Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Best Bran Muffins

I’m a big believer in muffins for breakfast. But let’s face it, most of time you are just eating cake. Not that I have a problem with cake for breakfast, but most days I am trying to get some fiber into the family. These muffins are the perfect kind of bran muffin—lots of fiber, lots of tasty ingredients like butter and molasses, and just enough sweetness so they don’t taste like health food. I’ve loved this recipe for years—probably at least 10 years. And of course, it’s from Cook’s Illustrated. You can find the original recipe by clicking here.


I prefer a recipe where a box of cereal isn’t the source of fiber. I find it easier to keep a small bag of wheat bran in the pantry rather than a box of All-Bran cereal. I like Bob’s Red Mill but I am sure there are many other choices. I do however like the cereal box version of the Cook’s Illustrated muffin. I’ve made both at the same time and had the family do a taste test. They like the cereal box version just slightly better whereas I prefer this version with the wheat bran. And since I am the baker, my vote counted more. So this is the version I make and freeze in small batches so that we can easily microwave a few at a time for breakfast.



Enjoy! Printable recipe click here.

The Best Bran Muffins

Original recipe from

1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon table salt

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 2 additional tablespoons

2 large eggs

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup buttermilk plus 3 additional tablespoons

1 ½ cups wheat bran (I like Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup raisins (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour through nutmeg in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Beat butter in large bowl of electric mixer or with handheld mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly before adding the next. Beat in vanilla, molasses, and sour cream until thoroughly combined and creamy, about 1 minute longer. At this point mine always looks curdled. Reduce speed to low; beat in buttermilk and half the flour mixture until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in remaining flour mixture until incorporated and slightly curdled looking, about 1 minute longer, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Stir in bran and raisins if using.

3. Spray a muffin tin. Divide batter evenly among molds using spoon or ice cream scoop. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center withdraws cleanly or with a few moist particles adhering to it, about 20-25 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.

I prefer to double this recipe and freeze muffins. They microwave great while still frozen!




Robyn said...

Thanks for the recipe, Cynthia. And thanks for sharing a muffin with me. It was delicious. I will attempt to make them :)

Stephanie said...

I just made a big batch of these and another big batch that used oat bran and bananas (I had a bunch I had to use up). Both were delicious, but Annie liked these enough to ask for one for dessert. Mom win!

Cynthia said...

hooray! that is indeed success stephanie.


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