Bran Muffins

Moist, flavor-packed bran muffins are a classic and this recipe is the best ever! These muffins are soft in the middle and crunchy on top, filled with brown sugar sweetness, wholesome cereal, and cinnamon spice.

Don’t you just love a timeless muffin recipe that’s guaranteed to turn out great? Be sure to try my homemade blueberry muffins and honey wheat muffins, too.

Why You’ll Love This Bran Muffins Recipe

Forget everything you thought you knew about “dry”, “bland”, and “meh” bran muffin recipes. We’re about to turn a humble batter into the best bran muffins ever. Cinderella is going to the ball, folks! Here’s why these muffins are about to change your life:

  • The BEST texture. These bran muffins are so soft on the inside and packed with subtle sweetness and a touch of spice. They’re bedazzled with turbinado sugar for the perfect crunch.
  • The ultimate anytime muffin. These are perfect smothered with butter, drizzled with honey, or scarfed down as-is for a mid-morning snack. Let’s be honest, though, you’ll want to eat them all day every day.
  • Simple ingredients. This bran muffin recipe is ultra-easy and you don’t need any special or fancy ingredients. You make the batter all in one bowl (always a bonus) and the “secret” bran ingredient is one you might not expect.
  • Make the batter ahead. It’s better if you do. The bran muffin batter needs a good few hours to rest in the fridge before you bake it (more on this below). It’s a good excuse to get a headstart on these muffins the night before!
Close up of one half of a bran muffin resting in a paper liner.

What Makes Bran Muffins Dry?

Other bran muffins have a bad rap for being dry and tasteless. Not these! Here are the no-nos that we’re going to avoid when making the best-ever bran muffins that are irresistibly moist:

  1. Overbaking. Baking muffins for too long, or at a temperature that’s too low will dry them out and make them crumbly. These bran muffins go into a hot oven and bake quickly so that they’re soft inside with fluffy, crisp tops.
  2. Not chilling the muffin batter. This is a crucial step in muffin making that often gets skipped. Chilling muffin batter in the fridge overnight makes muffins that are amazingly tender, moist, and tall. It’s game-changing.
  3. Skipping the oil. Some recipes call for melted butter, but we’re going to use vegetable oil. Since oil stays liquid at room temperature, not only do these muffins turn out pillowy soft, but they stay that way even after they’re stored.
Bran muffin batter topped with turbinado sugar in a lined muffin pan.

Muffin Ingredients

Bran muffins are the same at heart: wholesome, sweet, and classic. They just need a chance to shine! Here are some notes on the ingredients. You’ll find a printable ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card down below.

  • Bran Flakes – Yes, these are bran flakes muffins! So, there’s no need for bran flour or bran meal. You can pick up a box of bran cereal from your local grocery store (or you can use up a box that’s already in your pantry). You’ll crush the flakes up finely before adding them to the muffins.
  • Brown Sugar – You can use regular granulated sugar, too, but I love the deeper caramelized flavor of light brown sugar.
  • Baking Soda and Salt – Leavening ingredients help these muffins bake up tall in the oven. Make sure you’re using baking soda and not baking powder.
  • Cinnamon – If there’s a muffin recipe that isn’t made better by a touch of cozy cinnamon spice, I don’t know her.
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make an easy buttermilk substitute. All you do is add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a 1-cup measure and fill the rest up with regular milk. Let it rest for 5 minutes, and stir!
  • Oil – The combination of vegetable oil and buttermilk makes these bran muffins super moist, tender, and full of flavor. Muffins made with oil also stay soft for days (as opposed to muffins made with butter).
  • Egg and Vanilla – For the best flavor, make sure you’re using pure vanilla extract.
  • Turbinado Sugar – This is a kind of coarse sugar that adds sparkle and crunch to the tops of these bran muffins. You can use brown sugar, too, though it won’t have quite the same texture.

How to Make the Best Bran Muffins

For breakfast, brunch, and after school, these wholesome bran muffins always hit the spot. Here are the easy steps to make them. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • First, crush the cereal. I pulverize the bran flakes in my blender or food processor. You could also use a zip-top bag and a rolling pin, just make sure you crush the flakes up finely.
  • Make the muffin batter. Next, whisk the crushed bran flakes with the other dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 
  • Chill the batter. Now, the muffin batter goes into the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours so that it can rest and thicken. Don’t skip this step!
  • Fill the pan. Fast forward to the next day, and you’ll add the muffin batter to the lined wells of a muffin pan. Top each muffin with a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar. 
  • Bake. Bake the muffins at 400ºF for 18-20 minutes. After they’ve cooled in the pan for a couple of minutes, make sure to move them to a wire rack.
Close up of baked bran muffins in a muffin pan.

