Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

We’ve been eating these muffins left and right, up and down, over and under (ok, I’m done) for a few months now and they are simply fantastic. We happen to be muffin lovers around here so maybe we’re biased but they have us won over as new favorites for breakfast and snacks and everything inbetween.

The batch makes plenty so after they’ve been baked and cooled, I pop them into a gallon-size ziploc bag for the freezer to be pulled out easily for quick and healthy and delicious breakfasts (usually alongside one of our go-to smoothies and often hard-boiled eggs, too, which I also make ahead, peel and shove in the fridge).

Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

When I’ve run out of savvy lunch ideas these muffins also come to the rescue. (I calculated the other day and by the time my five kids are out of elementary school, I and the kids will have packed close to 5,400 lunches, give or take a few sick days here and there; heaven help me.) Sometimes I even get all mother-of-the-year on them, split the muffins in half and spread a bit of peanut butter on before sandwiching back together.

Call me simple, but these muffins make me very, very happy.

Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

One Year Ago: Skillet Butternut Squash, Sausage and Penne Pasta
Two Years Ago: Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa Bites
Three Years Ago: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies {Egg-Free}

Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

Yield: Makes 30-36 muffins

Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

I've only ever made these with 100% whole wheat flour but I think all-purpose could work just fine. I grind my own whole wheat flour which usually produces fluffier flour; if using storebought whole wheat flour, make sure to use a light hand when measuring (don't pack the flour into the measuring cup).

Also, for measuring, I always tend to measure on the light side of things – fluffing the ingredients, scooping the cup in and leveling, as opposed to scooping in and shaking to level which packs more into the cup.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional, only if you want them a touch sweeter)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (see note above)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the wheat bran and wheat germ. Pour in the boiling water and stir to combine. The mixture may look crumbly, it's ok if it doesn't appear to be soaking wet. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut oil (or butter), sugar (if using), molasses, honey, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Whisk together the milk and buttermilk.
  3. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the muffin batter and mix until just combined. Stir in 1/2 of the milk mixture. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Add the last half of the milk and stir together. Add the final dry ingredients and mix just until combined (don't over mix or the muffins might be dense).
  4. Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes if you have the time. It isn't completely necessary but I think it gives the muffins a slightly higher rise than baking them right away. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Fill lightly greased muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch. Don't overbake; we don't want dry muffins here.
  6. The cooled muffins can be stored covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or frozen.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/whole-grain-honey-bran-muffins/

Recipe Inspired:Β heavilyΒ adapted from a recipe in The Professional Pastry Chef (scaled the recipe down from 100 muffins, altered almost all of the ingredients, used whole wheat flour, decreased the butter and used coconut oil instead, and on and on)

72 Responses to Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins

  1. Hilary says:

    These look delicious!!! I will have to make them this week! How do these compare to your refrigerator bran muffins? (we loooove those!)

    • Mel says:

      These have a slightly different flavor and texture – it’s kind of hard to explain. The refrigerator bran muffins are slightly more dense and soft, I’d say. These are lighter, just a bit.

  2. Helen says:

    I NEED to make these, so I also need some advice about what kind of wheat bran to use.. Is it the same or different than what is used in the other bran muffin recipe? I know this is probably a silly question… But I have a limited number of resources for buying things locally .. So if you know an online resource for this … Like I know you know the best resources for buying anything food related online …. Please share … My local stores are often out of stuff like wheat bran πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      I totally know where you’re coming from, Helen, having lived in a small town for a long time. I used wheat bran out of a local grocery store (Winco) that sells it in bulk bins, but it’s similar to this wheat bran that you can get on amazon. Also try just searching “wheat bran” on amazon and see what pulls up. Most brands will work in this recipe.

      • Helen says:

        Thanks for steering me in the right direction … I actually went to the store this morning hoping to find some .. But no luck πŸ™ so Amazon it is .. Thanks to Prime I should be making these by Wednesday afternoon… In the meantime I’ll just make 1 or 2 of your other muffin recipes to pass the time πŸ™‚ p.s. I made the roasted rock salt chicken yesterday… That was amazing … I actually took a picture of it to send to my hubby who was sitting in the airport waiting for a delayed flight :-(. It seriously looked so good I couldnt resists snapping a pic… Maybe I’ll Instagram it to you just for fun !!

  3. Jen T says:

    Always in the market for more yummy muffin recipes. Love your other ones! My family’s favorite are your blueberry ones. These look yum! Thanks Mel!

  4. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! These are perfect for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack!

  5. They look super yummy and healthy! I’m all about better breakfasts right now. FABulous!

    Happy Monday Mel!

