Best Bran Muffin

Jean Bernstein
May 14, 2020
Prep Time: 30min.
Servings: 12-14
A favorite flavor: Dense, Moist, Sweet

This hearty, muffin is a throw back to the early hippie, health food days of 60’s and 70’s when every bakery was expected to feature at least one whole grain, healthy item. The recipe was brought to us in 1987 by 72 year old Ralph Gurule, our first baker. Ralph was a lifelong, old school baker whose son brought him in answer to our ad because Ralph hated retirement. He taught us a lot and we’re sure he enjoyed working with us until he really retired at 76. The original muffin was candy sweet but our customers loved it anyway. We shelved the recipe for years until one of our pastry chefs brought it back to life by changing 90% of its sweetness to fruit sources. The result is a dense, moist, sweet – but not too sweet, tasty bran muffin. 

PS: Remember to use a digital kitchen scale. All of our ingredients are measured in weight ounces.


• 4.25 oz egg whites

• 4.25 oz vegetable oil

• 6.5 oz honey

• ½ tsp salt

• 13.5 oz fruit purée (We use 1/2 pumpkin or butternut squash and 1/2 unsweetened applesauce.)

• 5.5 oz bread flour

• 4.25 oz wheat bran

• 4.25 oz rolled oats

• 1.5 tsp cinnamon

• .32 oz baking powder

• .32 oz baking soda

• 10.5 oz buttermilk

• 3oz dried fruit (Add more if you like! Raisins are classic but we like dried cranberries, apricots or figs. Have fun – the possibilities are endless!)

• 12 oz salted butter, room temperature

• 14 oz brown sugar

• 2 tbsp vanilla extract

• 1 can pineapple rings, well drained


1. Mix egg whites, vegetable oil, honey, salt, and fruit puree in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the bread flour, wheat bran, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and stir to combine.

3. Add buttermilk and mix well.

4. Finally, add your dried fruit and mix to incorporate. The batter should be somewhat wet, but stiff.

5. Important: Cover the batter and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight – this allows the oats and bran to absorb the liquid and soften a bit.

6. The next day, beat together your butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.

7. Use shortening or pan spray to generously oil your tins – be sure to coat very well so that the muffins do not stick.

8. Add a generous amount of the butter mixture to the bottom of each muffin cup and then place a whole pineapple ring in each cup.

9. Add your batter until each cup is about 2/3 full to allow room for rising. Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Loosen the sides of each muffin with a small thin knife. Wait until almost cooled then tip the pan over – muffins should fall out without sticking.


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