Recipe Tips

  • Measure the cereal before you crush it. The measurement is for whole bran flakes, so be sure to measure out your 3 cups of bran cereal, and finely crush them up afterward.
  • Prepare the batter in advance. Again, let the bran muffin batter rest for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight. It’s the key to flavorful muffins and it also lets the cereal soften up and absorb some of the moisture.
  • The batter will be thick. After a night in the fridge, don’t be alarmed if your bran muffin batter comes out looking like fluffy ice cream! You can even use an ice cream scoop to portion the batter into the pan. The muffins bake up tall instead of “spilling” over into muffin tops the way a traditional muffin recipe would.
  • Test the muffins for doneness. Check if your bran muffins are done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean, they’re ready to come out of the oven.
  • Don’t let the muffins cool completely in the pan. Even though you’ve taken your muffins out of the oven, the pan stays hot long afterward. If you leave your muffins in there to cool completely, there’s a chance that they’ll become overcooked in the heat. Move the muffins out of the pan and onto a wire rack after 2-3 minutes.
One half of a bran muffin spread with butter next to the tip of a butter knife and a whole muffin.

Variation Ideas

These bran muffins are a recipe begging for add-ins, so get creative! Here are a few easy variations and mix-in ideas to get you started.

  • Raisin Bran muffins. In place of plain bran cereal, buy a box of Raisin Bran. Pluck the raisins out before you crush the cereal, and then add them back into the batter later. 
  • Berries. During blueberry season, I love adding 1 cup of fresh blueberries to the batter to make blueberry bran muffins. You can also use in-season raspberries or strawberries.
  • Banana. Mash up one overripe banana to add to the batter for banana bran muffins. While you’re at it, check out this recipe for the best banana muffins.
  • Chocolate. You can add 1 cup of dark, milk, or white chocolate chips to sweeten these bran muffins up even more.
Close up of one half of a bran muffin spread with butter next to the tip of a butter knife.

How to Store

These bran muffins are at their freshest in the first 3 days from when they’re made. Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend popping a muffin into the microwave to warm it a little, before spreading it with butter and serving.

Can I Freeze Bran Muffins?

Yes! These homemade bran muffins freeze great. Wait until they’re cooled, and then wrap the muffins individually in plastic wrap before placing them into a jumbo-sized freezer bag. They’ll be ready to grab and thaw for a last-minute breakfast or snack.

More Muffin Recipes

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Close up of baked bran muffins in a muffin pan.

Bran Muffins

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 24 reviews
  • Author: Shauna Sever, Midwest Made
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Breakfast


Moist, flavor-packed bran muffins are a classic and this recipe is the best ever! They’re soft in the middle and crunchy on top, filled with subtle sweetness and spice.


  • 3 cups bran flake cereal, finely crushed (*see note)
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling


  1. Combine the cereal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to blend well. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. The batter will become very thick.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line your muffin tin with 10 paper liners and set aside.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling them completely. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the muffins to cool in tin for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Measure 3 cups of the the Bran Cereal and THEN crush it. You won’t have a total of 3 cups of crushed cereal. The measurement is for pre-crushed.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 254
  • Sugar: 18.1 g
  • Sodium: 398.1 mg
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 21.3 mg

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61 comments on “Bran Muffins”

  1. Deb McGarrity

    I made these to take along for a vacation with another couple. I added one cup of raisins that I soaked in some warm water to moisten and drained before adding to the batter. I did not sprinkle sugar on the top keep sweetness to my liking. Everyone loved them. They will be a regular for me. I love to have frozen muffins in the freezer for a quick breakfast with coffee.

  2. These are the best bran muffins i have ever made and i have been baking for over 50 years. Even 3 days after baking they were still moist. To those who thought they were dry and dense check at 18m Mine were done then thanks for such a great recipe I will be making these regularly Added bonus is they are great for the digestive system lol

  3. I enjoy this recipe. The muffins are hearty & flavorful. Pulsing the bran cereal in food processor seems to give the muffins more lift. I used coarse confections sugar rather than raw to top them off and also make surprise muffins with apple butter or jam from the batter. Thanks for this great way to use up bran cereal.

  4. This is the recipe flavor and texture I was looking for in a bran muffin! I had the original All-Bran “sticks” and this type of cereal required double the amount of milk called for in recipe. I let the batter set in the frig over night. Added chopped walnuts just before baking – YUM! Pure bran flavor and texture. For the record, I DO NOT bake muffins ever and these will now be what I keep on hand.

    1. i have never tried that but I don’t see a reason it wouldn’t work great! Just measure the coconut oil in its liquid state!

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