Looking for a specific recipe? Search here:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Apple Bran Muffins

Even though recipes come from many sources these days there’s nothing I like better than to get acquainted with a new cookbook full of colourful pictures.

When I detect a new recipe that seems to have good potential in goes a bookmark with the intention of trying it out the first chance I get.

Before moving, I managed to go through my large magazine collection and removed any interesting recipes that were hiding between the advertisements.

Of course these went directly into my recipes to try out file which takes considerably less space than magazines but seriously expands the file.

Many of my favourite recipes are still followed exactly how I first came across them. However, some recipes have gone through a makeover, most of them intentional but some quite unintentional.

I don’t remember where this recipe for Apple Bran Muffins came from. I remember looking for a good bran muffin recipe for some time and the search came to an end at the discovery of this one. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it was better than other recipes I had tried.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter where the recipe originally came from because quite unintentionally it underwent somewhat of a makeover and evolved into a different recipe.

A while back I was baking a batch of these muffins and inadvertently forgot to add the one cup of brown sugar called for in the recipe.

As I slid the muffin pan into the oven I noticed a cup of firmly packed brown sugar sitting on the kitchen counter looking right back at me. I was immediately struck with a double disappointment. First, the waste of perfectly good ingredients and then no muffins for breakfast the next morning.

I don’t know why I continued to bake the muffins at that point but the results caught me totally by surprise. Even with the total omission of sugar they were amazingly good. Perhaps the three tablespoons of molasses was all the sweetening these muffins needed. After a few trial runs the addition of a quarter cup of brown sugar gave the best results.

On another occasion I was in a hurry while baking this same recipe and decided to take a few shortcuts. Instead of melting the butter called for in the recipe I used corn oil and coarsely grated the apple instead of finely chopping it.

I am quite satisfied with these changes as they have cut down on preparation time, fat and sugar but can't promise that there will not be any further changes in the future.

The best part of this muffin makeover is the sight of beautiful muffin tops which were non existent when the full amount of sugar was used.

Now, everyone knows that every good muffin needs a beautiful muffin top!

Apple Bran Muffins

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup soured milk (see notes, tips and suggestions)
6 tablespoons corn or canola oil
3 tablespoons molasses
1½ cups natural wheat bran
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely grated peeled apple (about 2 medium apples)
¾ cup raisins (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine brown sugar, egg, soured milk, oil, molasses and wheat bran and set aside.
  3. Peel and grate apples.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and make a well in the center.
  5. Add the wet ingredients and quickly stir mixing well.
  6. Stir in the apple and raisins if using. (avoid over mixing)
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan (greased muffin wells or use paper liners.)
  8. Bake for 17 to 23 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.
  9. Remove from pan and place on cooling racks.
  10. Makes 8 large muffins.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Sour the milk by placing 1 tablespoon white vinegar in the bottom of measuring cup then add enough milk to measure one cup.
  • one cup of buttermilk can replace the soured milk.
  • Measure out the oil first then when the molasses is measured it will slip out of the measuring spoon with ease.
  • These muffins freeze very well.
  • This post may dredge up some painful feelings of sabotage for some people. Please note that any omissions or errors in my recipes are purely accidental in nature and I do sincerely apologize:)


  1. Can I use skim milk in this recipe? And what are you doing up at 5:00 AM?

  2. Hi Rona,
    I told you that I couldn't guarantee that there would not be further changes to this recipe.
    I don't see why you shouldn't be able to use skim milk and if I had some in the fridge I would certainly give it a try.
    I would be very interested to know the results if you decide to go ahead and try it.
    These muffins are beginning to sound too good to be true!
    Also, this blog spot runs on it's own time so don't believe the times it records me posting my recipes.

  3. your anything but resentful daughterJanuary 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Wow, it must be TERRIBLE to be sabotaged like that... you know, trying hard to bake when you're new at it and things don't turn out and you internalize it and blame yourself and wonder if you should venture back into the kitchen.. and then you realize... it wasn't your fault after all. Yea, that does sound pretty bad... not that I'm bitter or anything! (Looks like I'm missing a little bit of brown sugar myself!)

  4. Your daughter, now feeling optimisticJanuary 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Also... these look really delicious and agree 100% that bran muffins freeze so well. I love baking them on a weekend and then taking them for a mid-morning snack all work week long... Hmm, I'm inspired.

  5. Your daughter who is almost thereJanuary 22, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    I think some Apple Bran muffins might help seal the deal...

  6. Thanks a lot for the recipe. really, muffins with apples have some special delightful aroma. And, adding some walnut and raisins .... mmmm, yummy! Simply delicious!