Whole Wheat Pecan & Walnut Nutmeg Muffins

Another knock at the door and the loud, delightfully-britsh host – my uncle – answers with his typical crass, sarcastic welcome, “So I see you have finally decided to arrive.” The van Kraayenburg side of the family is always late.  Familial, pleasant chatter in the background silences and quickly changes to enthusiastic hello’s. Smiles fill the room as obligatory hugs and handshakes, cheek kisses and “how long has it been?”s are exchanged. Everyone is here – aunts and uncles, cousins and more cousins, nephews and nieces, brothers and sisters. It’s a birthday, an excuse to see each other, a practice run of sorts for the holidays.

Wine is poured, bottles of beer opened, and the counter and table filled with appetizers and snacks is quickly explained to the new guests. What a relief my house was spared this event, my morning spared of endless cooking. The towel covered basket hanging from my hand quickly grab’s everyone’s attention – so I couldn’t resist, I had to bake something. I try and shimmy the basket in amongst the sea of foods. A less important dish is made way for the foodie’s treats. I seem to get special attention when I bring food to family events – or should I say the food I bring get’s special attention.

“They’re whole wheat, pecan and walnut, nutmeg muffins,” I proclaim. I am on a health kick of sorts and I begin to explain the benefits of pecans, walnuts and flaxseed. I also explain the difference between whole wheat and processed flours. I skip over the sugar, butter and coconut oil content in the muffins – it’s all necessary for baking, right?

Chatter again fills the rooms as little cliques litter the open floor plan. Snacks are delicately balanced over too-small napkins, glasses of wine and beer kept full, and groups migrate back and forth from the snacks and drinks to their corner of the room.

I rotate from one cabal to the next, trying to take in as much as I can. Like my one of my favorite cousins, I find our family gatherings to be far too infrequent; I do my best to catch up with everyone. I also like to people watch, to find the right moment to make a picture – my camera is always hanging from my neck, or grasped in one hand, my index finger resting persistently on the shutter, my thumb ready to tweak the aperture.

I pay little attention to the attention my muffins receive though I expect and hope for an empty basket. Of course I am thrilled when there are two remaining. Despite the incessant eating I still find myself craving a snack when I get home. A lone muffin seems to hit the spot. And still one more left. Breakfast, if I don’t eat it as a midnight snack.

Ground Nuts: This recipe calls for ground pecans and ground walnuts. Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground to a fine consistency. Be sure to stop before the mixture begins to cake.

Broken Flaxseed: The body cannot process whole flaxseed so you’ll want to be sure to not to use whole flaxseed. If you can’t find broken or ground flaxseed – or if you only have whole flaxseed – you can place the seeds in the blender or food processor and process until they begin to break up. Also, once flaxseed is broken it goes rancid very quickly, so only grind only what you need when you need it.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: This recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour. If you do not have whole wheat pastry flour you can substitute all purpose flour or a mix of whole wheat and all purpose. I do not suggest substituting all whole wheat flour because it can make the muffins tough.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg is one of the few ingredients where you should only use freshly ground from whole nutmeg and avoid pre-ground bottles of the stuff. Whole nutmeg is cheap and easy to grate with a fine grater or nutmeg grater. Using large quantities of pre-ground nutmeg can make the muffins bitter.

Whole Wheat Pecan & Walnut Nutmeg Muffins

This recipe is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe and will yield 20 cupcakes.


3 ounces pecans, ground
3 ounces walnuts, ground
1 ounce broken flaxseed
10 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
6 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup half and half
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces pecans, chopped
4 ounces raisins (optional)


1. Line muffin pans with paper cups. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Mix together the ground pecans, ground walnuts, broken flaxseed, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat together the eggs, salt and sugar for 2 minutes.

4. Mix the egg mixture into the dry flour mixture. Pour the coconut oil, buttermilk, half and half, and melted butter into the batter slowly, mixing until completely combined.

5. Add the chopped pecans and raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

6. Evenly spoon the batter into the lined muffin pan.

7. Bake for 16 to 19 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed lightly.

8. Flip the muffins on the side and cool in the pan until cool enough to handle.


Save this recipe here:

AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Food nerd. Cookbook author. Founder of Chasing Delicious. Pastry cook at Fluff Bake Bar. Lover of hot dogs. Russell van Kraayenburg founded Chasing Delicious in 2010 and has been chasing delicious recipes ever since. Russell is author of the cookbooks Haute Dogs and Making Dough.


