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Favorite Bran Muffin

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated September 1993, this recipe gives you dark, moist, flavorful bakery style muffins.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bran Muffins
Servings: 20
Author: Cookie Madness


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (350 grams)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup light brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons packed firm
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter extract optional
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup wheat bran not the cereal
  • 1/2 cup whole dates plumped with scalding water, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dark raisins plumped with scaling water (optional)


  • Whisk first five ingredients together in a bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk next 7 ingredients together. Whisk in eggs, followed by the buttermilk, wheat germ, and bran. Let batter rest 10 minutes.
  • Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture with a heavy duty scraper or rubber spatula, making sure that ingredients at the bottom are incorporated into the batter. Fold in raisins and dates.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight (or for a minimum of 1 hour).
  • Preheat oven 400 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners – you’ll probably only need 20 out of the full 24.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tins filling to the top. Put a little water in the 4 empty cups
  • Bake muffins for about 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Stick a skewer in one muffin to see if it's cooked through, and if not, reduce oven heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. In addition, make sure the tops aren't browning too quickly. If tops are browning, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top and reduce heat to 350 as directed.
  • Let muffins cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pans


This recipe makes 18 jumbo muffins. For jumbo muffins, bake at 400 for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and bake for about 15 minutes more.