How to Make The Best Refrigerator Bran Muffins


With five growing boys and a caboose of a daughter, my mother made prodigious amounts of food.  And she was a great baker.  One of my fond memories is that of her refrigerator bran muffins. She would make a huge bowl of bran muffin batter.  I suspect it was a Farmer’s Home Journal recipe though I can only recall it as a hand-written recipe on a batter-stained index card.

She would keep that batter in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, breaking it out of the refrigerator two or three times a week and making a batch until it was gone.

I remember the busy school mornings, waking up to the small of these bran muffins in the oven.  We loved them, hot with a pat of butter melting in the center.

Today, nutritionists would not recommend keeping a batter containing eggs in the refrigerator for three weeks. Still, this old-time recipe has merit. I’m comfortable with it in a cold refrigerator for five days and maybe just a day or two longer.  That makes it a great “make-ahead” recipe.  You can mix it up the night before, make a bake a batch in the morning and then another batch on the weekend. That makes it a time saver.

And they are very good, nutritious muffins. You can make the size batch that fits your family, doubling or tripling the batch.  We have included suggestions for variations by adding nuts, fruits, or cinnamon chips.  You can make the first batch as below and then add cinnamon chips to the remaining batter for your Saturday morning muffins.

This is a great recipe to use in your RV.  Simply mix the muffins in the kitchen at home and pack the batter in the RV.  You can bake up as many muffins as you need anytime that you need them.

If you prefer, you can use our bran muffin mix, either a mix for a dozen bran muffins or bulk package of bran muffin mix. 

The Refrigerator Bran Muffin Recipe

(With variations)

This recipe makes about 18 large muffins. 

3 cups all-bran cereal such as All Bran or Bran Buds
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup very hot water
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup stone ground wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  1. In a medium bowl, add the cereal and raisins and then the very hot water.  Stir in the melted butter.  Set it aside to soak.
    2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and stir in the buttermilk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, salt, and baking soda together until well combined.
    4. Make a crater in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the egg mixture and the cereal mixture and then stir with a spatula until combined.
    5. If you choose to make muffins now, fill well-greased tins two-thirds full.  Refrigerate the remaining batter in a covered container in the refrigerator.
    6. Bake the muffins for 14 to 18 minutes or until they test done.  Let them sit in the tins for several minutes and then remove them to wire racks to cool.  Freeze any leftovers.

The Variations

Add nuts, raisins, dates, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit to your batter.  You can use diced peaches, blueberries, or raspberries—fresh or frozen—just before baking.  For cinnamon chips, add one cup for every twelve muffins you are making.

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