  6. I love bran muffins. My mom made the best when I was a kid. She lost the recipe and I still wish I had one of those muffins.
    I will definitely give these a try.

  7. Tara says:

    Would I need to make any alterations to the recipe if I didn’t use wheat germ? I want to make them today and I don’t have any!! πŸ™‚

    • Jane says:

      I just made them, hab everything in my pantry except wheat germs so used rolled oats and otherwise followed the recipe to the letter (didn’t add the extra sugar as I used acacia honey which plenty sweet) and they turned out great! Made half regular and half mini muffins. My 16 month old daughter just had four mini muffins for dinner πŸ˜‰ (don’t worry, she also had veggies and a sandwich – we love our food around here…)

    • Mel says:

      I’m not entirely sure since I haven’t made them without the wheat germ but my first thought is to just use more wheat bran and see how it goes.

  8. Jana says:

    These look yummy, but the real reason for my comment is to say thank you for your pizza week last year. My husband got me a pizza stone for Christmas (okay, I actually got myself one and gave him credit) and oh. my. gosh. the pizza is amazing. I’ve always thought my pizza was really good, but it took it to a crazy new level of amazing. So thanks! Love your blog!

  9. Those sound like amazing muffins – and so healthy too! And I love that they make such a giant batch, I love having muffins in the freezer for easy to grab breakfasts and snacks!

  10. Vickie H. says:

    This recipe sounds great so I am gathering everything together to make it. I have a question on the portion of the recipe you cite as: 4 cups (8ounce) wheat bran…..do you mean 8 ounces per cup for 32 ounces or do you mean something else? Want to be sure I get this right. Thank you.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Vickie – it is a little confusing, sorry about that. I just took the weight measures out of the ingredients since I only included them for a few ingredients but for the record, it was 8 ounces total for all 4 cups. Like I mentioned to another commenter, I always tend to measure on the light side of things – fluffing the ingredients, scooping the cup in and leveling, as opposed to scooping in and shaking to level which packs more into the cup.

  11. Mariann says:

    I was just thinking I was ready for a change-up from your refrigerator bran muffins (which I love and make all the time…to much) so this came at a perfect time. Thanks Melanie. πŸ˜‰

  12. Carla says:

    We just made them too! I’ve been trying to find something we liked with wheat germ and wheat bran that I bought from amazon on a whim a while back! I weighed the wheat bran and then went to do the wheat germ too (its the same consistency as the wheat bran, both of mine are Bob’s) and 4 ounces was almost two cups. I did a little over 3 ounces but I’m wondering what brand of wheat germ you used? I could see the Kretscher (or something like that) brand wheat germ being more dense. I think I will just stick to 1 cup of my wheat germ (about 2.5 ounces) as I don’t want them to get any drier.

    • Mel says:

      That’s good feedback, Carla. I think I’ll take the weight measures out of the recipe, especially because I didn’t include them for each of the ingredients (even flour). In this case, if wheat germ is weighing differently, it would probably be best to use the cup measure amounts (I always tend to measure on the light side of things – fluffing the ingredients, scooping the cup in and leveling, as opposed to scooping in and shaking to level which packs more into the cup).

  13. Rebecca says:

    We live overseas and don’t have access to wheat bran. I was wondering if bran flakes would work as a substitute. Any help on this? I do have wheat germ though. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rebecca – I haven’t made them with bran flakes – I wonder if lightly crushing the bran flakes before using could make a good alternative to the wheat bran?

    • April says:

      I made them with with bran flakes (which I bought, thinking that’s what wheat bran was, until I googled wheat bran today πŸ˜‰ ) tonight. We also live overseas, and I’m too impatient to wait for shipping. They were excellent with the bran flakes! I followed the recipe as-is, and it worked really well. I’ll probably order real wheat bran for future use because of the nutritional value, though. Thanks for an awesom recipe, Mel!

  14. Jill says:

    Ok so I literally just pulled a batch of your refrigerator bran muffins out of the oven and was eating my first one as I pulled your blog up and saw this new bran muffin recipe! The ones I just made are delicious, and I can’t wait to try these ones next time (which will probably be next week!)

  15. Meagan Whisenant says:

    These look amazing! Is it okay to use paper liners in the muffin tin for these?

  16. Charlotte Moore says:

    YUM!!! I love bran muffins!!! Need to try these.

  17. Alicia says:

    Question: how to you melt your coconut oil? Sorry if you’ve answered this another time. I’ve gotten the impression that the microwave is kind of evil and zaps all virtue out of superfoods (like coconut oil), but it’s definitely the easiest way! I just don’t want to void the goodness.

