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Cranberry Bran Muffins

One of my favorite treats that my grandmother used to make us when we went over to her house to play were her bran muffins. She liked to serve them warm and must have always timed it so they would come out of the oven right as we arrived. I will never forget the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread that would hit you the moment you opened her front door.

I know what you must be thinking_ What kind of kid looks forward to bran muffins? Aren't bran muffins kind of boring and not very kid friendly? Some bran muffins certainly do reside in the "blah" category, but my grandmother's were sweet and had an almost nutty quality about them.

Sadly, I don't have my grandmother's recipe, but I still wanted to recreate that food memory from my childhood. I played around a bunch until I came up with this version, which I think is pretty close to my grandmother's. To give my muffins a little extra zing, I added one of my kids' favorite dried fruits, cranberries, for both color and taste.

When I bake these, the smell in my kitchen takes me back to when I was kid and the taste is just as delicious as my memories. This recipe will make you think twice about ever calling bran muffins boring again -- they are anything but!

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:635]

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Cranberry Bran Muffins (makes about 40 mini or 15 regular muffins)

Prep Time: 2 mins Cook Time: 18 mins

nut free

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup oil
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients except for the cranberries.

4. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet, and then stir in the cranberries.

5. Pour batter into greased mini muffin cups about 2/3 of the way up and bake for 15 minutes (or 2/3 of the way up into regular size muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes).

6. Cool and serve.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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32 comments

  • Seema

    How would oat bran work, instead of wheat bran?

    leave a comment

    • Jeannette

      I have the same question.

      leave a comment

  • Aprille

    Is that half a cup of whole wheat flour?

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    • Catherine

      Yes, whole wheat flour :)

      leave a comment

  • Kristi Reis

    That's a very sweet memory. Can't wait to make these!

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  • Sara

    Yes, I would also like to know about the whole wheat, if it's flour, and how wheat bran comes.

    leave a comment

  • Amy C.

    Any way to sub for the buttermilk?

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    • Tasha

      Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to regular milk, voila. :)

      leave a comment

  • Jellyjello

    =) im excited to make these, i thought i didnt like bran muffins until after i had my daughter and they served me them in the birthing center, im sure these will be twice as good!..

    leave a comment

  • Jessica

    I usually bake with rice milk. Can I use this instead of buttermilk or what would I do to change the rice milk??

    leave a comment

    • Jessica

      Sorry--just saw your previous reply. Has anyone ever added vinegar to rice milk?

      leave a comment

  • Alicia C

    Could I use fresh cranberries when they are in season? My daughter has not become a fan of dried fruit (texture issue...she's under two).

    leave a comment

  • Trina

    My daughter loves cranberries! These look delicious!

    leave a comment

  • Heartland Frugalista

    Great recipe. I like yours because you use honey.

    I use pineapple juice:

    http://tinyurl.com/3bpc2gu

    Anyway you look at it, bran muffins rock!

    Carrie

    leave a comment

  • Sarah

    I can't find wheat bran anywhere in our grocery store. (We're stationed in Germany) I have wheat germ, is that close enough?

    leave a comment

    • Shannon

      Same question. I went to 3 grocery stores in Greenwich, CT (even a Whole Foods) and they don't sell \"wheat bran\" One store gave me All Bran cereal. Can i just grind that up?

      leave a comment

    • Hkoko

      I used wheat germ, and it works perfectly for wheat bran (I'm not sure if there is a difference).

      leave a comment

  • Brandie

    I made these tonight, with the addition of cinnamon, dried apricots and walnuts. I was concerned they wouldn't be sweet enough, but they are delish!

    leave a comment

  • Tracy Samek

    Can I substitute agave nectar for honey so my 10 month olds can have them as well as my toddler? If so, is it the same amount?

    leave a comment

    • Hilary

      I asked a dietician about using honey in baked goods for my son who was still under two at the time. She said that since it was cooked into the banana bread it would be fine. I also noticed that the standard grocery store honey is pasturized, which I'd be let to belive would kill anything that would cause botualism.

      leave a comment

  • Bethany

    Just made these - they're sooooo good! I know my son is going to love them for breakfast tomorrow morning. My only complaint is that all my cranberries sank to the bottom of the muffins...what's the solution?

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    • Shelley

      If you toss the dried cranberries in a spoonfull of the dry ingredients before mixing it into the batter, they will stay suspended in the batter rather than sinking to the bottom.

      leave a comment

  • Char

    Can I freeze these? And, if so, is reheating possible or should I just thaw?
    Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Suzann

    Could you use yogurt instead of buttermilk?

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  • joyful8581

    My son loved these! It made 60 mini muffins though! :) Going to freeze some.

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  • Fabeena

    hi catherine , can i use 2 cups whole wheat flour

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can, but the consistency will be different!

      leave a comment

  • Danielle

    Wow. That was melt-in-your mouth good...and for a bran muffin. I am impressed!

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    […] sandwiches or soup and crackers if needed.  If I get around to it, I’d like to make these cranberry bran muffins for breakfast.  If not, well, I guess I’m eating […]

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  • A

    Hi Catherine,

    Is there a way to make these with crushed bran flakes? Thanks!

    leave a comment