How to make John Whaite’s burnt butter, pecan and apple miracle granola

This really is a breakfast of champions.

“I’m not one for undue hyperbole,” says John Whaite, “so when I say this is a miracle recipe, please do believe me. There’s little more gleefully welcomed to a breakfast table than homemade granola, but the oven-baked variety, while so simple, is a little time-consuming. This is made within a matter of minutes, and the seeds and dried fruit can be adjusted to suit personal tastes.

“If you’re vegan, you could substitute the butter with coconut oil, but I much prefer burning the butter to get that caramelised hit. When made, this will keep in an airtight tub for weeks – if you ensure the hole in the jar is small enough to restrict pilfering handfuls.”

(Serves 10)

200g jumbo porridge oats
70g pecans, roughly chopped
70g pumpkin seeds
70g buckwheat
60g unsalted butter
60g maple syrup
60g light brown muscovado sugar
100g dried apple, roughly chopped
1/2tsp ground cinnamon


1. Preheat a large frying pan over a high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oats and toast, tossing frequently, for a minute or two.

2. Pour the oats into a bowl, return the pan to the heat and add the pecans, pumpkin seeds and buckwheat. Toast, tossing frequently, for two minutes, until everything smells wonderfully roasted and the pumpkin seeds have stopped popping violently. Pour into a separate bowl.

3. Put the pan back on the heat and add the butter, allowing it to melt and sizzle, until the sizzling stops and you have a thick foam made of fine bubbles on top – this will only take a minute or two. It should be burnt, so don’t be flapping. Just throw in the syrup and sugar, and heat for a minute, stirring to combine everything well, letting them bubble together. Ensure there are no lumps of sugar lurking about in the pan.

John Whaite's miracle class=
Burnt butter, pecan and apple miracle granola (Nassima Rothacker/PA)

4. Add the oats to the pan and stir to coat them really well in the sweet, caramelised butter mixture. Once well-coated, allow them to cook for just a minute more, stirring constantly.

5. Pour the oats onto a baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes, then toss together with the toasted nuts, seeds and buckwheat, the dried apple and the cinnamon.

6. Once completely cool, tip into a large storage jar.

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After an awful start to the week it feels a little wrong to be back to my work, but I simply have to celebrate that my book, A Flash in the Pan: simple, speedy, stovetop recipes is out today. The recipes are quick, the ingredients and equipment are few, and the stories are all there as a conversation with you. I was so lucky that I got to create this book with my friends: @nassimarothacker captured such mesmerising photographs, for which @eat_love_travel styled the food and props (perfectly and oh so beautifully). My life and my rock @peebsykins put all of our work together and designed what is a stunning book. And we were all helped by @mimiaversa @rosiemackeanpastaqueen and @fentonsfeasts. And of course not forgetting my editor and saviour @sophie.c.allen. Congratulations to all of us – we worked so hard to create this.

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A Flash In The Pan by John Whaite is published by Kyle Books, priced £20. Available now.