This article contains over 20 recipes or recipe ideas for bran muffins. It also includes a list of add-ins for your muffins. You will also find a recipe for refrigerator bran muffins that I believe is at least 50 years old.
I grew up with bran muffins. Maybe everyone did. Kellogg's, the cereal company in Battle Creek, Michigan, had a refrigerator bran muffin recipe on their bran cereal box. My mother made refrigerator bran muffins. I assumed everyone's mother did.
With six children, she made huge quantities of refrigerator bran muffin batter in a bowl so large she could hardly get it in the refrigerator. 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.
Mother 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 of muffins, until it was gone.
I remember the busy school mornings, waking up to the smell of bran muffins in the oven. We loved them, hot with a pat of butter melting in the center and with a spoonful of homemade jam, even better.
I assume that refrigerator bran muffins began losing popularity when nutritionists told us we couldn't keep batter containing eggs in the refrigerator for three weeks. Refrigerator bran muffins were so handy. But today, there's another answer.
One winter day--maybe it was a weekend--I started experimenting with our bran muffin mix, finding what worked and what didn't. I made batches of bran muffins, one after another.
Each batch I made differently, trying cranberries, then nuts, and then coconut--all with our just-add-water bran muffin mix. Most worked. Some didn't.
Thirteen batches worked and I had a mountain of bran muffins, thirteen dozen excellent muffins. I packaged them in plastic bags and froze them.
When I wanted a muffin, I broke one out of the freezer and put it in the microwave. The frozen muffins, steaming hot from the microwave were very good. Bran muffins freeze well, almost as good as fresh-from-the oven muffins. And they were much more convenient than heating up the oven and baking batter.
I don't recall how long those thirteen dozen muffins lasted me. I ate them for breakfast. I took them to work. They went with me on weekend excursions. I didn't have to make more muffins for a long time.
13 Proven Recipes from a Mix
Here are those thirteen muffins plus recipe ideas for seven more::
- To make Banana Muffins: Replace the water with 3 cups mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons banana flavor, and 1 1/2 tablespoons water.
- To make Banana Nut Muffins: Make as above and add 3/4 cup chopped walnuts.
- To make Cranberry Nut Muffins: Add 3/4 cup dried cranberries plus 3/4 cup nuts.
- To make Raisin Muffins: Add one cup of golden or dark raisins.
- To make Date Nut Muffins: Add 3/4 cup dried date pieces plus 3/4 cup nuts.
- To make Raisin Nut Muffins: Add one cup of raisins plus 3/4 cup nuts.
- To make Cranberry Orange Muffins: Add 1 cup dried cranberries plus two tablespoons of fresh orange zest.
- To make Cinnamon Chip Muffins: Add one cup of cinnamon chips plus one teaspoon of your best ground cinnamon.
- To make Chocolate Chip Muffins: Add one cup of chocolate chips plus one teaspoon vanilla extract.
- To make Pina Colada Muffins: Add 3/4 cup dry shredded coconut, 3/4 cup well-drained pineapple chunks, and one teaspoon butter rum flavor.
- To make Ginger Pear Muffins: Add one cup of dried pears plus one teaspoon of ground ginger.
- To make Caramel Pear Muffins: Add one cup of dried pears and two teaspoons of caramel flavor.
- To make Candied Ginger Muffins: Add one cup of candied ginger pieces.
You get the idea. Add similar quantities of your favorite "add-ins," one cup of a single ingredient or 1 1/2 cup of a combination. For wet ingredients like grated apples, carrots, or zucchini, you'll have to experiment, but it will be something similar to the banana muffins above.
We have tried dried cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon chips, and candied ginger, one cup each time. The candied ginger was excellent, and it does give them some "pop." Next up is dried apricots. We have a wonderful apricot flavor. I'll add a teaspoon or two of that along with the dried apricots.
Butterflies and Asters at Baugh Creek (Image by Merri Ann Weaver)
It was spring. The weather was perfect, The flowers were blooming. Butterflies were everywhere. It was just a good morning to be out.
Baugh Creek is not far from Sun Valley, Idaho.
Then this morning, I was reading reviews for cinnamon raisin bran muffins, the same mix as before with cinnamon and raisins added. These folks were enthusiastic and generous with their ideas and suggestions. I compiled them to share with others.
- "I prefer to make 6 jumbo-sized muffins instead of 12 smaller muffins, and they bake all the way through, unlike some other mixes."--Chris Earls
- "Tons of raisins. I added chopped walnuts, and that will be my go-to breakfast." Judy M
- "I decrease the water and add applesauce and cinnamon. My hubby's favorite." Deborah B
- "I make mini loaves of the Cinnamon Raisin Bran Mix so my husband has one nearly every day." Debra E
- "I like the idea that you can make only 6 at a time instead of a dozen." Virginia Moeller
- "Try bread pudding!" Skip Willis (I assume Skip is tearing his leftover muffins into chunks and using them in place of bread in his recipe.)
- "I added diced apples to mine and reduced the water by 1/3 cup. Came out perfect!" Amy Castelletti
Unlike my mother who filled up our refrigerator with muffin batter, the most profitable discovery on my thirteen-dozen muffin quest was the discovery that bran muffins freeze so well and keep so well after freezing.
You can enjoy homemade bran muffins regularly and you don't have to fill up your refrigerator with muffin batter. Bake 'em and freeze 'em and enjoy them for months.
The Old-Fashioned Refrigerator Raisin Bran Muffin Recipe
I believe this is an original refrigerator bran muffin recipe, over 50 years, the one our grandmothers used for refrigerator muffins.
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
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and stir in the buttermilk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, salt, and baking soda together until well combined.
- Make a crater in the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg mixture and the cereal mixture and then stir with a spatula until combined.
- 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.
- 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 leftover muffins.
A Thousand Different Morning Muffins
We started listing all the different combinations to create more bran muffin recipes. We’ll pass the list and instructions on to you so that you can make a thousand different morning muffins.
Using a basic recipe, you can make hundreds, even a thousand different variations. Just choose your combinations and make the substitutions.
We sell the flavors and some of the other add-ins.
- Butter rum
- Brown Sugar
Suggested Inclusions (Chips)
- Milk Chocolate
- White Chocolate
- Dark Chocolate
- Mint Chocolate
- Dark Chocolate Chunks
- Cinnamon Chips
- Butterscotch Chips
- Peanut Butter Chips
- Rainbow Chips
- Raspberry Tidbits
- Strawberry Tidbits
- Blueberry Tidbits
Suggested Inclusions (Fruit)
- Golden Raisins
Suggested Inclusions (Nuts)
- Almonds (Slivered or Sliced)
- Brazil Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- Poppy Seeds
Use our bran muffin mix as a starting point. Substitute a flavor and two or three inclusions. (Usually, you will want to choose a flavor that corresponds with the fruit that you use.) Mix and bake according to the instructions.
There are no spices in the base mix. In many cases, you will want to add one or two teaspoons of ground cinnamon. If you like, you can add allspice or nutmeg.
With these suggestions, there are 51,408 possible combinations. It shouldn’t be hard to find a thousand combinations that appeal to you.