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Like Claim Jumper Bran Muffins

by on May 11, 2010 · 33 comments

Claim Jumper is a California Gold Rush themed restaurant known for large portions and “signature desserts”.  Or at least that’s what Wikipedia says.  I’ve never been to a Claim Jumper, but the name kept coming up during my search for a dark, moist bran muffin recipe.  This one’s called “Claim Jumper Dark Honey Bran Muffins”, which is a funny name considering the recipe has no honey. Claim Jumper’s bran muffins probably do contain honey, but this clone gets its dark color and sweetness come from dark brown sugar, molasses, dark corn syrup and pureed raisins. Despite the missing honey, I thought the recipe sounded interesting, so I made a batch for the family muffin monster.

Muffin Texture

Below is what the clone recipe looks like and you can find it pretty easily by Googling. If you dare try the part about rubbing the muffin cup with glaze, let me know. I just chickened out. It seemed sticky.

Update:  I’ve been told these are also similar to Mimi’s, though I’ve never tried theirs.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Claim Jumper Bran Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I haven't tried these with the glaze, but the muffins themselves were pretty good!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 4 tsp dry milk powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Glaze
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tsp water
  1. Distribute about 1 Tbsp glaze onto bottom and sides of 12 muffin tins with pastry brush -- I skipped this step and just sprayed 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. I guess if you use the glaze, you serve the muffins upside down? I'm not sure, but putting the glaze in the muffin tins is an interesting step.
  2. Combine flour, bran, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well and set aside.
  3. Mix together brown sugar, dark corn syrup, molasses, oil and egg in separate bowl until well blended.
  4. Puree raisins and orange zest with water in blender or food processor. Add to liquid ingredients.
  5. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened.
  6. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full (I filled mine almost to the rim and that was a mistake. Rims spread) and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Immediately invert onto foil or wax paper to cool.
-- These muffins are sweet and have an interesting flavor from the pureed raisins. Pureeing them in water sounded like a pain, but I used one of the little cups that came with my Immersion blender and it worked perfectly. -- I was leery of the part of the recipe that said to coat the muffin tins with glaze before cooking, so I just skipped that step completely and am glad I did since the muffins were sweet anyway.- I made 8 muffins instead of 12 by filling the batter almost to the rim. That was a mistake. The rims just spread out rather than up (I should have known better) so I got big flat rims – which to be honest, are kind of tasty. Next time I'll follow the directions and fill 2/3 of the way full.

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Published on May 11, 2010

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather I. May 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

Claim Jumper’s portions are insane- I love their biscuits and chocolate cake, though! Pureeing the raisins is a new idea to me, I’ll have to try it sometime!

Kim Fluck May 11, 2010 at 10:56 am

These look good and hearty! Anna, do you think oat bran would work in place of wheat bran?

Anna May 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

Heather, next time we’re in California we’re going to go there.

Kim, I don’t know. I don’t use oat bran very often.

I’m making a second batch right now with reduced sugar, honey in place of the corn syrup and more molasses. The batter feels lighter.

I think one of the reasons these muffins have such a dense, moist, texture is all the sugar and syrup. Getting that same texture without getting a too-sweet muffin will take some experimenting.

Kerstin May 11, 2010 at 11:39 am

Awww, what a cute picture of Fuzz! The pureed raisins sound so interesting – yum!

Dolce May 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

The name definitely comes from the color of the finished muffin. They look great!

Janice May 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Huge,HUge,HUGe,HUGE!!!! portions
They used to sell coconut macaroons the size of a salad plate.
The funniest thing? They have a huge bowl of apples~as if eating an apple can undo something like this:

Beef Back Ribs from Claim Jumper = 4,301 calories and 7,623 mg of salt


Sandie May 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm

This recipe looks like similar to the one for Mimi’s bran muffins. It also has the glaze in the bottom of the muffin pans. They are delicious, pop out fine and yes, you do serve them upside down, and they are very sweet. I like the bottom part because it is nice and chewy if you bake them a minute or two more. Just to give you a visual – one piece of their chocolate cake is boxed for take home in a large, rectangular donut box. It is NOT worth buying. It tastes like box cake.

Anna May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I guess gold mining takes a lot of calories!

For anybody who has ever tried their bran muffins, do they use jumbo muffin cups? Based on what I’m hearing, these are “mini” compared to Claim Jumper’s muffins.

Anonymous May 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

They must use jumbo-jumbo muffin cups- I’ve seen them and they’re huge.

I like the idea of the pureed raisins!

I’ve only been to Claim Jumper once. My uncle ordered a chicken-fried steak dinner. There were two pieces of steak, both of which were hanging over both edges of the plate. There was also a biscuit the size of a softball, and a separate large bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy. Crazy!

Louise May 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

You probably lost half of the calories by not coating the muffin tins with the glaze. And where are the Texas muffin tins?

Martha in KS May 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm

The pureed raisins probably serve the same purpose as putting baby food prunes in baked goods, to replace fat. I have a box of prunes – do you think I could use them instead of the raisins? Thanks, Anna.

Katrina May 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Ooh, these look like my kinda thing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make them soon though because I don’t have 3-4 of the ingredients. But we’ll see because I do have a big thing of bran in the freezer.
Kevin went to Claim Jumper once with a friend, they spent over $100 on two steak dinners and were shocked how big everything was.
I’ve been there once, too, with some girlfriends. I can’t remember what I had there–pizza? We went to another place for dessert and had skookies (I think that’s what they were called) The cookies baked in about a 6 inch round pan and not cooked all the way and served with ice cream.
But Mimi’s Cafe bran muffins are one of my favorites and do look similar. I would love the gooey glaze. Albertson’s Grocery store used to sell these upside down chewy gooey bran muffins that my mom and I loved. Bran-healthy, those muffins-not so much! You could almost suck the buttery, sugary glaze out of them.

vanillasugar May 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

pureed raisins? now that’s clever, have to remember that one.
i don’t know if i would like the glaze–never used shortening in a glaze, i bet there might be an aftertaste? no?
i love those kinds of breakfast joints…cali has some good ones (and NJ)

Jennifer Chapman May 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

How are these keeping? You maybe ate through the whole batch but I have a family of three and I always worry this type of muffin will get moldy quick.

