These are my favorite not-too-sweet breakfast or snack muffins to have on hand. When they come out of the oven they have a deliciously delicate crust and the inside is perfectly spongy. They also freeze so well! I will usually make a double batch because I’m definitely not the only one who eats them. Ryan will heat them up as he’s going out the door to work or school and my girl and I will eat them with our scrambled eggs in the morning or as an after-naptime snack.
I originally found this recipe delightful in my first pregnancy to not only satisfy my sweet tooth for baked treats but also to make sure I was eating enough folate in my diet (naturally, my prenatal vitamin had plenty but as I love cooking, nutrition, and overachieving, well. It was destiny). I figured if I’m going to make muffins, mine might as well have some nutritional oomf! I made these all pregnancy, and still am!
From the nutritional panel on the box of Grain Berry Bran Flakes (my usual brand to make these muffins), a (3/4 Cup) serving has loads of potassium, folate, b-vitamins, and fiber, all excellent for baby-growing. Exciting! (I should probably go and get my Registered Dietician license already so I can talk about these things with some credibility.)
This is my adapted version of the original “Gingery Cran-Bran Muffins” recipe that appeared in Eating for Pregnancy by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson, published in 2019 (a cookbook I will love and reference every day even when I’m not pregnant).
Cranberry Bran Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
- Coconut oil or baking spray, for greasing
- (1 1/2 Cups) bran flake cereal
- (1 Cup) boiling water
- (1/4 Cup) unsalted butter – melted and cooled for 5 minutes
- (1/4 Cup) brown sugar
- (1 Cup) buttermilk
- (1) large egg
- (1 1/4 Cups) all-purpose flour
- (1 1/4 tsp) baking soda
- (1/4 tsp) salt
- (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
- (1/2 Cup) dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 400*F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with coconut oil or a baking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the bran cereal and boiling water and let sit for 5-10 minutes without stirring. It will turn to mush.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Then whisk in the buttermilk and egg. Finally, whisk in the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger.
- Add the bran cereal mush and mix with a spoon.
- Add the dried cranberries and mix until combined. Let the batter stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then stir the batter and divide into muffin tins.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
- These will last up to 5 days in the fridge. Eat them all week! See below for how to freeze.
- I like the thin-flake texture of Grain Berry Bran Flakes, but there are so many great bran cereals available and any will work.
- You can make your own buttermilk using (1 Cup) of whole, 1%, or 2% milk + (1 TB) lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes. It will turn into a thick, chunky-looking milk (buttermilk!). I have done this 99% of the time I make these muffins because I find that this substitute is easier than having a carton of buttermilk on hand just for this recipe. I have also used almond milk in place of dairy milk many times and it produced a great buttermilk and amazing muffins.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
For short-term freezer storage (less than a month), place in a freezer Ziploc or plastic freezer-safe tupperware.
For longer freezer storage and to prevent freezer burn, wrap individual servings of 1 or 2 muffins in parchment paper, then in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer Ziploc.
To Thaw & Reheat
I recommend thawing servings overnight in the fridge as opposed to microwaving straight from frozen, though I have definitely done both.
To reheat from frozen, I recommend microwaving for 1 minute at 50% power, then 10-15 second increments at full power until heated through.
To reheat from the fridge – wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 25 seconds on high.
Here is the link for the cookbook in case you’re interested, pregnant or not: Eating for Pregnancy by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson, published in 2019.
There are loads of creative healthy recipes for baked goods, salads, curries, burgers, and healthier dessert alternatives that I have not come across in my collection of homestyle-cooking books. 10/10 recommend!