Posted by: njbrown | March 2, 2011

Blueberry-Cranberry Bran Muffin Challenge

Blueberry-Cranberry Bran Muffins

A couple of days ago, a dear friend gave me a challenge:  “Please find me a recipe for bran muffins that can have blueberries and dried cranberries.  The muffins need to be moist.  They can’t contain buttermilk, molasses or applesauce, since I don’t keep buttermilk or applesauce and my husband doesn’t like molasses.  They should not be high in fat or sugar.”  She said she’d been searching and searching, but had no success.  As I went to the Web, I had much the same experience.  However, I remembered that there is an easy substitute for buttermilk, so that made the mission less “impossible.”  Finally I found a variant of this recipe.  I made a test batch and found them moist (for a bran muffin) and quite nice.  The nutritional information given for the recipe made with raisins showed a calorie count of 163.  Depending what kind of berries you use, and how many, and whether you use applesauce, that will vary.   I think applesauce will make them even better, and encouraged my friend to buy a six-pack of applesauce since they have a long shelf-life, and one is just about the right amount for a lot of recipes.

Servings:  12


  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 scant cup milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar mixed together.  Let stand 5 minutes before using)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or (1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup berries in whatever proportion you want


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk;
    let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat together oil, egg, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and add to buttermilk/bran mixture.
    Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended.
    Fold in berries and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
    Cool and enjoy!



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