This Best Ever Bran Muffins recipe is a wholesome and hearty muffin. Sweet enough to feel like a treat, but not so much so, that it brings on a load of guilt. Hot muffins packed with protein and fiber ... filling, nutritious and delicious! What more could you want?!
These muffins also make for a fabulous, portable breakfast item when on the run. Truly the perfect breakfast go to. Or if you have the time to sit down, pair it with hot cereal, serve it with a bowl of yogurt or just enjoy it by itself.
So, let's get real for a minute. Did you grow up in a home where in the morning you woke up to a healthy, nutritious, sometimes hot breakfast to start your day? I often did. My mother was a saint like that. She liked early mornings and enjoyed preparing breakfast for us.
I aspire to be that kind of mom...more often than not though, life gets in the way...or I sleep in 🙂 Right now in this stage of my life, with two small children, mornings are hectic. Most mornings it's pretzel thins and yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast.
DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN?
But something that helps me cheat the system a bit, and feel like a super mom on occasion ... is this delicious, simple, Best Ever Bran Muffin recipe. This recipe definitely makes you feel as though you are the next Muffin Man ... or Muffin Woman, living on Drury Lane.
PRO CHEF – MOM HACK
Now, the original recipe makes a huge batch. I’m talking HUGE. So let us talk options ...
First option -- Half the recipe to cut down on the number of muffins made (In the "how to" video below, this is what I did). The original recipe makes roughly five and a half dozens -- that's 60-70 muffins depending on how full you fill your muffin tins. Halving the recipe brings it down to a more manageable 2 dozens.
Second option -- Make the whole recipe, bake all the muffins and then freeze any extras. If you go this route be sure to allow them to cool entirely. Then place them in a freezer ziplock bag or airtight container and enjoy them later when you are in a pinch or needing an easy breakfast for on the run. -- This is typically the route I go. I mean, if I'm already in the kitchen and making a mess, doing all this work, let's make it count, right?! Plus, I love having meals in the freezer, on hand when we need them.
Third option -- Follow the recipe, bake up however many muffins you need, then save the remaining batter in the fridge for a few weeks. My sister calls this recipe “6 week muffins”. Because it yields so many muffins, she bakes what she needs and then saves the extra batter in her fridge for six weeks and uses it to make fresh muffins whenever she runs out. Fresh muffins in minutes! It really is genius. I’ve never tried option three, but she says it works like a charm.
I really do love to make a big batch of these puppies and freeze them to pull out later. Then when I'm in a crunch, I pop them in the microwave or toaster oven for a quick reheat and everyone is ready for a healthy and delicious breakfast.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BRAN MUFFINS?
I prefer my muffins to have some texture and be a bit coarser, so as you will see, I do not crush the cereal first. I like to leave my bran cereals whole.
But if you prefer a softer more tender muffin, you can adapt the recipe easily. Just pulverize both cereals to a fine flour like consistency before adding to your dry ingredients. Then you will want to make sure you don’t over mix the batter after adding the eggs. Only stir till just combined.
If mixing and wanting to use your batter right away, make sure to do it with enough advance planning, as the cereal does need time to soften and absorb the excess moisture in your batter, also giving it time to thicken.
GET CREATIVE – BRAN MUFFINS YOUR WAY
While this recipe is good and can stand on its own, it is also very adaptable. You can easily give it your own flair by adding in some of your favorite optional ingredients.
My favorite way to enjoy these muffins is adding raisins and chopped nuts, but there are so many options. I would suggest only adding 2 optional add-ins at a time for the right batter to add-in ratios.
- Chopped Nuts
- Fresh or Dried Fruits
- Chocolate Chips
- Grated Apple and Cinnamon
- Shaved Coconut
- Topped with Streusel or Turbinado Sugar
The combinations of goodness are endless! No more boring muffins for you.
Want to try adding nuts to your next batch but don't know what type of nut works best in a recipe? Have no fear, I got you. This handy dandy guide is here to help you match your flavor profiles perfectly, every single time.
MAKE YOUR MORNING EASY
What is even better about this recipe, and yet another one of the reasons I am in love, is that all the hard work can be done the night before! Because the batter must be refrigerated for at least four hours, (but ideally twelve) it makes this recipe the perfect candidate for night before prep and a quick bake in the morning ... which means Mama gets to sleep in 30 more minutes and everyone is still getting a hot breakfast. Now, I call that a win!
Wake up in the morning, pull out your batter from the fridge, pop it into your greased muffin tins and wake everyone with the smells of fresh baked muffins. Hot fresh muffins on the table in mere minutes.
- 5 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all bran cereal
- 2 cups bran flakes cereal
- 2 cups warm water
- 5 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 quart buttermilk
Optional Add-Ins (suggest choosing no more than 2)
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 2 cups raisins or cranberries
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 cups chopped dates or dried fruit
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- In a large bowl sift together flour and salt. Stir in All Bran and Bran Flakes cereal. Add raisins, nuts or any other desired optional add ins.
- Set bowl of dry ingredients aside.
- Mix warm water and baking soda, set bowl aside.
- In your largest bowl, cream sugar and butter. Stir in eggs one at a time and mix well. Add in buttermilk. Once mixed, add the water baking soda mixture to the batter.
- Add in dry ingredients or bran mixture. Mix completely.
- Cover bowl tightly and store in the refrigerator to allow batter to rest for at least four hours. This will allow bran to absorb the moisture in the batter. Muffins are best if refrigerated for 12 hours.
- Grease muffin tins and use a cookie scoop to fill. Bake at 375° F for 18-20 minutes or until muffin tops are lightly browned.
- Store remaining batter in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Pull out batter when needing fresh muffins and within minutes you will be ready to enjoy!
- If looking for a more tender, airier muffin grind both whole bran cereals into a fine flour. Leaving the cereal whole will produce a more dense and coarse muffin.
- Do not overmix the batter. Overmixing will make muffins heavy and dense.
- Use a mini muffin tin for more of a kid friendly or pop-able snack size muffin. Cook muffins for 9-11 minutes on top rack of oven.
- Store uneaten and leftover muffins in a single layer, in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 2 days on the counter or a week in the refrigerator.
- Muffins freeze perfectly and thaw well. Bake the whole batch at once and enjoy as a quick breakfast or snack on the go later. Allow muffins to cool entirely before placing in airtight container for the freezer.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 66 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 3g
Do you love freezer meal ideas like me? Let me make your life and menu planning a little easier this week. Check some of our other favorite recipes for preparing ahead and freezing to enjoy later. Sweet & Spicy Chili, Green Smoothie Waffles or Zucchini Pesto Lasagna.