bran muffins that actually taste good

01887102db240918353eb526122fcd6860e6a7036dDon’t look – bran muffins are not that pretty!! They are brown. Not even a nice brown. They don’t have anything about them that makes them look even remotely appealing. Let’s not even get started on the name “bran muffin” … it conjures up images of being force fed cardboard or something else that totally lacks flavour.

Although these aren’t much to look at, they are actually pretty incredible. Even kids might like them. This is one of those recipes that my mom got from someone, who probably got it from someone else, and so on. They are light and moist, melt in your mouth, incredibly good for you and can be made on demand for a few weeks straight. As well as being great to just make for yourself, these are also good to put together and give to friends that are busy or exhausted (i.e. just had a baby). You can keep the batter in the fridge and pop a few in the oven whenever you want some.

Bran Muffins
Makes approx. 4 dozen … a good Mennonite sort of recipe. I usually just make half a recipe.
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 litre buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups branflakes (cereal)
  • 2 cups bran
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 cups raisins
Soak branflakes and bran in boiling water while mixing other ingredients. Then mix everything together really well. Let sit for 12 hours in fridge before baking. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full (no more). Bake as few or as many as you would like at 350F (180C) for 20 min. The batter will keep in the fridge for 6 weeks uncooked … at least that’s what the recipe I inherited says!

cranberry-almond muffins

As I travel around Alberta and BC I am blessed by the hospitality of many people. That means a lot of delicious home cooked meals! I was greeted in my most northern stop, Athabasca, by Marty and Ruth … and these gorgeous muffins! Ruth was kind enough to share.

Cranberry-Almond Muffins
Makes 12
Preheat oven to 425°F

Streusel Topping
3 Tbsp flour
4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsolted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
½ c. almond halves

Mix ingredients until they resemble course sand. Mix in almonds.

2 c. fresh cranberries, chopped
1 ⅓ c. flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ c. almond halves, toasted and cooled
1 c. plus 1 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ c. milk
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar

Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ tsp salt together. Set aside.

In a food processor process toasted almonds and sugar until it resembles course sand. Transfer to bowl and whisk in eggs, butter and milk until combined. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until just moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Set batter aside 30 min. To thicken.

Pulse cranberries, remaining ¼ tsp salt and confectioners’ sugar in food processor until very coarsely chopped. Fold cranberries into batter. Divide batter equally into 12 muffins. Evenly sprinkle streusel toping over muffins, gently pressing into batter to adhere. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 min. Cool muffins in muffin tin on wire rack, 10 min. Remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 10 min more.