Favorite Bran Muffin

I think I’ve found my favorite bran muffin. The recipe was sent over by a friend who said it was bakeshop quality – just like you’d get at Little Miss Muffin. And she was right. The muffins were moist, the perfect sweetness, had just the right amount of oil to keep them from being too rich or too dry, and had an interesting blend of flavors from bran, wheat germ and trio of extracts.

Bran Muffin

The recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman, an accomplished recipe developer and author who also happens to be known for her famous “Lawsuit Muffins”.

Since I halved the recipe, used white whole grain flour (Eagle Mills Ultra Grain) reduced the baking soda, increased the salt, omitted the dates, added pecans and changed the extract amounts, I just went ahead and typed it as I made it below. My muffins were done in exactly 20 minutes at 400, but if you know your oven runs hot, you might want to bake 15 minutes at 400 and 10 minutes at 350. But make sure to start your muffins at 400 because putting the batter in a hot oven is one way to help get a nice crown.

Another thing I’ll point out is that the batter needs at least a few hours in the refrigerator – preferably 8. This is actually a good thing because you can make the batter the night before and make the muffins fresh in the morning.

Favorite Bran Muffin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A grainy, moist and sweet bran muffin like you'd get at a bakery.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon, packed firm
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons butter extract
  • 1 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten (to halve an egg, use 2 T.)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup raisins, plumped (optional)
  1. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; Toss in the pecans and set aside.
  2. Mix the oil, honey, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, maple, and butter extract together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs, then buttermilk, wheat germ, and bran. Let batter rest 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in three parts, stirring with a large rubber spatula and making sure all dry ingredients are thoroughly blended – do not over-beat. Add raisins if using. Cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Batter will thicken up quite a bit.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the top surface of a 12-cup muffin pan – you’ll only be using 8 of the cups. Using a measuring cup, place a portion of the batter into each cup, filling to the top – don’t pile it too high or rims will spread too much, just stop at the top. Put a little water in empty muffin cups to ensure even baking.
  5. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until muffin tops brown. Test with a cake tester or toothpick. If tester doesn’t come out clean, reduce heat to 350 and bake another 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool in pan for about 8 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. Makes 8 or 9 if you make them smaller

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  1. says

    Does Fuzz like raisins in her muffins? My kids wouldn’t have gone for that when they were young.
    These look great! I like their crowns.

  2. says

    No, she doesn’t like their texture. I put raisins in my muffins and left hers plain. They are even better with the raisins.

  3. says

    Ooh, I’ll make these. I have everything for these.
    Wait, I don’t have maple extract. Do you think I should just leave it out, up the butter extract or use a little maple syrup?

    Well, figure this. A few of my kids like when I just give them a box of raisins to eat, but they don’t like them in baked goods. Or nuts. They will eat nuts straight up, but don’t like them IN things.

  4. says

    Katrina, Fuzz is the same way. She likes raisins straight out of the box, but she won’t eat them in baked goods. I guess it’s a texture issue.

  5. says

    Your muffins are gorgeous – I’m going to have too try them. I added them to my LiveBinder folder.

  6. Heather says

    So Anna, with all the bran muffins you tried, did you ever try one that was more of a sticky, upside down bran muffin? I’ve looked for so long for a recipe like this. A local convenience chain sells one in their little bakery case and I like them, but I know home-made would be SO MUCH better. The outside is a sticky,carmelized, almost hard texture , but the inside is like a regular bran muffin. And the shape for sure indicates it is done as an “upside down” muffin.

  7. janet says

    My mouth is watering….why don’t you live next door to me so I can run over for a bran muffin to go with my coffee??? lol Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Stephanie says

    Yum! I still haven’t found a bran muffin recipe I’ve loved. I’ll have to give this one a try!

  9. says

    yeah you have to have raisins with bran muffins and/or morning glories.
    i love using wheat germ in my bran muffins, but have to be really careful on the amount as they dry out fast..
    so if you like this, then i have to try it. i want to add coconut too.

  10. says

    These are fantastic. I admit that because of all of the ingredients it can be complicated. I add ground flax seed to the recipe aprox. 1/2 to a 1 cup and it doesn’t effect the texture at all! The first time I made them I didn’t have the maple or butter extract and substituted 1/4 melted butter and 1/4 cup real Vermont maple syrup they were fabulous.
    They always rise good and are nice and soft in texture. I do usually have leave them in few extra minutes at the lower heat suggested. Juts plan on that. And don’t forget the water!! If you only have 6 cup muffin pans just put boiling water in another pan in the bottom of the oven. I use a twelve cup muffin pan and put a corning ware pan with water in it on the bottom of the over. Tonight I’m making them using half whole wheat flour. I always make a double batch because of the complicated nature of the recipe. Measure and mix the groups of ingredients in separate bowls and then blend together. Good Luck !

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