Bran Muffins

Monday night (the same night that the Bison tacos came into being) I also made some bran muffins. I know… Bison Tacos and Bran Muffins don’t really go together… but I wanted to make something that Kirk and I could snack on throughout the week that wouldn’t be too bad for us.

When I was visiting my grandmother in Vancouver in December, she sent me home with a ziplock baggie full of recipes that she and my grandfather used to make together (she also sent me a home with a massive stock pot… I can’t believe I actually got that thing to fit in my suitcase). I finally took some time to look through all of the recipes this past weekend, and I came across one for “Super Moist Bran Muffins”. Okay, that doesn’t sound too bad. I vaguely remember eating some pretty delicious Bran Muffins with her the last time I was visiting, so I got my hopes up that this was the recipe she has been using over the course of the last few years. I was correct.

My main concern about these muffins is the high suger content – 1 1/2 cups of brown suger. Next time I make them, I might experiment with replacing some of the sugar with Agave Nectar or something – if I do that I’ll have to remember to increase the flour or bran slightly (since I’d be replacing a dry ingredient with a wet one). However, I should note that these muffins, as is, are totally delicious and incredibly high in fiber. One thing to note, if you decide to make these, is that the batter might seem excessively liquidy, but that’s actually how it’s supposed to be (it’s how the muffins end up being so moist!). The muffins don’t rise too much, so feel free to fill your muffin cups nearly to the top. Also, I used raisins in the recipe, but I’m thinking it could be nice to try dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, dried blueberries, etc…

So, here’s the recipe:


Raisin Mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp butter


  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups natural wheat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


  • Preheat over to 375F
  • Line 12 large muffin cups with large paper cups (or 20 medium muffin cups)
  • Raisin Mixture: In a small saucepan, combine raisins, sugar, water, lemon juice, and butter.
  • Bring raisin mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool Slightly.
  • Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, and salt.
  • Add slightly cooled raisin mixture, stir well.
  • Stir in bran.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda – spoon it over the bran/raisin mixture, but DO NOT mix.
  • Add buttermilk, all at once, stirring just until all dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Let the batter stand for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Spoon batter in muffin cups (nearly filling them). Let stand for 2 minutes.
  • Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.
  • Remove muffins to rack and let cool.
  • Store completely cooled muffins, in a single layer, in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Margarita Herzka says:

    Hi: I thought that in baking sugar is considered a liquid and if this is true instead of adding more flour/bran the liquid should be increased (buttermilk).

  2. emwalsh says:

    This is great point. Granulated sugar is definitely technically considered a “liquid” for baking purposes, but if you wanted to replace a “granulated” sugar with a “syrup” sugar (such as agave nectar or honey), the guidelines say that because these sugars have a higher liquid content, you should either decrease other liquids in your recipe slightly, or increase the other dry ingredients slightly. Here are some good guidelines:

    One of the benefits I could see for using something like agave in this recipe (which I still haven’t tried!) is that it would give me an opportunity to increase the bran slightly, and I (oddly enough) love the taste of bran 🙂

    I’m definitely no expert though – I honestly think you could just play with the recipe a little and see how it works for you!

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