These buttermilk bran muffins are everything you expect and want in a bran muffin. These muffins start with wheat bran (no cereal needed!). They are beautifully moist, they mix together quickly and easily without a mixer and the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 30 days!

Buttermilk bran muffins sliced on board.

These refrigerator bran muffins are simply perfect in my opinion. They are easy to make, these don’t require boxed bran cereal and the batter keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, so you can enjoy warm bran muffins anytime you like! I also love that they are dark and rich in flavour without molasses.

Ingredients and substitutions

A few notes about the key ingredients …

Wheat Bran – These bran muffins use only wheat bran. You find wheat bran sold in bags often in the flour section of the grocery store, but sometimes in the health food section with other grains. Wheat bran is also available at bulk food stores.

Buttermilk – I recommend real buttermilk if you can, for best results. As these muffins use 2 cups of buttermilk, they are a great way to use up the end of a carton of buttermilk! If real buttermilk isn’t an option, you can make a buttermilk substitute using milk and lemon juice or vinegar. Details are in the Recipe Card.

(Optional) Raisins or Dates – Adding raisins or dates to these muffins is totally optional. You can add or omit as you like.

How to make buttermilk bran muffins

Adding boiling water to some of the wheat bran.
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Adding buttermilk to mixing bowl.
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Adding wheat bran to batter.
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  1. Start by adding the boiling water to some of the wheat bran, then let it soak while you start the batter.
  2. Add the eggs, brown sugar, oil and buttermilk to a mixing bowl and mix together well.
  3. Add the flour and wheat bran mixture and mix in.
Adding raisins to batter.
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Finished batter in mixing bowl.
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Batter scooped into muffin tin.
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  1. Add the plumped raisins or dates (if using) and stir in.
  2. The finished batter will be quite liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 30 days. The batter thickens a bit after sitting but will still be quite loose.
  3. When ready to bake, scoop the batter into muffin cups and bake.

Recipe tips!

  • Adding raisins or dates to these bran muffins is optional, but if adding, I almost always plump raisins or dates before adding to my baked goods. Plumping simply involves soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes before adding to the batter. I’ve found that dried fruit can sometimes rob baked goods of moisture if they aren’t plumped first, resulting in drier baking.
  • Don’t skip the 1-hour chilling time for these muffins. This time allows the bran to soak and soften in wonderful ways before baking.
  • The sweet spot for filling the muffin cups is almost all the way, but leave a bit of the paper showing (a heavy 3/4 full). I find one large scoop about right.
Buttermilk bran muffins sliced on board.

Making ahead, storing and freezing

These bran muffins need to be made a little ahead, as the batter needs to be refrigerated for at least one hour. After that, you can scoop out and bake the muffins at any time.

The batter will be good in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, so you can bake them off a few at a time if you like. Be sure to store the batter in a container with a tight lid, to avoid the batter picking up the flavours of other things in the fridge.

The baked muffins can be frozen up to 3 months.

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Get the Recipe: Simply Perfect Buttermilk Bran Muffins

These perfect bran muffins start with wheat bran and buttermilk and create wonderfully moist and flavourful muffins. The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, too!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 14 muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups wheat bran, DIVIDED
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, or similar neutral-tasting oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk, well shaken
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dates, optional

Instructions
 

  • If using raisins or chopped dates, place them in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand in the hot water while you prepare the muffin batter.
  • Add 1 cup of the wheat bran to a medium bowl. Add the boiling water, stir and let stand to cool for 10-15 minutes before starting the batter.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and buttermilk. Add the soaked and cooled bran mixture and mix in.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and the remaining 2 cups of wheat bran.
  • Add flour mixture to batter and stir in to combine well. Drain and pat dry the raisins or dates, if using and stir into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a container with a good tight lid and refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour before baking in muffin tins as needed. Do not stir that batter after chilling. The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
  • To bake, line muffin cups with paper liners. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top (a heavy 3/4 full). Bake in a preheat 350F oven (non-convection) for 23-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Notes

Wheat bran can be found in most grocery stores or bulk stores. It is sold in bags sometimes in the baking aisle or sometimes in the natural foods with other grains etc.
Real buttermilk is recommended for best results. Be sure to shake well before pouring. If buttermilk is unavailable, you can use slightly less than the required amount of milk, with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar stirred into it. Let it stand for 10 minutes before using it.
Adding raisins or dates to these bran muffins is optional, but if adding, I almost always plump raisins or dates before adding to my baked goods. Plumping simply involves soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes before adding to the batter. I’ve found that dried fruit can sometimes rob baked goods of moisture if they aren’t plumped first, resulting in drier baking.
Don’t skip the 1-hour chilling time for these muffins. This time allows the bran to soak and soften in wonderful ways before baking and contributes to the lovely texture of the finished muffins.
Be sure to read the notes above this recipe card, for more tips on making this recipe. You’ll also find step-by-step photos there, that you might find helpful.
 
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Snack
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.003g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 404mg, Potassium: 219mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 96IU, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 2mg
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