Wheatless and Sugarless Wartime Cooking: Oat Flour Muffins

During the winter of 1917-1918, The Mrs. Farmer’s School of Cookery developed a collection of recipes to aid the American housewife in conserving meat, wheat, sugar and fats. These austerity recipes were tested in the school’s “Wartime Cookery” class.

The Mrs. Farmer’s School of Cookery was started in 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts. It offered classes to both gentlewomen and housewives on the rudiments of cooking and household management. The Wartime Cookery class was just one of many classes offered at the school, which later came to specialize in convalescent diets.

Fanny Farmer testing wheatless and sugarless wartime baking recipes
Mrs. Fanny Farmer testing wartime recipes


Here’s a recipe for oat flour muffins from Mrs. Farmer’s Wartime Cookery class. Oat flour produces a delightfully light texture in baked goods. Should you not find oat flour in your area, grind oatmeal in a coffee grinder until fine.

Oat Flour Muffins
2 1/2 cups oat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon melted shortening
Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add milk, the egg, molasses and shortening. Bake in buttered gem [muffin] pans twenty-five minutes [in a medium oven]. This may be baked in a bread pan and sliced when cold.

Baumgarthuber, Christine. Fermented Foods: The History and Science of a Microbiological Wonder. Reaktion Books, 2021.

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5 thoughts on “Wheatless and Sugarless Wartime Cooking: Oat Flour Muffins

  1. Hello! Great recipe!! Would you please tell me the gram measurement of oat flour in this recipe. Beacause there are lots of different results when searching cup to gram conversions on the web.


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