Bran Muffins

Bran muffin

These muffins could also be called clean-out-the-pantry muffins... because that's exactly what I did when I threw them together. You see, I had a lot of honey butter leftover from when I made sopaipillas, and I got to thinking about what might go really well with honey butter, and bran muffins popped into my head.

Bran muffin

I looked up a few recipes and realized I didn't have all the right ingredients for any one of them, so I settled on Nancy Silverton's version but made a lot of substitutions to the original recipe. The biggest one being that since I didn't have any raisins, I couldn't possibly rehydrate them and puree them. So I thought about what might have a similar texture and moisture level and stared at my pantry shelves for a few minutes before spotting a jar of apple sauce. I decided I could make it work. Then I grabbed some toasted pecans that needed to be used up and the rest of the ingredients. I realized I didn't have buttermilk either, but I had a full carton of Silk Vanilla Soymilk, so that got added to the ingredient pile too.

Bran muffin

Bran Muffins (adapted from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery via David Lebovitz)


2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup Silk Vanilla Soymilk
1 cup water
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Rolled oats, for sprinkling (optional)
Honey butter, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, making sure to stir or shake it around periodically. Let cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, soymilk, water, and brown sugar.

Stir in the oil, egg, and egg white. Then mix in the toasted bran.

In a small bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Stir just until combined, and then stir in the pecans.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle rolled oats on top of each muffin, if desired.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until muffins feel set in the center.

Bran muffins

Serve with honey butter, if desired. (To make honey butter: Beat 1 stick of softened butter in bowl of stand mixer, and drizzle in 1/4 cup honey. Continue beating until combined. Use at room temp, but store in fridge.)

This recipe yields bran muffins that are much lighter and more moist than any I've ever had. I loved the little bit of crunch imparted by the pecans. These are relatively good for you, if you don't load them up with honey butter. I'm always looking for different things to bring to work for breakfast, and two of these were the perfect start to my day.

What's your favorite kind of muffin?