These healthy pear oatmeal muffins are an easy make-ahead breakfast or grab and go snack. Packed with juicy pears, cardamom and whole grain oats, this muffin recipe is perfect for meal prep!
Use up overripe pears in this easy muffin recipe! Made with whole oats and less sugar, these pear muffins are a healthy-ish recipe for breakfast, a snack or light dessert!
This list looks long. Ok. It is. But I promise it goes by really fast!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these muffins:
- old fashioned oats
- white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- ground cardamom (or cinnamon)
- brown sugar
- an egg
- olive or avocado oil (any neutral tasting oil works)
- vanilla extract
- 2 medium pears (I used Anjou)
You’ll combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another.
Once the batter is mixed, add to a prepped muffin tin. I don’t recommend using liners. Instead, use a well-seasoned or non-stick muffin tin to get a nice crust on the muffins.
For a bit more crunch, I added a mixture of butter and brown sugar to the tops of these. That’s completely optional but quite delicious!
What makes these muffins healthy?
I wouldn’t technically call them healthy. But there are some healthy swaps. I’ve cut down the sugar. Most standard muffin recipes call for a cup of sugar. Not needed here.
I swapped half the flour for oats and used white whole wheat which is heartier and higher in fiber. You can use regular all-purpose if that’s what you have on hand.
And I used sweet and ripe pears to punch up the flavor in a major way!
What’s a substitute for cardamom?
Cinnamon would be great in these muffins. Cardamom adds a subtle warmth to the recipe and it’s just something different. But cinnamon is in everyone’s pantry and works just as well in these muffins.
Ginger, apple pie spice, or pumpkin spice would also work in about the same 1 teaspoon amount. You can add a sprinkle of nutmeg but not for the full amount.
Which pears are best for baking?
That depends on what you’re making. For a baked pear recipe, go with a firmer variety like Bosc or Bartlett.
For these pear muffins, choose a fragrant, juicy pear that will lend lots of flavor to the mix. I loved using Anjou pears for this recipe.
And no need to peel the pears. The peel blends right into the muffins – adding plenty of flavor and fiber.
Can I use apples instead of pears?
Yes! In fact, I did that for you, in these Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins. That recipe uses buttermilk and oats for a moist and delicious muffin. Make the one that you have the most leftover fruit for. Switch up the spices to suit your own tastes.
How do I know when pears are ripe?
Use your thumb to apply gentle pressure to the stem end (or neck) of the pear. When it yields to pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat!
Store ripe pears in the refrigerator to extend shelf life. But note that they won’t last as long as most apples. So use them up first.
Got pears past their prime? This muffin recipe is the perfect way to use them up!
Do these muffins freeze well?
Yes. These muffins freeze beautifully. I make these ahead of time on purpose. To freeze these pear muffins:
1. Allow the muffins to cool completely at room temperature. This is important to avoid wet or soggy muffins going into the freezer.
2. Place the muffins in a freezer-safe bag or container. Store in a single layer in the freezer for up to 3 months. Probably longer would be fine but I’ve never kept them longer than that.
3. To reheat the muffins, pop them into a toaster oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes. They will be hot before that but something magical happens at the 20 minute mark. The muffins revive with a crisp and delicious crust. It’s a must. Do it. Enjoy!
Hungry for more muffin ideas?
You’ll love these Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins in the spring.
And when the weather turns chilly again, make these Flourless Gingerbread Muffins!
Pear Cardamom Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup olive oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cup fresh diced pears (about 1½ medium pears)
Optional Crunchy Topping
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray or grease a muffin tin with oil. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine oats and milk. Let sit 15 minutes.
- In a second mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
- Stir the oil, egg, brown sugar and vanilla into the soaked oat mixture. Add dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold pears into the batter.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. (If using the crunchy topping: Stir the butter and sugar until the brown sugar dissolves. Top the muffin batter evenly with the mixture as shown in the photo.)
- Bake 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let the muffins cool in the pan 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy these muffins warm or freeze for later.