Begin your day with one of these bran muffins and your day will be off to a great start! You will be glad you did, because not only are they fluffy, delicious and studded with sweet raisins, but they are also packed with essential dietary fiber and wholesome whole grains! Bake up a double batch of these nutritious bran muffins and keep some in the freezer to easily thaw for busy mornings.
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Why You’ll Love These Bran Muffins
If the mention of a bran muffin brings up images of dry or crumbly health food, then think again! These soft and moist bran muffins will redefine what you think of them.
This healthy bran muffin recipe will become your go-to recipe! The natural sweetness of honey and raisins are all that are needed to balance out the nutty whole wheat and all bran cereal. Bonus: they are kid tested and mom approved!
- They only take 30 minutes
- Made with 100% whole wheat
- High in fiber (5 g per muffin)
- Made with honey (an unrefined sugar)
- Applesauce gives natural moisture – so they are not dry!
- Made with raisins- but you can omit them if you prefer.
- Can be frozen and reheated
More Healthy Muffin Recipes
Ingredient Notes For Bran Muffins with Raisins
- All Bran Cereal: When I started testing this recipe, I realized that wheat bran is sometimes very difficult to find. I looked in three different stores and couldn’t find it. But Kellog’s All Bran Cereal can be found at every grocery store and supermarket! So to make everyone’s lives easier I decided to base this recipe on All Bran wheat cereal so that everyone can make it- and get the same expected results. The key is to let the cereal soften for a couple of minutes before stirring the batter together. It only takes a few minutes- about the same amount of time it takes for your oven to heat up.
- Raisins: Raisins are naturally sweet and high in soluble fiber and a classic addition to bran muffins. That’s why we’ve added them to our formula, but if you are not a big fan of them this recipe works perfectly well without them. Simply skip them!
- Boiling water: This is the key to softening up the bran cereal. It’ll go from sticks to mush in a matter of seconds once you add in the boiling water. Then once it cools for a few minutes you can mix it with the eggs and other ingredients for the batter.
- Eggs: We used three eggs- While many muffin recipes use only two eggs, using an extra egg is super important for bran muffins because they can tend to be too crumbly- The extra egg helps them get nice and fluffy and hold together without being dry.
- Unsweetened applesauce: These muffins are relatively low in fat and added sugar- so using applesauce really helps keep them moist.
- Honey or maple syrup: We favor natural sweeteners in these parts (I wrote a whole book on the subject after all!) So we opted for honey. I did test them with maple too and it worked equally as well. In a pinch you can easily use sugar or brown sugar if that is all you have on hand.
- Avocado oil or canola oil: A neutral oil is best, but if you like the flavor of coconut oil you can use some (melted) instead.
- Whole wheat flour: Our flour of choice these days is 100% whole wheat flour. If you can find it white whole wheat is great because it has a more subtle flavor, but I tested this recipe with white whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour and I couldn’t tell the difference, so use whichever you have on hand.
- Baking Essentials: You’ll also need classic baking staples like baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla. I added a little cinnamon too (only 1 teaspoon) and I love the subtle spice it adds to the muffin. We think they taste just like a bakery-style muffin! Note: if you are on a low-sodium diet, omit the salt altogether.
How To Make Healthy Bran Muffins
Step 1: Soften Bran Cereal
Combine the All Bran cereal and raisins in a large mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and toss the wheat bran cereal with a fork or spatula. Let the mixture cool, stirring occasionally until the All Bran is broken down and the mixture is lukewarm.
Step 2: Preheat The Oven
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line it with paper cupcake liners or paper liners. [Note: a standard muffin tin has 12 wells. The muffin cups hold about 3 to 4 fluid ounces of batter.]
Step 3: Mix Wet Ingredients Into Softened Wheat Bran
Add the eggs, applesauce, honey, oil and vanilla extract to the All-Bran mixture and stir to combine.
Step 4: Whisk Whole Wheat Flour with Dry Ingredients
Stir the whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until the combo is mixed.
Step 5: Mix Wet and Dry Mixtures To Form Batter
Add the flour mixture to the bran mixture and stir until evenly moistened.
Step 6: Bake the Bran Muffins
Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin papers in the pan or the greased muffin pan. An ice cream scoop works well! The wells will be full (see the photo above for reference.) Transfer the pan to the center of the oven. Bake them until are nicely puffed and the top springs back when lightly touched in the center, 22 to 25 minutes. Another way to test if they are done is to check with a wooden skewer or toothpick. It should come out clean.
Step 7: Let Muffins Cool On Rack
Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently turn them out. Let them cool on a wire rack. Freeze or store at room temperature for up to 24 in an airtight container.
Expert Tips and FAQs for the Best Bran Muffins
Are bran muffins actually healthy?
Bran muffins are made with wheat bran which is a great source of dietary fiber, an essential type of carbohydrate that promotes healthy digestion. Since most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets, adding a bran muffin to your breakfast or snack routine can be a convenient way of hitting your fiber needs.
However, not all bran muffins are created equal! Some jumbo-size bakery bran muffins are very large and are high in added sugar and butter. Furthermore, the serving size is often too big which makes them high in calories too.
Our healthy bran muffins are perfectly portion controlled with only 168 total calories each. They get natural sweetness from honey, raisins and applesauce instead of gobs of white sugar. We used avocado oil, which is shown to benefit heart health, instead of butter or sour cream.
