Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Random self Q & A:

  • What’s your favorite pie? Pecan.
  • What’s your favorite nut? Pecan.
  • What’s your favorite tree? Pecan.
  • What’s your favorite wood? Pecan.
  • What’s your favorite childhood memory? Playing under the old pecan tree with my cousins.
  • What’s your favorite smell? Pecan leaves in the Fall.
  • What’s your favorite baking ingredient? Vanilla sugar.

Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say pecans on that last question. Silly you. Why would you think that?

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Whether it was the pecans, themselves, or the trees from which they grew, pecans have been a standard in my life from my earliest memories. Right now, I am looking for a pecan wood cutting board. I want it as reminder of sweet memories in my life and as an heirloom for…you know…later.

Actually, I have been looking on line for pecan wood cutting boards and have found some very pretty ones. Truth be told, I don’t know if I would have the nerve to ever use it for cutting anything. I am very fond of wood and have a tough time convincing myself to cut anything on even the cheapest and most replaceable of my wooden cutting boards. I bought a bread board made of cherry last year at the farmer’s market and it still looks just as pristine as the day I bought it. Go figure.

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins
Isn’t this cherry wood board beautiful!

Question: Is the cost of a $240.00 cutting board justified by only using the board to chop nuts? What about chopping nuts and using the board as a background in food photos? What about if I use it as a work of art? You know, display it in a grouping or something. I have a birthday and Christmas coming up in the next few months. Perhaps the cutting board would be a good combined gift. Oh wait–I almost forgot. We’re getting new doors for the front and back of the house. Forget I ever said anything about a dumb cutting board. Doors are crazy expensive!

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

I really like the various elements in these Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins. The name tells you a lot about the muffins, but not everything. For instance, I used dark brown sugar to complement the richness of the toasted pecans. There is also more cinnamon and vanilla extract than is generally found in muffins. The streusel is a nice finishing touch on this type of muffin particularly.

The only cautions I would like to give you in regards to these muffins, is to not overdo browning the butter, toasting the pecans, or stirring the wet batter. Burned butter and pecans speak for themselves. Stirring the batter too much will develop too much gluten, which in turn makes a tough, chewy muffin. Additionally, over-working the batter can cause tunneling in the muffins. You don’t want tunnels in your muffins, do you?

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

When you make these Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins, your house is going to smell like Fall. If you’re not ready for it to be Fall yet, then wait a few weeks to make the muffins. Although there are a couple of extra steps, browning the butter and toasting the pecans, you will be richly rewarded for your efforts. The muffins are great anytime, but would an especially terrific addition to the breakfast table.

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

The sweetness of dark brown sugar and cinnamon mixed with the richness of browned butter and toasted pecans, will give these tender muffins a permanent place in your collection.


    Preassembly Prep:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup pecans
  • For the Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • For the Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour (spooned into measuring cup, then leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Prepare muffin tin by spraying cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently until sediments are golden brown and butter smells nutty. Remove immediately from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a baking pan, scatter pecans in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Cool, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. For the Streusel:
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture; stir until well mixed and crumbly. Set aside.
  6. For the Muffins:
  7. Increase oven temperature to 375-degrees F.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Whisk thoroughly. Add dark brown sugar and white sugar to flour mixture. Whisk together until well blended.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cooled butter (okay to use if still warm, but not hot), milk, egg, applesauce and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir, by hand, just until combined. Do not over mix. Add pecans and stir lightly to distribute in batter.
  10. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with streusel. Bake for 15-20 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Do not over-bake. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.


Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins

Give these great recipes a try as well:

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Blueberry Lemonade Muffins
Blueberry Lemonade Muffins
Pecan Pie Squares
Pecan Pie Squares


  1. says

    Do fallen pecan leaves smell different than the leaves of other trees? I wouldn’t know a pecan leaf to save my life. But I can tell you all there is to know about black walnut leaves. Wanna trade memories?

    On to your recipe. I do believe these are the most delicious sounding muffins imaginable, and they’re real lookers too. I’ll be pinning them for later. Hope I can remember to make them!

    Alrighty, I have to run to the store. Hope you have a great weekend!
    PS – lol on the vanilla sugar. Also, I make a mean pecan pie ;).

    • says

      Yes, fallen, dry pecan leaves have a spicy smell. It’s very distinctive, but difficult to describe. As for trading pecan vs black walnut memories: I’ll bring the muffins and you bring whatever you think we’d enjoy and we’ll swap lots of stories.

      What did you mean when you said you’d make my recipe if you could remember? Remember to make them? Remember to make them? Are you kidding me? I can’t believe that you would actually have the disrespect to forget about them–just casually cast the recipe aside as if it was just any old muffin recipe. I mean, how many recipes can you possibly have that would cause you to forget one of them? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? All of them stored on your computer, on Pinterest, in cookbooks, on notecards and in notebooks, on scraps of paper stuffed here and there, printed out on stacks of papers in a filing cabinet…..oh, wait. Sorry. That’s me.

      As per your pecan pie, bring it, chica. ~Terri

  2. Dalila G. says

    What yummy looking goodies, I’m into muffins big time, hubby too.
    The streusel topping is what wins it for me.
    But, just what don’t I like in the “yummy” category?! LOL!

    I have had bad luck with browning butter, I tend to over-cook it…..sheesh!
    I’m getting better at it though, so this recipe will be made no matter what.
    I happened to have a huge stock of butter in my freezer, I just can’t pass up on a sale, with coupons mind you, on butter. Saved myself big money on butter, YAY me and my pocketbook! 😀
    Hello Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins!!

    Cutting boards in my house really need to be replaced.
    Talk about wavy & cracked wood….not good.
    I’m just too attached to mine and I can’t seem to get rid of them, not good, I know, but I also haven’t found any that I really like.
    It’s more of a mind thing with me, not that there aren’t any nice boards out there.
    The search is still on!

    Have a nice day Terri!

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