I’ve baked a lot of bran muffins over the years, and was never really happy with any of the recipes I tried. Most of them were too dry, had no flavour, and I didn’t like that so many of them relied on processed ingredients like bran cereal – I mean the whole point of bran muffins is that they’re sorta healthy, right? Otherwise why not just eat a chocolate banana muffin… It was like the health aspect was being sacrificed for convenience. I knew there had to be a tasty and healthy bran muffin out there somewhere.
One day I’d just had enough, and I was determined to find a good bran muffin recipe. I pored through my recipe books and googled and came up with a list of 8 recipes I wanted to try.
I spent an entire weekend baking bran muffins.
Oh my god, I had SO many muffins.
None of them were awful, and the bulk of them made their way into my freezer to take to work for breakfast. But one recipe definitely stood out.
This muffin was, hands down, the winner. It’s been my go-to recipe ever since and I almost always have a batch in the freezer. The recipe lives permanently on a piece of notepaper attached to my fridge, but I make it so often I have it memorized. I mess around with it a bit – I don’t change the base recipe, but I add things like flax seed and pumpkin seeds and pecans (in no particular amounts – just totally by whim), and I use cranberries instead of just blueberries. But I have never, ever had a problem with it – it takes all that tweaking and works out every time.
It’s moist and flavourful and filling. I like to have them with a bit of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey, but they’re even good plain.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that the ingredients are as close to natural as possible. It uses oat and wheat bran, not bran cereals. It uses a combination of molasses and honey, not white or even brown sugar.
The original recipe calls for safflower oil, and that works fine. But I experimented with different types of oil and for some reason the almond oil makes a really moist muffin. If you can find it, give it a try.
Adapted from Farm Girl Fare. All of the items marked "optional" in the ingredients list are things I added to the recipe, and you can ignore all of them if you like. The measurements for these optional items are all approximate too – I just toss them in without measuring. I don't even add them all in every time. Sometimes I add other things instead. As I said above, this recipe takes really well to tweaking. Don't be afraid to play around with additions. Makes 12 muffins.
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (or regular yogurt)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup almond oil (or a vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1-1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease your muffin tin, both inside and along the top edge. I've tried skipping this step, and while the muffin will come out, it does stick a bit, even with non-stick muffin tins. I usually use a silicone pastry brush and a bit of vegetable shortening. It just takes a few seconds.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oat bran, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and any other dry additions you'd like to add. Whisk together well.
In another bowl or a large measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs. Add the yogurt and milk and stir well. Then add the molasses, honey and oil and stir until combined – the molasses and honey will have sunk to the bottom, so it will take a minute or two of stirring to get them mixed together.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and gently stir together. At this point you can add the frozen fruit, or even some nuts if you like. Stir together until just blended.
Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin, otherwise they'll just fall apart.
These are excellent BUT they make 14 normal muffins for me. When I tried to fit all the batter into 12 muffins, they were too big, the middle didn’t bake well, and they overflowed so I couldn’t get them unstuck from the pan. They rise a lot, I recommend filling the muffin tins to 3/4.
I’m glad to hear you like them, even though they turned out too big. They DO make big muffins, as you can tell from my photos, but I’ve never had problems with them overflowing. The good thing about muffins is that it’s easy enough to adjust the size by putting less in the pan if you prefer smaller muffins. 🙂
Just made these and they came out perfectly! I have tried around 10 other bran muffin recipes and this is the best by far.
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoy them too. 😀
These muffins are by far the best bran muffins out there! The base recipe can take any other “extras” you care to throw in: flax seeds, raisins, coconut, walnuts, etc. Thanks for the great recipe.
Thanks Jennifer! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed them too. One of these days I’m going to really load these muffins up with extras and see how far I can push it. 🙂
I’ve been looking for a good bran muffin recipe since I lost my original. This one did not disappoint – tasty and moist – and this recipe actually makes 12 full size generous muffins. lol – this one is such a keeper, I going to save it in 5 different locations / formats. Thank you so much for this great recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them Lou! All credit for the recipe goes back to Farm Girl Fare 🙂
Is there any way to get around the yogurt? My husband will probably taste the yogurt, and that will be the end to that recipe.
I really doubt your husband would be able to taste the yogurt – the flavours of molasses and bran are much stronger and the yogurt is really there to add moistness. I’ve never tried making it with anything else, but you could try using sour cream instead if you’re really worried about it. Let me know how it turns out, okay? 😉
Amazing!! They are still warm from the oven and SOOOOOO wonderful. Sweet enough, but not overly. I added ground flaxseed, chopped walnuts and fresh blueberries. Substituted unrefined coconut oil for the vegetable oil and almond milk for the skim milk and they are perfect. Moist and a great texture. Can’t wait to experiment with other fruits/nuts or maybe even seeds!
