Apple Bran Muffins

I rarely bake muffins, but when I do, I try to make them healthy. Muffins are often mini-cakes, packed with sugar and fat, which to some extent can’t be avoided if you wish to eat a muffin that doesn’t resemble a hockey puck or bird food. To compensate, I try to reduce the sugar and fat and add healthy grains, cereal, fruit and nuts. Today I had a request for homemade muffins from my son who is home sick from school. Since he hasn’t had much of an appetite, I couldn’t resist trying to whip up a batch of Apple Bran Muffins. They are reasonably healthy for a muffin, while sufficiently naughty to indulge a craving for something moist and sweet.

This is a recipe that is inspired by one I have used from Ina Garten in the past. While she incorporates bananas into her muffins, I have substituted grated apple for sweetness and moistness. I like to make mini-muffins, which are better sized for snacking.

Apple Bran Muffins
Makes approximately 20 mini-muffins

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup grated apple, packed
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place paper liners into a mini-muffin tin. Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add the molasses and vanilla. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix. Fold in the raisins, apple and walnuts, if using. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them. Bake in the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. (If using a large muffin tin, baking time will be longer, about 30 minutes.)

18 thoughts on “Apple Bran Muffins

  1. Sorry to hear your son is sick! Hope he’s better soon. These look wonderful. I don’t make muffins much either for the same reasons. Just a cup of flour for 20 muffins is really not so much. I’ll give these a try! I bet I could freeze them for easy breakfasts on the go…

  2. Very nice – I have never been a huge banana fan and like the idea of grated apple instead. Mini muffins are perfect, serving-wise…Hope your son feels better to enjoy the weekend.

  3. I hope the muffins have made your son feel better, sounds like a healthy snack option when loaded up with more fruit and fibre from cereal. I like to add raspberries to mine too to make the cakes even more moist and a little tart from the berries. Great photos!

  4. Yum! I never make muffins, but these look amazing and I have every single ingredient except for bran in my pantry. Looks like I need to do a quick health food store run then I will be making these soon! Thanks for a great recipe. I also love mini muffins!

  5. I rarely make muffins, either. The only way I enjoy them is when they’re healthy, backward as that may sound! Otherwise, yes, too much like a mini-cake!

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