Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oat Bran Muffins

With summer sunshine beginning to fade into the crisp, cool mornings of early autumn, I thought it was time to share my recipe for oat bran muffins. This is a basic recipe that you can dress up any way you like. I'll offer some of our favorite variations for inspiration. These are very healthy and very tasty and have a surprisingly light texture--not your average bran muffin. Recipe makes 1 dozen muffins.

1 c. flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oat bran
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. dried fruit (optional)
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. buttermilk or "sour milk"
1 T vanilla extract
2 t. grated citrus zest (optional)

Combine flours, oat bran, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Stir in dried fruit and nuts. Whisk together sugar and oil. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and optional zest to sugar mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients all at once. Mix with a wooden spoon, just until moistened. Do not overmix, or muffins will be tough.

Divide batter among cups in muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400F for about 18 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool on rack for 5 minutes. Eat warm or serve at room temperature. Muffins keep surprisingly well for 2-3 days in air tight container or ziploc bag at room temperature.

Favorite Variations at the Apple Cider Mill:
  • raisin-pecan (with or without orange zest)
  • dried blueberry-pecan
  • fresh blueberry-pecan (with or without lemon zest)
  • dried cherry-almond (reduce vanilla to 2 t, add 1/4-1/2 t. almond extract)
  • dried cranberry-walnut (with or without orange zest)
  • chocolate chip-pecan
  • chocolate chip-walnut
  • nectarine-pecan (fresh nectarines, peeled and chopped, with or without lemon zest)
  • maple walnut (add maple extract in place of vanilla)
  • apple-walnut or apple-pecan (peeled, chopped apple)


  1. This seems like a ridiculous question, considering the name of these muffins, but could I just leave out the oat bran? Or replace it with something? It is not readily available where I live (Japan), but we love muffins and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. I love your list of variations - lots of yummy ideas!

  2. Sue- Sometimes I forget how terribly spoiled I am living by a grocery store that has oat bran and many other dry goods available in bulk. I would recommend replacing the oat bran with wheat germ if you have that available or, failing that, simply doubling the whole wheat flour. Then, they won't be "oat bran" but they will still be healthful and tasty.

  3. Bethany, this looks like a great recipe. I'm also drooling over your moist chocolate cake recipe. :o))

  4. Bethany,

    I know you posted this link awhile ago, but I wanted to let you know that it has become a favorite dinner muffin for Morgan and me. I make them with no citrus or dried fruit, just pecans, and then serve them with a hearty soup. The best combination so far was pecan-oat bran muffins with potato-kale soup. Very wintery :)


  5. I made these muffins this morning for the first time. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 35 (!) good sized muffins. I made a version with golden raisins and walnuts, and added in a bit of oatmeal and some nutmeg. I found that for my oven 16 minutes was the perfect baking time. Tasty!


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