Anna May 11, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I’ll have to look for the Mimi’s Cafe muffin.

Jennifer, I kept some of the muffins at room temperature for a day and they were fine on Day 2. The rest of them were put into the freezer in individual zipper bags.

janet May 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

I have not heard of Claim Jumper’s? These muffins look soooo good. I have wheat bran in the freezer and I am going to make them. Thanks, very yummy looking!

Joyce Bolt May 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Used to live in CA and went to Claim Jumper for special occasions and everything is huge portions. Hubby and I used to share a meal it was so big. Love their mud pie dessert the best! Muffins are huge but tasty.

tia @ buttercreambarbie May 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

ooh! I must try these. They look great!

Amy May 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Anna, on David Lebovitz’s blog a while back he posted Nancy Silverton’s recipe for bran muffins. They have pureed raisins in them, and they’re not overly sweet. In fact, I think it’s one of my favorites.

when I made them

Laura E. May 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm
C L May 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I must make these for work, to honor the memory of some wonderful meals at Claim Jumper in San Diego. :) Their carrot cake was always a special treat, and it could easily make three or four eaters happy. :) Off-topic, I think I’ll try making “skookies” (skillet-baked cookies). It sounds fun. ;)

Anna May 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Amy, I did make those! I saw that recipe after I tried this one and made a batch yesterday. I put my results in David’s comment section. Mine had flatter tops than yours and were almost too moist. Not sure what I did wrong, but I’m going to try that one again. I have another one ahead of it, though. An old one from Marcy Goldman and CI….

Laura, thanks for the visual– especially the ninja ;) In my mind, that’s about how I pictured the Claim Jumper muffins. Making them super big like that is another way to keep the insides moist. There’s less surface area to try out. I like making jumbo size muffins for that same reason.

Jennifer Chapman May 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Thanks! I always looking for healthy and appetizing snacks for a 4 year old boy. :-)

Cookie Sleuth May 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Those Claim Jumper muffins are very good. I look forward to trying your recipe at home. I always eat way too much when I go there, so anything to keep me out of their restaurant is good! When you do go to Claim Jumper, be sure to save room for their chocolate chip calzone.

Kim Fluck May 13, 2010 at 7:29 am

I asked the other day if you thought oat bran would work in place of wheat bran. I had to give it a try but did not want to run to the store, so I modified things a bit with things on hand. I used 1 WHOLE WHEAT flour and 1 cup OAT bran, I used light brown sugar in place of dark brown sugar, and for the dark corn syrup and molasses, I used 1/3 cup molasses. I had no orange zest either… and I threw a couple of handfuls of raisins into the batter. The muffins are moist. Initially, when I ate one warm last night, I thought maybe the molasses flavor was too strong, but this morning it seemed the flavor had mellowed a bit. Great with my coffee! I bet these will freeze well. I’ve never heard of “Claim Jumper” before this… Have you been to “Famous Dave’s BBQ”? They have delicious, HUGE sweet corn muffins.

Kim Fluck May 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

P.S. I skipped the glaze part, too.

Anna May 13, 2010 at 7:36 am

Kim, thanks so much for trying it and reporting back! I don’t use oat bran very often so I’m not sure how much it weighs or how it works in muffins. I guess it’s pretty much the same as wheat bran? At any rate, it’s good to know it works — at least half & half. The recipe I want to try next calls for half oat & half wheat bran as well.

It sounds like you were okay with the strong molasses flavor, but maybe next time we could try 1/3 cup of mixed molasses and honey just to cut the molasses flavor and get some honey flavor in there.

Tracey Lee January 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I tried this version without the glaze. Did not turn out like I expected. It was okay. Next time, I am going to replace dark corn syrup with honey.

What do you think???

Anna January 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Maybe you should try a different recipe.

Lisa June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I found this recipe recently while searching for a recipe for Claim Jumpers bran muffins because the last time I went there to eat they told me they don’t sell then anymore. I’ve since read that Sam’s Club or Costco (not sure which) doesn’t sell them anymore either. I’m not sure if they were the same recipe but I’m wondering if the supplier for the mix is no longer offering it?
Well besides that…this recipe is pretty darn close to them. I’d say 99% because we will never know the exact recipe hehe. I shared the recipe with oldest daughter who wanted her sister to bring some back with her while visiting California. She was so sad that they didn’t make them anymore…well she’s not sad anymore now that she can make her own.
I did use the glaze and loved how they turned out. I didn’t use corn syrup though I used 1/3 cup molasses and 2 TBS honey..I also used milk instead of the dry milk and water. I used a tad more orange rind but will drop it down to the 1/4 tsp I probably used 1/2 and although it does taste good, it might be just a bit too much…I used regular cupcake pans and made 12 but for the question regarding the pan claim jumper used i believe it might have been a mini bundt pan…
Since using the glaze they don’t form muffin tops…they stay flat on top and sit on the plate nice when served upside-down. I might invest in the mini bundt pans just for making these :o)

Lisa June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

p.s. Anna…Thank you so much for posting this recipe. You’ve made some people very happy :)

deb May 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

these are really good! I also skipped the glaze and I used dates instead of raisins, they are good both ways, dates or raisins. thanks for posting!

Anna May 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Thanks for the review, Deb!

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