Buttermilk Bran Muffins

October 3, 2010

I am never in the mood for a muffin. Muffins always disappoint me. They embody my Baking Purgatory: never hearty enough to be breakfast, never sweet enough to be dessert. Why I suddenly got a craving for bran muffins yesterday is a mystery. But I can say that for the first time in my whole life, I was pleased and satisfied with a muffin. The rich buttermilk, the nutty bran, and the fragrant vanilla are a harmonious trio. I love these and will definitely be making them again soon. You could say, My muffin top is all that, whole grain, low-fat.

Did you know that the Muffin Top Baking Pan was created as a response to “The Muffin Top Episode” on Seinfeld? In this episode, Elaine is the brainchild behind a bakery that sells only the muffin tops. The problem with this idea is that the Muffin Top bakery cannot find anyplace to dump the muffin “stumps.” Both the garbage dump and the homeless shelter reject them. In an odd instance of life imitating art, the muffin top pan was born after this episode. Click here for  The Muffintop Episode, in Summary

What I’m reading:

BUTTERMILK BRAN MUFFINS (adapted slightly from The Healthy Oven Baking Book as published by Epicurious).

I adapted this recipe only by increasing the amount of vanilla extract. It was a very good choice.

Two muffin-making principles 1) Get your ingredients to room temperature before using. 2) It is better to mix the batter too-little than too-much


Non-stick cooking spray

1 cup unprocessed (miller’s) wheat bran

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level top)

2/3 cup whole wheat flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level top)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup raw sugar crystals (Sugar in Raw) or granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.

2. Lightly spray twelve 2 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch nonstick muffin cups with oil.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the bran, flours, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

4. In another medium bowl, using a handheld eletric mixer set at high speed, beat the buttermilk, sugar, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla until frothy, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a spoon, stir just until combined. Do not overmix.

5. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Bake unti the tops spring back when pressed gently in the center, about 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups. Serve warm or cool completely on the rack.


2 Responses to “Buttermilk Bran Muffins”

  1. […] think these muffins are quite good, but not life-changing. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never really been a muffin person. But Will really liked them, more so than the […]

  2. […] More on buttermilk: Buttermilk Bran Muffins […]

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