Buttermilk Bran Muffins

I suppose you’ve seen the Molasses Ginger cookies featured on my home page, and maybe I’ve said that oatmeal-raisin are my all-time favorite cookie, so it should come as no surprise that bran muffins with molasses and raisins are my favorite muffin. I’m just making six large muffins, instead of a dozen small ones—or as the recipe suggests twenty-two 2″ muffins. This recipe from my old Joy of Cooking (1967, p. 581) uses buttermilk, helping these hefty muffins retain some tenderness. I’m also adding some chopped walnuts with the raisins for a little crunch.

I would not call these a dessert muffin

I wouldn’t serve these on a dessert plate with a cup of tea. I think of them as more of a slightly-sweet bread to eat for lunch with lots of butter and cream cheese and a big mug of coffee. They are not for the faint of heart.

The amount of batter the recipe makes is odd—maybe the muffin pans were different in 1967. It filled my jumbo muffin pan with enough left over for a small loaf pan. I couldn’t find my little individual loaf pans, after rearranging the cupboards recently, so I ended up filling a small 7 3/8″ x 3 5/8″ loaf pan about half full.

The recipe offered two optional ingredients that I did not have on hand, but that I think would add very nice flavor and moisture: orange zest and mashed banana. I’m particularly interested in adding the orange next time.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

  • Servings: 6-8 large muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter a muffin tin or use paper liners.


Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran (I used Bob’s Red Mill miller’s wheat bran)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (the recipe said 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons grated orange rind)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk (I used whole buttermilk)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (the recipe said 2-4)


  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1/2 cup mashed bananas


  1. Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately; then mix them together until most of the dry ingredients are moist.
  2. Fold in the nuts and raisins, mixing until all is combined. I did all my mixing with a large wooden spoon instead of a mixer, as muffin batters produce a better crumb if not overmixed. A muffin should be coarse in grain, instead of soft and fine like a cake—but clearly there are different kinds of muffins for different purposes.
  3. Spoon the heavy batter into greased tins 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes.


12 thoughts on “Buttermilk Bran Muffins

    1. I made these Buttermilk Bran Muffins , and they are absolutely delicious!! I also made the homemade orange peel , which I added to these muffins. I will be making these muffins , again and again!! Thankyou so much for this wonderful recipe!!


  1. Barbara, This recipe was not what I expected. It was even better. May I post a small batch adaption on my blog, A Solitary Feast? I will, of course, give you credit for the recipe any way you choose. Thank you, Julie


    1. Absolutely. The next time I made them, I added 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, and those were good, too. Thank you.


  2. I make these all the time but since I don’t normally have buttermilk in the house I use 2% milk and add a tbsp of lemon juice. I also add 2 cups bran about 1/4 c flax seed and more nuts & dried fruit then you can imagine. So much so that I make 2 dz small muffins. These freeze well and thaw in about 10 min. Great for breakfast or a snack anytime.



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