Healthy Bran Muffins 

By Rena Awada | Updated On January 20, 2024

Healthy Bran Muffins are hearty and wholesome, and make a great on-the-go breakfast or snack! They are easy to make with nutritious ingredients like whole wheat flour, wheat bran, and applesauce. The perfect flavorful treat to start your day off right!

Side shot of a single bran muffin on a white plate topped with a small square of butter.


Healthy Bran Muffins are one of our favorite breakfast options. They can be made ahead of time, they are easy to grab and go, plus they are just so delicious. These are super satisfying and full of flavor. They are incredibly tender and moist, perfectly sweetened, and made with healthier ingredients. 

One bite, and you’re going to think these were from a bakery! They’re sweetened with a bit of light brown sugar and molasses and made moist with the addition of milk, a small amount of coconut oil, and applesauce or yogurt. Enjoy these nostalgic muffins with a smear of butter, cream cheese, jam, and/or peanut butter. So tasty!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick & easy: This bran muffin recipe comes together quickly with very little effort!
  • Healthier: Even though these have the taste and texture of muffins from a bakery, they are made with nutrient rich ingredients like white whole wheat flour and wheat bran, and a minimal amount of sugar and oil.
  • So delicious: Brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce add moisture and just the right amount of sweetness. The cinnamon and molasses provide a warm, complex flavor you’re sure to love! So light and fluffy, you will love them.
  • Customizable: You can easily make these your own by mixing in chopped nuts or raisins to the batter. More variation ideas below!
Healthy bran muffin topped with butter with a bite taken out.

Ingredients needed

This bran muffin recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Flour: Use white whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free flour. We like white whole wheat flour for a nice boost of fiber and nutty flavor. All-purpose flour works too, if preferred.
  • Wheat bran: The wheat bran fills these with fiber and makes them extra hearty. We like Bob’s Red Mill brand.
  • Baking staples: Baking powder and baking soda give these the perfect lift while baking.
  • Cinnamon: Makes these taste warm and cozy.
  • Sugar: Add light brown sugar or coconut sugar to make these deliciously sweet!
  • Molasses: To sweeten these muffins further and give them an extra dimension of flavor. You can sub with honey or maple syrup.
  • Milk: Feel free to use any milk you’d like to give these plenty of moisture and ensure the batter is the right consistency.
  • Oil: Melted coconut oil keeps the muffins moist, and gives them a tender texture.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: We love adding applesauce to baked goods to keep the amount of oil needed to a minimum. Not only does it add flavor but it also adds moisture.
  • Eggs: Two large eggs will give these stability, and structure and add richness.
  • Add-ins: You can stir in some chopped walnuts or chewy raisins for a different texture, if you’d like!
Small bowls of bran, flour, cinnamon, molasses, milk and baking staples.

How to make bran muffins

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place 12 cupcake liners on a muffin tin pan and spray each with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and then whisk to combine. Set aside.
  1. Stir together the wet ingredients: Into another bowl, add all the wet ingredients: sugar, molasses or honey, milk, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Whisk well to combine.
  2. Combine wet and dry ingredients: Next, add the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Using a spatula or a whisker, whisk to combine. If you are adding any nuts or raisins, this is where you add them in and mix again.
  1. Add batter to the pan: Divide the batter evenly into the muffin pan liners (makes 10-12 depending on the size of your pan).
  2. Bake: Place the pan in the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  1. Cool: Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes, remove them from the tin pan, and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  2. Enjoy: Serve and enjoy while they are warm with a bit of butter or cream cheese.

Expert tips

  • What type of molasses to use: Use dark molasses, also sold as “robust” molasses. A few brands we like: are Grandma’s Robust Molasses, Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses, or Wholesome!’s Organic Molasses. We do not recommend using blackstrap molasses, as it can be very bitter.
  • Measure flour correctly: So that your baked goods have a nice soft texture, be sure to not use too much or too little flour. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup, and without shaking it, level off the top with the straight side of a butter knife.
  • Room temperature ingredients: Set out the ingredients about 30 minutes before you start baking. Using room temperature ingredients, like eggs and milk, helps everything to easily mix and will give these the best texture. You’ll also want to make sure the coconut oil is melted and slightly cooled.
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter: With most baked goods, you want to mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. If you mix too much, baked muffins can turn out to be overly dense and tough.
  • Add-ins: you may add in some raisins or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
top view of 3 muffins on a plate with butter smeared on each muffin

Frequently asked questions

Are bran muffins healthy for you?

Depending on the recipe, bran muffins can be very nutritious! Our recipe is made healthier with white whole wheat flour and wheat bran for plenty of fiber, small amounts of sugar and oil for just enough sweetness and delicious texture. See the recipe card for more nutrition information.

Do bran muffins have a lot of carbs?

This recipe for bran muffins have approximately 25 grams of carbs and 11 grams of sugar per muffin, which is lower in sugar and carbohydrates than other types of muffins.

How do I keep bran muffin moist?

To ensure these bran muffins are plenty moist, we’re using a good ratio of liquid to dry ingredients. Using milk, oil, and applesauce all help to keep these moist and tender.

Bran muffin cut in half with melted butter dripping down.

Variations

Here are a few ways that you can customize your bran muffins:

  • Flour: We like to use white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour for a better texture than whole wheat flour, but still plenty of fiber. You can also use spelt flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour.
  • Sugar: You can choose to use either brown sugar or coconut sugar, and instead of molasses you can use honey or maple syrup.
  • Nuts: For a nutty crunch, add chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter. Add about 3/4 cup to 1 cup.
  • Dried fruit: To add chewy sweetness, you can add up to 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Applesauce: You can swap the applesauce for yogurt. Using greek yogurt would give these a small boost of protein.

Storage recommendations

  • To store leftovers: Store at room temperature for up to about 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. If you need to keep them for a longer period of time, store them in the fridge for up to about 5 days, or in the freezer. You can microwave refrigerated muffins for about 10-15 seconds to make them taste like they are fresh out of the oven.
  • To freeze: Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap, then place them in a resealable freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Label the bag with the date! Let the muffins thaw at room temperature or rewarm gently in the microwave to enjoy.
Three bran muffins on a plate with one cut in half with melted butter.

More healthy muffin recipes

side shot of a single bran muffin with a slice of butter over it

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top view of 3 brand muffins on a round white plate

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side shot of a single bran muffin on a white plate topped with a small square butter

Healthy Bran Muffins Recipe

Healthy Bran Muffins are hearty and wholesome, and make a great on-the-go breakfast or snack! They are easy to make with nutritious ingredients like whole wheat flour, wheat bran, and applesauce. The perfect flavorful treat to start your day off right!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or GF flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses or honey or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or yogurt
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • Optional add-ins: raisins or walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place 12 cupcake liners on a muffin tin pan and spray each with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and then whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Into another bowl, add all the wet ingredients: sugar, molasses or honey, milk, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Whisk well to combine.
  • Next, add the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Using a spatula or a whisker, whisk to combine.  If you are adding any nuts or raisins, this is where you add them in and mix again.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the muffin liners (makes 10-12 depending on the size of your pan).
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes, remove them from the pan, and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Serve and enjoy while they are warm with a bit of butter or cream cheese.

Notes

  • To store leftovers: Store at room temperature for up to about 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. If you need to keep them for a longer period, store them in the fridge for up to about 5 days, or in the freezer. You can microwave refrigerated muffins for about 10-15 seconds to make them taste like they are fresh out of the oven.
  • To freeze: Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap, then place them in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Label the bag with the date! Let the muffins thaw at room temperature or rewarm gently in the microwave to enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
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