Paw Paw Bourbon Pecan Muffins Recipe

Paw paws are getting ripe. Try them in these bourbon pecan muffins for breakfast or a snack.

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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It’s that time of year again. Hunting seasons are starting back up and the paw paws along the midwestern creek draws are starting to get ripe. Not familiar with a paw paw? You aren’t alone. While paw paws are one of the largest native fruits in the United States, outside of isolated areas along the Appalachian Mountains, they are also one of the least utilized.

Serve the warm muffins with a pat of good butter.

A tropical fruit, paw paws taste like a cross between a mango and a banana. Fruits can range from a few inches long, to nearly the size of a football. They are covered in a heavy skin, and full of brown seeds that need to be picked out before you eat them. The trees grow along wooded creek bottoms and drainages, and feature large, oval leaves that stand out in the fall woods due to their size.

Ripe paw paw, pecans, and a touch of bourbon help to make these muffins a winner for breakfast or a snack.

Paw paws begin to ripen around our area about the first of September, but it may vary depending on location. You can check for ripeness by gently squeezing the fruit. A ripe paw paw feels a lot like a ripe avocado, soft and yielding to gentle pressure. Ripe paw paws often exhibit brown blotches all over their green skin.

Paw paws don’t keep well, so use them soon after picking, or freeze, skin on, in vacuum-sealed bags. Use paw paws in any recipe that calls for bananas, ice creampudding, bread, or these bourbon nut muffins.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 stick salted butter, melted

Roughly 1 1/2 cups of seeded paw paw pulp (3-5 paw paws depending on size)

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup milk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 cup chopped pecans


Cooking Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Set aside

In separate bowl, mix paw paw, butter, both sugars, milk, bourbon, and egg until well combined.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing constantly to blend.

Stir the batter ingredients well, then fold in half the pecans.

Fold in half the pecans.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tin (makes about 12 regular-sized muffins) until cups are ¾ of the way full.

Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin, then top with remaining pecans.

Sprinkle on remaining pecans.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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