Get Up and Go Bran Muffins

I woke up early this morning, thinking about making muffins. I went back to sleep and woke up again,  still early, still thinking about making muffins. So, I got up and made muffins.

Many bran muffins that I’ve had are dense, heavy, and … I don’t know how else to say it but scratchy in texture. These, however, were light and tender, their delicacy enhanced by the merest hint of meyer lemon zest.

They made an excellent breakfast with some piping hot coffee. And, there are still six sitting on the kitchen counter, ready for snacking.

If you buy muffins instead of making your own, please reconsider. It took me about 15 minutes to mix these up (and believe me, I wasn’t moving too fast this morning). Twenty to twenty-five minutes in the oven, and voila, they’re ready to eat as soon as they’re cool enough to touch. And, I know exactly what went into them. In fact, I adapted the recipe to accommodate allergies.

Many muffins are really cake in the guise of something healthy, laden with sugar and oil. The virtues of homemade include: quick, healthy, the satisfaction of making your own, and I dare say more economical. The last muffins I bought at the local coffee shop were $1.65 each (not a problem if you’re there for a coffee and a treat, but that’s $19.80 a dozen!). I haven’t priced mine out, but at a quick quess I’d say it cost me no more than $3 to make my dozen (not counting the fancy-schmancy tulipy muffin cups that I splurged on recently). One of these days, I’ll work out the math, and let you know.

In the meantime, let’s not worry about math. Let’s just eat muffins and have a nice Saturday.

Get Up and Go Bran Muffins

Adapted from the “Oat Bran Raisin Muffins” in Anne’s Lindsay’s Lighthearted Everyday Cooking. My Culinary Enthusiast doesn’t eat oats, so I substituted wheat bran for oat bran.

Pre-heat oven to 400°

  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1-1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses (you could also use honey)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped orange or lemon zest (I used meyer lemon)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, along with the raisins, and stir to combine. Add the milk, molasses, oil and zest. Stir until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into paper-lined muffin tins (roughly 1/4 cup in each), and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. I left mine in for 24 minutes today.

Remove from the muffin tin and cool on a rack until you just can’t wait any longer to eat them.

Enjoy as breakfast or a snack any time during the day. Here’s to your good health!


    • Thank you! Yes, there are certainly a lot of costly muffins out there. I don’t mind paying a two or three dollars for one when I’m out, but if you’re looking for quantity and not willing to sacrifice quality, home-baked is a good option!

  1. You make some very good points about baking muffins over buying them. The first time I made some from scratch I was surprised to learn how quick & easy it was to do. Now I make a batch and store most in the freezer for a quick breakfast or snack. I’ve been on the look-out for a good bran recipe, Mar, and I think I’ve just found it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • I hope this recipe works for you, John. This was the first time I tried this particular one and I’m really pleased how it turned out. As for freezing muffins, sometimes I free them individually or in two’s in small baggies, so I can just grab one and throw it into my lunch bag for work. Extra convenient that way.

  2. I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis. I know…that isn’t good but I’m not hungry in the morning. If I do eat breakfast, a bran muffin is one of my favorite healthy ways to start the day. I will definitely try your muffins.

    • I usually have two breakfasts, so I guess I’m making up for you skipping! I suppose it’s really one breakfast in stages, a grazing approach to the first meal of the day. Regardless, these muffins are nice to have on hand when hunger strikes.

    • They are pretty, aren’t they. I must confess, I bought them pre-shaped. When I opened them up to get the muffins out, I see they are squares of parchment, cleverly folded around a middle circle. I think it would be a neat project to make my own … time consuming, but they look so much prettier than the usual ones.

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