Are bran muffins good for constipation?
Yes, bran muffins are made with wheat bran which helps alleviate constipation among other health benefits.
What is a substitute for All-Bran cereal in muffins?
We used All-Bran original cereal to develop this recipe as it is the most commonly found wheat bran. If you are not familiar with it, it looks like little cardboard-colored tan twigs. It has a beige color and rough texture shaped into sticks. As a sub, you can use bran buds or wheat bran flakes. Weigh out 5 1/2 ounces and follow the directions to soften the bud or flakes. If the flakes do not dissolve in step one, let the wet mixture (step 3) sit for a few minutes to help the flakes break down before stirring the dry ingredients in. Dry wheat bran (which is powdered) is not a good sub in this recipe as it is unsweetened and cannot be substituted one to one.
We have not tested this recipe with Raisin Bran cereal so we do not know if that will work.
Do not sub in oat bran which is high in soluble fiber, and becomes too gummy.
How do you make raisin bran muffins moist?
We use several tricks for baking the best tender muffins and to keep these muffins moist.
- Soak the raisins with the boiling water. This results in two benefits, you’ll have nice plump raisins and they won’t draw the moisture out of the muffin.
- Don’t use too much flour. This is a common problem with whole-grain baking recipes. Whole grain wheat flour is very absorbent (and so is wheat bran) so it requires more hydration than white flour. Giving the bran time to hydrate and using additional moisture in the formula compensates for these tendencies.
- Add applesauce: Applesauce is a great low-calorie way to add moisture to baked goods.
- Sweeten with Invert Sugar: Honey, which is a type of invert sugar, is naturally hygroscopic. That means it naturally attracts moisture and draws it into the baked good. This helps keep it from getting stale. Maple syrup will do the same as it is also high in invert sugars.
- Don’t overbake: Even if you follow all the above steps, your muffins can be dried out if you overbake them. My top tip for baking success is to a) make sure to calibrate your oven regularly and b) rely first on the indicators of doneness not the kitchen timer. In other words, if your muffins are puffed and spring back when lightly touched then they are done, no matter what the timer says.
Substitutions and Variations for Whole Wheat Bran Muffins
- Instead of cinnamon, flavor the batter with pumpkin pie spice or a blend of another few baking spice such as nutmeg and allspice.
- Use your favorite dried fruit instead of raisins such as chopped dates, chopped dried apricots or currants. Or try mini chocolate chips for a treat!
- Make these muffins vegan by swapping in flax eggs or your favorite egg alternative.
- Make them low in sodium by omitting the salt
- Add chopped nuts or seeds instead of the raisins in this bran muffins recipe to add crunch
- Use pumpkin puree instead of the apple sauce for a seasonal twist! Or try plain yogurt instead.
- Do a holiday-themed twist by adding 2 teaspoons of orange zest. Then substitute dried cranberries for the raisins and add a half teaspoon of ground cloves to the batter.
- Spread peanut butter or almond butter over the warm muffin
- Serve with a bowl of Greek yogurt for protein and to round out your breakfast.
- We love spreading apple butter on warm bran muffins in the fall. Add a mug of warm apple cider and we’re in heaven!
More Whole Wheat Baking Recipes
In addition to these homemade bran muffins have been making loads of whole wheat baked goods around here lately. Here are some of our favorites!
- If you like baking with yeast there are three favorite whole wheat yeasted bread recipes to try Whole Wheat Bread, Honey Wheat Bead and Whole Wheat Rolls.
- As far as quick breads, this Apple Cinnamon Bread and Whole Wheat Banana Bread are two favorites.
- If you need a sweet these Whole Wheat Brownies are great and we recently published these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies to great fanfare.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Begin your day with a wholesome Bran Muffin with raisins and you will be off to a great start. These high-fiber muffins are made with whole grains, sweet raisins and wheat bran cereal for a nutritious snack or breakfast.
- 2 cup Kellog’s All Bran Original Cereal (sticks) (about 5.5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine All Bran and raisins in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over it and toss with a fork. Let cool, stirring occasionally until the All Bran is broken down and the mixture is lukewarm.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cupcake liners.
- Add eggs, applesauce, honey, oil and vanilla to the All Bran mixture and stir to combine.
- Stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until mixed.
- Add the flour mixture to the bran mixture and stir until evenly moistened.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, the wells will be full, and transfer to the oven. Bake until the muffins are puffed and spring back when lightly touched in the center, 22 to 25 minutes. A wooden skewer or toothpick should come out clean.
- Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn out. Let cool on a wire rack. Freeze or store at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
As with most other lower fat whole grain baking recipes we recommend enjoying within 24 hours. Once they are cool, store the muffins in a resealable bag or air-tight container at room temperature. For longer storage freeze up to 6 weeks. Thaw at room temperature or microwave for 25 to 40 seconds and enjoy warm. Do not refreeze.
To Warm Leftovers
Warming up baked goods temporarily reverses staling, so we suggest doing so for muffins made in advance. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap muffins in foil and bake until just warm, about 15 minutes. Do not rewarm more than once.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Category: Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 168
- Sugar: 16 g
- Fat: 1 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 4 g
Keywords: bran muffins, all bran muffins, bran muffins with raisins, healthy bran muffins, raisin bran muffins, whole wheat bran muffins