  18. Michelle says:

    We do muffin Mondays for breakfast, and I’ve been looking for some new recipes. This is perfect because I have a bunch of wheat bran I need to use! And I can make a bunch to keep in the freezer. Thanks!
    Would dried fruit like raisins or craisins work in these?

  19. britney says:

    I never ate a muffin in my entire life until about 2 years ago when I came upon your site. I justs didnt like the store bought large dense overly sweetened things my parents would buy. When I decided to try your bran recipe (since my husband did not share my aversion) I fell in love! Since I have also made your banana bran, apple sauce, and good morning muffins. My family can not get enough! I double every recipe and still have to make muffins at least twice a week. I am so excited for another muffin recipe! They also frequent our lunch boxes and freezer so thanks for that tip!

  20. Julie says:

    Hey Mel,
    Any idea the shelf life of wheat bran? I bought some from a local health food store a while back and I have hesitated using it because I have no idea how long it can be stored for.

    • Mel says:

      I think it can be stored for quite a while. I usually keep mine in the freezer if I don’t think I’ll use it up within a month but even still, I think as long as it’s been stored in a cool, dry place, it should be good for a while.

  21. Sheila says:

    Yum! Thanks, Mel. Another great healthier option for families.

  22. Joanne says:

    I made these last night and they are fantastic! The only thing I didn’t have in the house was wheat bran. Instead I used bran buds ground fine in the food processor (2 cups as I cut the recipe in half). The muffin still turned out light, moist and delicious! Thanks again Mel.

  23. Lindsay Lu says:

    Yum! I love bran muffins! Can’t wait to try!

  24. Anne says:

    I have been waiting for this recipe for years… Most bran muffin recipes call for some sort of cereal, and I love that this one uses just wheat flour, bran, and germ. I threw in the 1/4 cup brown sugar and they were almost too sweet with jam. Thanks for the perfect bran muffins!! I’m excited to stock my freezer with these beauts. πŸ™‚

  25. Brianna says:

    I’m hoping to make these today, but I don’t have buttermilk. Do you think I could sub milk with lemon juice? I usually do, but I can run to the store if it won’t work as well. Thanks!

  26. Charlotte Moore says:

    Made these today and they are wonderful. I had some spelt flour in the freezer I had ground a couple days ago. So I used almost half spelt and half white whole wheat. Added raisins to a few of them. So delicious!!!

  27. Amy says:

    Would the recipe work just as well if I substituted the molasses for more honey?

  28. Chantelle says:

    Even though Mel’s Kitchen has been my go-to recipe site for a while now I have never commented before. But these muffins! Oh my word! I love them! I usually do not like bran muffins at all but continue to try different recipes in the hopes to find a good one I like and THESE are it! Thank you! My family loves them as well. Can’t beat that. Happy day! πŸ™‚

  29. Candace says:

    I just made these and they are very tasty! But, when I went to warm up lunch in the microwave, I found my melted butter – I totally forgot to put the butter in the muffins!! And they still taste good to me. Kinda crazy that they still turned out. I’ll have to try it again, with butter next time.

  30. Marci says:

    Have you tried making the batter up the night before and then just baking these in the morning? My mornings are also crazy!

  31. Caroline says:

    Made these muffins yesterday and they are amazing!! Thank you!

  32. These are delicious! Would be great if i could get the recipe to make the standard muffin tin size for 12 muffins. Thanks!

  33. Teresa says:

    These muffins were very yummy. So moist. I am not a huge fan of molasses, and I did think the molasses flavor really came through. So next time, I am going to sub with all honey. I think they will be perfect for us. A great, healthy recipe loaded with such good stuff!

  34. stephanie says:

    Delicious. I made a couple substitutions mentioned in other comments. I didn’t have wheat germ (can I buy that in Winco’s bulk section?) so I used quick oats. I used bran flakes instead of wheat bran, I did crush the flakes first – I made the recipe because I read “wheat bran” I thought “bran flakes” and I had some in my pantry. Oops. Pretty big substitutions, so I guess I can’t comment on the actual recipe, but I thought what I came up with was still pretty terrific. I will get some actual wheat germ and wheat bran and try it again. I also added raisins and mini chocolate chips (to encourage the Littles to eat them)

    • stephanie says:

      Follow up to my previous comment: I did end up finding both the wheat germ and wheat bran at Winco so I made the recipe again. The muffins are not as dense as when I made it with the substitutions I mention above, which is a good thing. I made a different sub this time, though, I replaced 1/2 cup of the butter with applesauce. The taste and texture are great! Oh, I also had to keep the completed batter in the fridge for a few hours until I had time to bake them, and it was no problem at all.

