Healthy Caramel Oat Bran Muffins


Happy Halloween everyone! Today I am not Katie, but Deb, from Napoleon Dynamite. I have a super scary, super spooky, super Halloweenie recipe for you today…Caramel Oat Bran Muffins! Muah-ha-ha-ha-haaa.Okay, so they aren’t scary, spooky, or particularly Halloweenie. I didn’t even make like a white icing to render mummies on the top or anything. I know, I know. I am the worst. I just never get into the whole Holiday food decorating thing. I wish I could, but I just can’t. If you want cutesy recipes (and who doesn’t?) there are tons, upon tons of recipes on the world wide web that can satisfy. I’m like the food Scrooge of Halloween. I realize that makes no sense.

Anyways, I made these Caramelesc Oat Bran Muffins for a little family Halloween get together tonight. Perhaps they are a bit of a treat and a trick, though. A treat because they are obviously delicious. I am a huge fan of oat bran muffins. Quaker has the best recipe, hands down. And they are a bit of a trick because there’s actually no caramel in them. Hah HAH! Yes. It’s true. I’m evil…or wonderful?

So here’s the story. I really wanted to put pumpkin chips in these. You know…like the little pumpkin flavored chocolate chip things? Yea, the store didn’t have them. Did I imagine that these were a thing? I suppose it’s possible. Anyway, without any pumpkin chips available, I decided I could put little caramel bits in them! Perfect right? Um…no. There are no vegan caramels at the Wasilla Fred Meyer. I could possibly have made some, but I didn’t really have the time.

Saddened, I stood in the candy aisle all distressed and morose. Then, in my wallowing, I thought about a caramel dip I made last year with dates and how much everyone loved it. Realizing that dates pretty much equal caramel, I had my answer! I guess a more appropriate and accurate name for these muffins would be Date Studded Oat Bran Muffins, but that sound much too boring. Besides it’s Halloween, so here’s your trick and your treat! 

These dense, wholesome oat bran muffins are infused with caramelly sweetness and studded with soft and chewy “caramel” bits…aka…dates.

Healthy Caramel Oat Bran Muffins

Inspired by Quaker Oats (okay yes, I used the recipe from the photo of the back of the box on Amazon)

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups oat bran hot cereal, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla butter & nut extract (or caramel extract)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (or coconut or canola)
  • 1/2 cup dates, de-pitted and chopped (about 5)

Preheat oven to 425 F and spray a regular muffin pan with a non-stick cooking spray. 

Whisk together the flax and water in a small bowl and place in the fridge until ready to use. 

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients together, including the flax eggs but not the dates, in a medium bowl.

Now, gently stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped dates. 

Place about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup and bake at 425 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. 

Remove from pan with the edge of a knife and set on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar if you like. 

Also, West Elm has free shipping today and…well, I did a bad, bad thing. This was me when I told Todd what I did. Heh heh heh. Source:

Listening to Gerygone & Twig – Kind of Leaving(That Is Not) (They are from my hometown!)

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