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Cranberry Bran Muffins

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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!

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

  • Prep Time: 2 mins,
  • Cook Time: 18 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
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...

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. 2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients except for the cranberries.
  4. 4. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet, and then stir in the cranberries.
  5. 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. 6. Cool and serve.
Cranberry Bran Muffins

Nutrition Information

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  4. Danielle

    May 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

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

  5. fabeena

    October 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    hi catherine , can i use 2 cups whole wheat flour

    • catherine

      October 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      You can, but the consistency will be different!

  6. joyful8581

    December 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm

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

  7. Suzann

    September 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Could you use yogurt instead of buttermilk?

  8. Char

    September 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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

  9. Bethany

    September 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    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?

    • Shelley

      September 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

      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.

  10. Tracy Samek

    August 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    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?

    • Hilary

      September 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      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.

  11. brandie

    August 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    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!

  12. Sarah

    August 26, 2011 at 7:59 am

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

    • hkoko

      September 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

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

    • Shannon

      August 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

      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?

      • Stefani

        August 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        I had to search my whole foods too. It was in the cereal isle next to the steel cut oatmeal and all the other hot cereal packages.

  13. heartland frugalista

    August 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    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

  14. Trina

    August 23, 2011 at 2:49 am

    My daughter loves cranberries! These look delicious!

  15. Alicia C

    August 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    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).

  16. jessica

    August 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

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

    • jessica

      August 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

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

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      • Jennifer

        August 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

        I use 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every cup of soy or almond milk as a substitute for buttermilk. I haven’t had as much luck using this method with rice milk, which tends to be a lot thinner and doesn’t have as much body as other non dairy milks.

        • Jennifer

          August 23, 2011 at 9:02 am

          Just measure out the soy or almond milk, stir in the vinegar and let stand for a few minutes, you’ll see how it thickens up to the consistency of buttermilk

  17. jellyjello

    August 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    =) 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!..

  18. Amy C.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Any way to sub for the buttermilk?

    • Tasha

      August 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

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

      • catherine

        August 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

        Vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk :)

  19. Sara

    August 22, 2011 at 8:33 am

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

  20. kristi reis

    August 22, 2011 at 5:37 am

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

  21. Aprille

    August 22, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Is that half a cup of whole wheat flour?

    • catherine

      August 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Yes, whole wheat flour :)

  22. Seema

    August 22, 2011 at 3:53 am

    How would oat bran work, instead of wheat bran?

    • Jeannette

      August 22, 2011 at 8:55 am

      I have the same question.

      • catherine

        August 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

        You could totally use oat bran!