  35. Jill Walker says:

    two questions: mine don’t look anything like your smooth, well-rounded muffins. Mine look more like a drop cookie. Why? Also, despite following your instructions exactly (only difference was that I used powdered buttermilk substitute), they are really crumbly. Flavor is great – presentation not so much. Any tips?

    • Mel says:

      I’m not really sure, Jill, but it sounds like you might need to lighten up on the flour – how do you measure yours? I usually fluff up the flour, scoop the cup in and then level off with a straight edge. On a scale, it’s about 5 ounces per cup. It sounds like maybe your batter was a lot thicker than mine (hence the craggily tops and the crumbly texture).

  36. Teresa says:

    I am reporting back after my initial comment earlier. I made them again today, subbing all honey for the molasses. Oh my goodness, they are perfect. Much lighter in color and taste, but still perfectly moist and delicious. As I am not a fan of molasses (nor are my husband and boys), this is just right for our family. What an excellent, healthy muffin, Mel.

  37. Diane says:

    Just wondering, Mel, if you use the brown sugar when you make them?

  38. Sharon says:

    These sound fabulous……could I use 5 cups wheat germ to get more of a wheatgerm muffin…..also going to try frozen berries…rasberries or blueberries in them….you think that would be ok…..thanks for the “fluff up ” jdea…excellent….

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely try those variations, Sharon – I haven’t tried them myself so I can’t say for sure how they would work out.

  39. Stephanie says:

    How do you freeze them to avoid freezer burn? Do you wrap each one in Saran wrap them put them in a freezer bag? I don’t seem to have much luck with freezing baked goods and these are way to delicious to waste!

    • Mel says:

      We go through them pretty fast (so they aren’t in the freezer for months and months) but usually I place them in a gallon-size ziploc bag (about nine regular size muffins, three to a row) and seal, trying to press out as much air as possible (and sometimes when I’m feeling adventurous I seal all but a corner of the bag and then suck out all the air I can – like a human foodsaver). πŸ™‚

  40. Tracey says:

    This recipe yielded 48 muffins for me. They are delicious! However, I would love to cut it in half, but the recipe calls for 3 eggs. Any thoughts on whether to use 1 or 2 eggs? Or how you think the recipe might fair if it was halved?
    (By the way, just in case anyone is wondering, I used 3/4 C honey and 1/4 C molasses for less molasses flavor. The taste is definitely still there, but it’s not too overpowering.)

    • Mel says:

      If I were to halve it, I’d go for two eggs. You could get fussy and do one egg + one egg yolk but if you didn’t want to waste the egg white, I’d throw it in, too for two total eggs.

  41. Rebecca says:

    Any idea on what modifications would be needed for this muffin recipe for baking at high altitude? I usually have to add more flour & water to baking mixes but not really sure what is needed to make sure these turn out right for me. Please help, this recipe looks super-yummy and I want to make sure I get them right!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rebecca – you might try googling high altitude baking tips. I don’t live at high altitude right now and don’t want to steer you wrong.

  42. Nisha says:

    These were yummy. Very moist and tasty. My kids ate probably too many lol. I wanted to say that I used all-bran flakes and crushed them up and it turned out perfect! It made 30 regular size muffins for me which I froze for breakfasts. These were a bit time consuming and lots of dishes to wash but well worth it. Thanks!

  43. Deyce says:

    I made these muffins last night, and I think I’m already addicted. So moist and yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. Grace says:

    This may be a bit of a silly question, but how do you suggest re-heating/thawing/serving the muffins once they have been frozen? I am new to being able to put many things in my freezer and have no idea what to do with them. Haha
    Have made a half recipe of these before and those were soo good! Now I want to make more! Thanks so much.

    • Mel says:

      Often I just take them out the night before and let them thaw at room temperature but sometimes I’ll pull them right out of the freezer and put them in the microwave to heat them up just slightly.

  45. Megan G says:

    Hey Mel, I’m not sure if you’ve addressed this on your blog, but may I ask where you buy your wheat (that you grind into flour)? We’ve recently got some in our food storage and I bought a grinder attachment for my mixer that I’m excited to use. So I’m interested in good sources for buying wheat in bulk– particularly white wheat. Thanks in advance!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Megan – I’ve bought it from lots of different places. Everywhere from a local farm where I live (southwestern Idaho, Boise area and also a local farm when we lived in Minnesota) to ThriveLife.com to the LDS church canneries (you don’t have to be a member of the Mormon church to buy wheat from there). Montana Wheat and raindayfoods.com (Walton Feed) are also good sources but shipping can be expensive. Does that help?

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