins will keep in a closed container at room temperature for about five days before getting stale. But I’d eat them within two or three days, and hot out of the oven is best of all.

Taking a bite from an acorn muffin
5 from 7 votes

Acorn Muffins

This is my favorite acorn muffins recipe, and I've tried lots of them. If you don't have all the ingredients, you can sub in quite a lot -- even the acorn flour. You can easily make these chestnut muffins by using chestnut flour and bits of shelled, cooked chestnuts. 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or nut oil (walnut, hazelnut, pecan)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup acorn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup acorn grits or minced chestnuts, pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (lingonberries, blueberries, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons caster or maple sugar (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a muffin tin with butter or something similar.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk together the wheat bran, acorn flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a larger bowl. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and add the acorn grits and berries. Stir to combine. You want a thick, sticky batter. Add a little buttermilk if it's too tight, one tablespoon at a time. 
  • Fill the muffin tin with the batter evenly, then sprinkle the maple sugar over them as a topping. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out cleanly when poked into a muffin. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. 

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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8 Comments

  1. I made a batch of these, and they were HEAVENLY!

    A couple of points of interest:

    I prepped my acorns using the cold-leach method, then dehydrated them.
    I ground them into flour when I made the muffins.

    The acorns ground nicely, but each acorn has a small “nib” or something that
    doesn’t like to grind. I sifted these out, and use these for the “grits”. I just
    boiled them in a little water for about 5 minutes. Side note: I saved some of
    them out, added a bit of brown sugar and ate them as breakfast grits.
    Absolutely delicious!

    The rest of the grits were added to the dough. The resulting muffins were
    wonderful with a nice walnut-like nut crunch.

    I didn’t add any berries. Next time I make them I might add a bit more
    brown sugar to make them a little sweeter, but as the recipe is written the
    muffins have a nice nutty flavor. Any desired additional sweetness can be
    achieved with a little honey or jam when eating.

    Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  2. I made these this afternoon and they were delicious! Substituted whole milk with a little yogurt for the buttermilk, used gee for the oil, and added 1/2 cup berries. They smelled amazing when they were baking, and tasted even better! Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Any suggestions for making it more acorny? And could the berries be easily omitted or are they necessary for moisture? Thanks!

    1. Paula: No, sorry. Too much acorn flour and the muffins won’t hold together. And you can skip the berries if you want to.

  4. Is there any way to omit the wheat in this recipe? I have been wanting to make something like this for a long time as I have a plethora of dried acorns on hand, but I have a severe allergy to wheat. Could I make this with just acorn flour/grits at the expense of it being denser, or do I need another kind of flour to make it all come together?

    1. Jonathan: You will need something to make it stick to itself. A lot of gluten free bakers use xanthan gum, so look those up. I’d search for breads that use almond or chestnut flour as a model.

  5. These look wonderful, but I’m curious—how much acorn flavor gets through with the wheat bran and AP flour present? If someone who’d never tasted acorns before were to eat these, would the acorn flavor be strong enough for them to feel like they knew what acorns tasted like?