Basic Bran Muffins

March 17, 2009 · 34 comments · Print This Post

in Baked Goods, Breakfast, Healthy, Muffins

Basic Bran Muffins

I have a strange affinity for bran. I believe it stems from spending time with my grandfather when I was very young. He would eat cereals like Raisin Bran, Grape Nuts, and Bran Flakes for breakfast and I wanted to be just like him so I would request a bowl too. Except I didn’t want anything to do with those sugared raisins. I liked my geriatric cereal straight-up. Most people tend to want to mask the taste of bran with nuts, sweeteners, and various berries, but not me. I just want the down and dirty basics because believe it or not I really do like the taste.

Unfortunately, the majority of bakeries seem to disagree with me. They stuff perfectly fabulous bran muffins full of miscellaneous accoutrements hoping to entice people into eating their “so-called” healthy concoctions. Well I don’t want pistachios, chocolate chips, or golden raisins in my bran muffin. You don’t need to coerce me. I actually want to eat them!  Is a basic lightly sweetened bran-based baked good too much to ask for? It would appear so. Honestly,  I’ve long since given up hope and now I just make them myself.

This recipe yields a dozen moist and delightfully uncomplicated bran muffins blessedly free from the add-ins that irritate me so much. I used light sour cream in the batter but you could also use plain yogurt or a combination of the two. Of course, if you’re into fruit and nuts feel free to toss in a cup of your favorites just don’t expect me to eat them.

By the way, the colorful cupcake liners found on the muffins in these pictures are all available from Elinor Klivan’s new Cupcake Kit published by Chronicle Books.

Basic Bran Muffins

Sour Cream Bran Muffins
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields 12 muffins

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream (Erin’s Note: Feel free to substitute light sour cream or your favorite plain yogurt)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miller’s bran (Erin’s Note: I used Quaker Unprocessed Bran)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the egg, the sour cream, and the molasses. In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, and the bran, add the mixture to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.) Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen March 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

I’m a bran fan too 🙂 My mom introduced me to those cereals when I was young as well, and if I adorn with anything it’s usually a sprinkle of sugar or fresh berries. Lovely photos!


2 The Craving Chronicles March 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

I thought I was the only one that really liked bran! My favorite cereal is raisin bran, but I pick out all the raisins LOL 🙂 I think I will have to make these muffins! They’ll make good to-go breakfast.


3 Kate February 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Eat Wheaties. No raisins.


4 Sugar Duchess March 17, 2009 at 10:40 am

I totally agree. I love bran. Thanks for the great simple bran muffin recipe–I’ll have to whip up a batch for breakfast!


5 Happy Cook March 17, 2009 at 11:41 am

Wow this muffin looks real yummy and it is so healthy too.


6 kristina March 17, 2009 at 12:03 pm

This sounds perfect, as I too only like bran on its own–no raisins! I have the Elinor Klivans cupcake book but haven’t tried any of the recipes yet. Are there any you would particularly recommend? K x


7 Flying Cloud March 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm

These muffins look great! I like good, healthy, straight forward food. These would be ideal to throw in the pack while going on long fishing or hiking trips.


8 Monica H March 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Not usually a fan of bran muffins. I look forward to those
add-ins that irritate you so much” 🙂


9 Ryan March 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm

That’s amazing that you mention this. I also grew up eating healthy cereals because I used to spend every day at my grandparents’ house, and they always had Clusters, which I loved. And I love bran muffins. They have very good ones at Cafe Fixe in Brookline (although they do have raisins). And I’ve been slowly working on a container of pomegranate cranberry bran muffins from Trader Joe’s. They aren’t terribly complicated, and they’re nice and small (I can never finish a whole huge bran muffin, they’re so filling!).


10 Claire March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Bran muffins are awesome. If I could eat grains on my diet, I’d be all about the bran muffins — especially ones with some honey and raisins. Mmmm.


11 Diana March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I love bran muffins, too! I don’t like things mixed into them either. Mimi’s has a great bran muffin if you ever need a restaurant fix.

Yours look delish!


12 Elyse March 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I love bran all by its beautiful self, too! I can’t wait to try these muffins. They look so delicious, and it’s always wonderful to read a post from a fellow bran-lover!


13 KT March 17, 2009 at 9:18 pm

These look delicious! So much so that I think your recipe title doesn’t do them justice – that look anything but “basic” 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I will try them this weekend!


14 Anna March 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Oh, I adore bran muffins. So much so that when my recent batch of oat bran muffins runs out (bran bran, all types of bran are good by me!) I will go for these.


15 Kerstin March 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I’m a fan of “naked” bran muffins too! I love that yours have both sour cream and molasses – they sound delicious!


16 F_D March 18, 2009 at 7:57 am

Looks like a great variation on a classic recipe! The one we make here at home adds a little raw honey.


17 Allen March 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I completely agree with you — just give me the bran, man! I found your rant on raisins particularly funny. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the dark, little booger lookin’ things.

I’m sipping my morning coffee right now and would love one of these. Your recipe uses molasses which I think is the key ingredient for a delicious bran muffin. In the write-up of the recipe though you state ‘and stir in the raisins’ … are you just messin’ with me? 🙂


18 snooky doodle March 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Nice muffins!


19 ttfn300 March 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm

ooh, that pat of butter looks like frosting 🙂 love bran muffins!


20 Hermie's Mom March 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

I love it…I too had early exposure to bran. It was also a favorite of my dieting mom back then. Though she would not have topped it with Half and Half like my grandparents did 🙂


21 Claire March 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm

these look delicious! I haven’t had bran in a while, so I’ll have to try it soon.


22 Anali March 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

These look so good! I’ve always liked bran muffins, but never really talk about them much or make them, because they seem so scorned. Quite sad really. Thanks for bringing them back. I’m saving this recipe! : )


23 Donna March 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

I usually make these with all bran cereal. Your photo looks so delicious though, I have to try this one out. I also love bran muffins. Im horrible though and sometimes add choc chips., bad girl!


24 shilpa March 24, 2009 at 7:10 am


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25 Sampada March 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm

That bran muffin sounds delicious…it looks yummy ….right away Am gonna get ingredients from and try it.


26 Craving Chronicles March 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I just made a batch of these and ate one fresh out of the oven – YUM! They came out really moist and flavorful. I wasn’t sure the bran I picked up would work (I ended up getting oat bran instead of miller’s bran) but it worked just fine. I’m looking forward to eating these muffins for breakfast all week 🙂


27 Goddess in the Groove April 24, 2009 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the yummy recipe 🙂


28 Anita May 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

And all this time I thought it was me… I hate having to pick through a muffin to get all the rubbish out before I can enjoy it.


29 Mary January 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I am a true beginner. I baked from scratch for the first time ever this weekend. Then, I decided to make hubby bran muffins and Googled “bran muffins no raisins” and found your recipe. I need look no further. It came out GREAT! (And I have a knack for not getting things quite right the first time or three!) But your recipe was delicious and my hubby loved it! Easy to follow…thanks!!! Happy New Year!!


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