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
I’m so glad to hear you like them Cyd! I love the idea of using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. I’m totally stealing that. 😀
Great and delicious recipe! I made it gluten free and they turned out perfect! Replaced the wheat bran with oat flour and the whole wheat flour with a mix of 75% sweet white sorghum flour 25% teff flour (from Nicole Hunn’s book gluten free on a shoestring bakes bread pg 10: whole grain gluten free flour mix). So exciting to have bran muffins! I put in frozen blueberries and a mix of raisins and cranberries (dry) that I soaked in boiling water before adding. Also used vegetable oil but added a teaspoon of almond extract for the flavor! Yummy!!
That sounds fantastic Ginnine! I’m glad you played around with it. This is one of those recipes that seems like it can take whatever you want to throw at it. I’ll add a note about making them gluten-free. 🙂
These Muffins are so good!! I too have had some horrible bran muffin fails, but these were a hug success!! I did not have oat bran, so I used all wheat bran, and I added all of the optional ingredients. They are moist and delicious…thank you so much for this great recipe! 🙂
Thanks Karen! This is one of those recipes that can take whatever you throw at it and still somehow work out 🙂
After suffering most of my life with IBS I have become a bit of a self-professed bran muffin connoisseur and I must say these muffins are INCREDIBLE! They were easy to make and turned out beautifully! My 2 and 5 year old children devoured them and they didn’t even realize they were full of awesome things like flax, hemp, and chia seeds! I love that they are so versatile and bake up nice and big! I made a dozen this morning and they were so good I actually pulled the ingredients out all over again and made another batch this afternoon to freeze!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
That’s great to hear, thanks Shantelle!! I honestly make these so often that I have the recipe memorized. And they freeze really well. Just pop them in the microwave for a little less than a minute and you’re good to go. 😀
What a great recipe. Just made them with normal size muffin tins filling them with a 1/3 cup each and at 16mins at 375 they were a little burnt smelling and the bottoms are burnt on some. (Of course I will still eat them! Not too bad) Maybe next time I will try the oven at 350 like my banana muffins – think that should matter? Excited to eat one. Thanks for the recipe added all your “optional” may try some orange zest and raspberries next time also!
Have you ever tested the accuracy of your oven? When I first moved into my old apartment, I found that everything I tried to bake came out overdone. I bought an oven thermometer and discovered it was almost 100° off what it said on the dial. You can get one at any cook store for about $10. But if 350° works fine for your banana muffins, you can definitely try that too. Just keep an eye on them. Another thing is that I fill my muffin tins more than just 1/3, so maybe they just cooked faster because there was less batter.
As for the egg substitute, I’ve never tried it myself, but a friend of mine swears by using ground flax – for each egg, use 1 tablespoon of ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir well and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before using it in the recipe. Please let me know how it works out for you!!
Also dad has an egg allergy any ideas for egg less?
I would like to try this recipie, it really look good. But I am concern about the amount of sugar in this recipie that add to 2/3 cup. For many years now, I have cut sugar in all my recipies and I usually put only 1/3 of sugar (honey, maple or whaterver) for one recipie of muffins. Do you think it would work for this one considering I would put fruits in it ?
Hi Louise. I’m totally on your side when it comes to cutting out sugar in “healthy” foods. That said, I’m honestly not sure how these would work out. If it were granulated sugar, I’d say go for it. But because both of the sugars are liquid, cutting them down will affect the texture of the batter and the final muffin. Plus this isn’t a very sweet-tasting muffin as-is. It might be ok! Because this is a really moist muffin and it usually responds well to tweaking. I’d say give it a shot. Especially if you’re adding some really flavourful fruits. If you do, please post back and let us know how it turns out!
I didn’t have wheat bran. I didn’t have oat bran. All I had was bran cereal and rolled oats. I zipped them up in a processor. I didn’t have molasses so I used corn syrup. I did have honey and the rest of the ingredients. I added dried cranberries, sunflower seeds. 1/8 cup ground flax seed. A sprinkle of poppy seeds and even a couple of Chaga mushroom capsules to Turbo-charge the anti-oxidants. Basically the whole kitchen sink. It turned out great. Not too sweet and very moist. Like you said, anything goes as long as you keep the basic dry/wet proportions. If its healthy, throw it in. Great recipe. Thanks!
omg, it’s amazing how much were were able to tweak this recipe and still have it work out! I’m glad you’re happy with them. Years later, and I still haven’t found a better bran muffin recipe. ?