Confession #119: I love carbs… Brown Butter Pecan Muffins

by alexandra

Post image for Confession #119: I love carbs… Brown Butter Pecan Muffins

I have a thing for carbs, or more like, I have a thing for the yummy treats that carbs come in, like perfect soft dinner rolls and fluffy cinnamon rolls. And muffins – I love me some muffins. Unfortunatley (hah!), I’m pretty sure that I get my fair share of carbs with all the baking I do, so when I start to feel a little guilty, I pull out the whole wheat flour (yup, that’s my solution). Then I make whole wheat muffins with brown butter and toasted pecans, and all seems right with the world. :D

Brown Butter Pecan Muffins from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

I should say that I don’t actually believe that whole wheat necessarily equals healthy. I feel like Alton Brown praising the many virtues of oatmeal and then using it too make butter-loaded oatmeal raisin cookies – I only wish that was considered healthy! But I do think that if we can swap out regular flour in our muffin recipes for whole wheat flour, it’s still a pretty good thing. You know, as long as it still tastes good, which it most certainly does here.Brown Butter Pecan Muffins from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

Besides carbs, I may also have a thing for brown butter and pecans, and when you combine all these nutty flavors in one, you start to not care that your muffins are made with whole wheat flour, because they don’t taste dry or boring. Instead, they taste nutty, and a little sweet thanks to a light crumb topping, and you get all these rich deep flavors from brown sugar and cinnamon. After trying these, you might actually find yourself craving whole wheat muffins – a little crazy, don’t you think? Or maybe that’s just me…

Brown Butter Pecan Muffins

Cook Time: 15 minutes

12 muffins

Brown Butter Pecan Muffins

The combination of brown butter and toasted pecans make these whole-wheat muffins delightfully nutty, with the sweet finish of a light crumb topping.


    Brown Butter Pecan Muffins
  • 3 ounces butter (6 tablespoons), cut into tablespoons
  • 8 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour (2 cups, spoon and level)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 3/4 ounces brown sugar (1/2 cup, packed)
  • 8 1/2 ounces plain yogurt (1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces toasted pecans (1 cup), chopped
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1 ounce toasted pecans (1/4 cup), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 ounce cold butter (2 tablespoons), cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown the butter: Warm a small, light-colored skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the cut up butter and whisk occasionally as it melts and starts to foam up. Once bubbling or foaming, whisk fairly constantly as the butter turns a rich hazel color. Once it gets to this point, remove from heat immediatley and transfer to a cold surface. Continue to whisk briefly, and then allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cooled butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the yogurt and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in on lowest speed until JUST combined. Add the pecans and fold in with a spatula just until combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.
  6. Combine the ingredients for the crumb topping in a bowl and cut together with a pastry cutter until the mixture is coarse and no large chunks of butter remain. Sprinkle crumbles over the top of the muffins.
  7. Bake muffins in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool briefly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 24, 2013

As a fellow carb lover, these are my kind of muffin. Love the brown butter and pecan!
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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 24, 2013

Brown butter makes everything BETTER! :)
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alexandra April 27, 2013

Totally agree :)

Erika April 25, 2013

I want to see the insides of those muffins!!! These looks so beautifully tall and gorgeous with such an awesome crumb on top. Agree that whole wheat flour may not be the healthiest thing ever for you, but I LOVE the way it tastes! Do you ever get tired of me saying “gorgeous photos, as always”? Because that’s always what I feel like saying! So pretty!
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alexandra April 27, 2013

I had a photo of the inside but I was on the fence about whether I liked it, so I just decided to skip it. Haha
But truth – I will never be tired of your sweet comments! :))

Charlie - Baking At Home April 27, 2013

These will be perfect for breakfast! Good thing I don’t worry about carbs!
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alexandra April 27, 2013

Good thing! :) You can only worry so much anyway

Karin Anderson June 11, 2013

As a passionate bread baker I’m all for carbs. Those muffins look wonderful, and brown butter and pecans are a great combination.
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alexandra June 14, 2013

Thank you! I’m the same way; I absolutely love bread and carbs, even if they aren’t the best for you! ;)

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