Growing up one of my favorite traditions on Christmas was my mom making bran muffins – yes, bran muffins. As a working mom, baking wasn’t something she had a lot of time to do so when she had the time, it was special and something we all looked forward to. Warm buttermilk bran muffins topped with fresh butter, that just melt in your mouth.. nothing compares.
As a mom myself, it was something I wanted to continue to do – but, my momma’s muffins took a long time to make! No wonder she only made them on occasion!
So as we were making the muffins one day we noticed on the side of the box another bran muffin recipe, one that even included chocolate chips and nuts! I was sold and the ease with which these can be made was great too.
But like all things I make, I had to make a few tweaks to make it easier to make no matter what ingredients I had in my house plus cut down on the sugar and increase the fiber and good oils – and our new family favorite muffin was born. Now my kids ask for these ALL THE TIME.
And as a working mom myself, I have learned I can make a big batch 1x per week and have them last my small family of 4 all week long.
So here’s to easier muffins that you can have made and baked in under an hour.
Dark Chocolate Bran Muffins
Makes 36 regular sized muffins
- 3 3/4 cups of milk (we use almond but anything works)
- 2 cups of All-Bran Bran Buds
- 2 cups of rolled Quick Oats
- 2/3 cup of nut butter or oil of your choice (our go to’s are olive oil or Peanut Butter)
- 2/3 cup of mashed bananas (usually 2 regular sized) *See variation ideas below
- 2 Eggs
- 3 cups of flour (we usually use whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 4 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cups of mini dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup of pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Recommend you get the parchment paper tulip type liners (Amazon has them in bulk and they last forever) and put in the muffin cups. Or you can lightly grease the pans instead. I have 2 pans to make these so that I can cook 2 dozen at a time. I don’t want to wash pans between so hence the liners.
Using 1 large 2 quart bowl (like the biggest pyrex mixing bowl size) add the Bran Buds, Quick Oats, Milk, nut butter or oil, mashed banana and eggs. Mix and let set to soak up the milk.
In another 1.5 quart mixing bowl combine your dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, baking pwd, soda, salt, spices, nuts, & choc. chips. Mix well to coat the nuts and chips and mix baking agents well.
Then add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl (It should fit!) and mix until well combined but don’t over mix You don’t want tough muffins.
Using a large cookie scoop fill muffin cups 2/3 way full (one full scoop does it for us).
Bake each batch 15-18 minutes (16 1/2 minutes is perfect for us – you don’t want burned bottoms!)
Remove from pans immediately after pulling out of the oven (this is where the tulip style liner is perfect because you can lift them out so fast!).
Cool 5 minutes on a cooling rack – serve warm (with or without butter!) and enjoy!
Store completely cooled left over muffins in Ziploc/bread bags or Tupperware type container in the fridge up to 1 week, or the freezer and pull out the night before use.
I never do the same muffin type week to week when I make these. It generally is made up of things I have on hand so here are 3 other go to variations you can use to change the flavors up a bit.
Variation 1: Pumpkin Nut Bran Muffins
Instead of Mashed Banana and PB – Use 1/2 can of pumpkin puree and 2/3 ish cups of olive oil (I’m an eyeballer when I bake these – I probably use a little less maybe 1/2 cup or so). Leave everything else the same.
Variation 2: Carrot Cake Bran Muffins
Instead of Mashed Banana and PB – Use 1 1/2 cups of finely shredded carrot. Add 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and if desired, use walnuts instead of pecans.
Add small container of fresh blueberries to regular recipe – so good!
Hope you all enjoy!