  • Stephanie

    I prefer muffins to have a bit of whole wheat flour to make them more muffin-y and less cake-y. These look perfect for breakfast with a mug of tea. Your family is lucky to have you baking for them :)

  • Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen

    whole wheat,,, hhmmmmm… protein…

  • Baking Serendipity

    I love the story here; it makes me homesick for my family. And these muffins look delicious! What a perfect breakfast food :)

  • kimberly (unrivaledkitch)

    lovely muffins! looks like a great time with the family. thanks for sharing

  • Kim Bee

    These look so amazing. I love the way you write. Cannot tell you that enough. I would guess subbing white flour would be okay, I cannot have wheat. But I’d love to try these. As always a beautifully written post with delicious looking food. Always a pleasure to stop by.

  • Kathryn

    What a wonderful post, I love your description of your family gatherings. I really felt like I was there.

  • Tina@flourtrader

    I have way too much of a taste for nuts, it always seems like I go overboard when purchasing them in bulk. However, I always make good use of them.
    Looks like you did just that in this recipe! I am glad that the nuts took center stage in these and have saved the recipe.
    Great food and family makes for a wonderful birthday! Also, it is a reminder to me that I need to find more excuses to bring everyone together for a visit. Thanks for sharing this.

  • The Cooking Teacher

    I love working with flaxseed, its a great fat substitute ans has a nice flavor and texture. You are so right – fresh nutmeg is the ONLY way to go! These look great, thanks for sharing.

  • Cassie//Bake Your Day

    Once again, you blow me away with your story writing. It just captures me and makes me forget about the recipe. Which, by the way, sounds amazing. Perfect flavors for this time of year…wish I had one with some tea this evening. They are beautiful, Russell!

  • Happy When Not Hungry

    These muffins look beautiful and I love the flavors too!

  • Leah

    that muffing was amazing by the way! i shoved one in my purse before i took off, forgot about it, and found it this morning. so good :)

  • Editorial Team @ Healthy Aperture

    We are in whole wheat heaven. Love these.

  • Jenn@Baking Jenn's Blog

    These look great! I love incorporating whole wheat flour into muffins. Great flavor combo.

  • Eliot

    Ahhh–the joys of family! :)
    I am saving and buzzing this.

  • anna

    I love your narration of family gatherings…Of course, family get togethers should be enjoyed with good food! Nothing less! Your Whole Wheat muffins are awesome. Perfect for breakfast. Mind you, there are certain types of people who would want to have breakfast staples eaten at different times of the day (Like me? hmmm….LOL!) I can have these muffins round the clock, I swear! thanks for sharing!

  • Lilly

    When you have a big (40 people and counting) family like mine a family gathering is a party already. The only thing I don’t like about it is, where do you put all these people and how do you feat them.
    I like all the picture you took. We don’t do that at all so we don’t have any picture of our family gatherings. I wish we had a baker like you in the family…he/she will go nuts hihihi.

  • Jessica

    These look delicious. I love that they are healthy as well!!

  • RavieNomNoms

    What a beautiful whole wheat muffin! Your pictures are just so pretty…amazing as always. One of those little beauties would be perfect right now for breakfast :-)

  • Susan

    These DO look healthy! I can forgive the coconut oil, buttermilk, sugar, etc! it IS all needed to make kitchen magic!

  • Nicole@The Galley Gourmet

    I need to jump on the coconut oil bandwagon. I am aware of its health benefits, but as far as taste, does it add much coconut flavor? Your pictures are beautiful!!

    • Russell

      Hey Nicole,

      Coconut oil doesn’t really add any coconut flavor at all. At least I haven’t noticed any. I suppose you might have to add a whole lot of coconut oil to get the flavor. Although that is for refined coconut oil which has less/no flavor or smell. Unrefined coconut oil may still have some lingering flavor. I hope this helps a bit. Also, thank you very much!

  • Nadia

    Stunning photos and great recipe :)
    Besides this recipe can be veganized easily & is indeed healthy! :)

  • Molly

    Ok, you have convinced me to finally buy whole nutmeg! These look great. Gorgeous pictures!

  • Vivienne

    this is exactly the kind of treat i love – healthy and so wholesome! the crumbs of the muffins look sooo good! i will be making this this weekend…we dont have WW pastry flour here for some reasons so ill be using a mixture of AP and WW flour! Just found out recently that i need to grind my flaxseeds..didnt know before and have been eating it whole hahaha.

    Btw, your question about using other beans in muffins, i think kidney beans might work as well! red beans, mung beans and kidney beans are common beans used in desserts in asia anyways!

  • lisaiscooking

    This is my favorite kind of muffin! Whole wheat and nutmeg are lovely together, and the mix of nuts sounds great. This is more inspiration to bake with coconut oil as well.

  • Asmita

    I love your photography. Those muffins look so good!

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