Making Bran Muffins — Photos

Here is the next entry in my series of photo posts of me making the various recipes in my recipe collection.

This week, I took photos while I made more bran muffins for my mom, using a recipe I’d found on and which so far I have not yet which I have now (20210214) converted into my own format. As a side note, I should I have now converted it to my usual recipe format, because when I make them, I use regular milk instead of buttermilk, and I normally make a major change: Instead of placing the batter into twelve muffin papers in a twelve-welled baking tin, I bake the batter in a six-welled baking tin (with slightly larger wells), lined with coffee filter papers, and the baking time was adjusted to 22 minutes.

This batch of muffins had a further deviation from the recipes above, which was the intentional omission of raisins for reasons beyond the scope of this post.

First, I measured out a cup and a half of wheat bran into a mixing bowl:

A cup and a half of wheat bran

A cup of milk was added to the bran:

A cup of milk added to the bran

The bran and milk were mixed with a fork, and put aside:

Mixing the bran and milk

A third of a cup of vegetable oil was measured out and placed in a separate bowl (the white dots are milk leftover in the measuring cup):

1/3 cup vegetable oil measured out

A large egg was added to the vegetable oil:

A large egg added to the vegetable oil

Two thirds of a cup of packed brown sugar were added to the oil and egg:

2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar added to the vegetable oil and egg

A teaspoon of vanilla extract was added to the vegetable oil, egg, and brown sugar:

A teaspoon of vanilla extract added to oil, egg, and brown sugar

The vegetable oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract were blended with a fork:

Blending of vegetable oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract

The vegetable oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract were added to the bran and milk mix:

Vegetable oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract added to the bran and milk mix

All the ingredients were blended together with a fork:

The ingredients were blended together

A teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda were added to a cup of flour — unfortunately, I forgot to add the quarter teaspoon of salt, to no apparent ill effect.

A teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda added to a cup of flour; salt was forgotten

The flour, baking powder, and baking soda were mixed together in the cup, and added to the rest of the ingredients:

Flour, baking powder, and baking soda mix were added to the rest of the ingredients, and then blended together

Again, all the ingredients were blended together with a fork. At this point, I would normally have added three quarters of a cup of raisins, which I didn’t do this time.

I make double sized muffins for my mom, so I use coffee filter papers, for which I use a glass to help form within the baking tin:

Forming the coffee filter paper in the baking tin wells

The batter was spooned into each of the wells:

Muffin batter spooned into each of six baking tin wells

The muffin tin was placed in a counter-top convection oven preheated to 350F, and baked for 22 minutes (rotated 180 degrees part way through):

Muffins baking in a counter-top convection oven.

The muffins were taken out of the oven after 22 minutes and placed on a cooling rack:

Baked muffins placed on a cooling rack

After a few minutes, the still cooling muffins were taken out of the baking tin, and returned to the cooling rack to continue cooling:

Baked muffins placed on a cooling rack

Once cooled, I placed the muffins in a sealed container.

Mom was so impressed, she said that the following morning, she would have one from this batch, before eating the last muffin from the last batch!

Updates: Learning to make bran muffins

I recently took up making bran muffins for my mom and occasionally for myself, and have been trying out two recipes: One from the internet from, and my mom’s recipe, which I transcribed and reworked to my current recipe format.

Initially, Mom decided that she preferred the recipe (now in my format) over hers.

However, she asked me to slightly modify her recipe, by making it less sweet and increasing, we decided commensurately, the bran to replace the reduced sugar as well as increase the “branniness” of the muffins.

The resulting “new” recipe is available alongside my mom’s original recipe and the recipe (and my recipe) in my archive of personal recipes.

And … she says that she now prefers the “M” recipe (ie. “M” for molasses, or I think “M” for modified).

(While you’re checking out my collection of recipes, check out my recipe for three ingredient drop biscuits, basically the greek-yoghurt-and-complete-cake-flour recipe for “easy biscuits that you can make quickly any day of the week that is guaranteed to please” that has been going around the internet and various media outlets in North America over the past couple of years, with grated cheese added to it.)

Learning to make bran muffins

Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned two more recipes — or three, given that one is represented by two recipes of the same thing — to add to my repertoire of cooking skills.

My mom loves bran muffins, and has a bit of a penchant for crisped rice and marshmallow treats. I’ve known these things for years, but over the past few weeks an imp pushed me over the edge to learn how to make them for her.

I like both, but previously never really had a personal grand desire to learn how to make either, even despite my love of a family friend’s ambrosia-worthy banana bran muffins, which I used to occasionally ask her to make for me in my younger years.

The first thing I did was look on the internet for recipes on how to make both, a trivial task. Here are the recipes I found for bran muffins (here’s my archive) (here’s my recipe based on it) and for crisped rice treats (here’s my archive, and here’s my recipe based on it). (Interestingly, the Canadian website for Rice Krispies lists a slightly higher ratio of marshmallows than the recipe on the US website, and also calls for vanilla extract!)

The crispy rice treats were almost as trivially easy to make as it was to find a recipe for them. I bought the ingredients, and within a couple of days made two batches, being able to serve one batch to a willing and hungry group. I found that indeed the melting marshmallows can burn easily in the pan if you’re not paying attention.

Mom got her supply a few days later, and happily began munching on them.

For the bran muffins, I looked around the kitchen, and to my great pleasure, I happened to have all the ingredients called for in the recipe I’d found on the internet (here’s my archive) (here’s my recipe based on it).

I proceeded to make the muffins, and was surprised at how easy it was to make picture perfect muffins. Despite considering myself a competent home cook, I expected it to be a bit more of a challenge. Instead, the recipe was easy to follow; given the attribution, while I am sure that it was “somebody’s recipe”, it came across as having no doubt been fastidiously reviewed, tested, tweaked, and re-written by the website’s editorial staff.

They turned out great, and of course I tasted them in advance. The real test was when I presented them to my mom. She liked them a lot, and ended up eating all of the bran muffins using the internet recipe (here’s my version), two at a time.

She did, however, ask me to make some bran muffins with molasses, and told me where to find her old recipes.

The old molasses I had had begun to solidify with age, but could be liquefied in a microwave oven; however, it re-solidified and created hard little balls once mixed with the cooler oil and sugar. An electric beater could not break them up; I baked the muffins, and they had globs of molasses at their bottoms.

The other night, I again made bran muffins, this time one batch of each recipe. In the picture below, my mom’s recipe is on the left, and the internet recipe is on the right. Yes, by the time I’d taken the picture, I had already eaten one from the batch on the left. It was yummy!

When I used the same container of molasses, I reheated it in a microwave oven several times, including after mixing it with the oil and sugar, but before adding the eggs. It worked, and I managed to keep the molasses sufficiently liquid when I mixed in the eggs, and then the rest of the ingredients.

Mom’s recipe is on the left; the internet recipe is on the right

After the above photo was taken, I did a taste test of the internet bran muffins (here’s my archive) (here’s my version). Comparing the two, each is distinct from the other — molasses comes through very clearly in my mom’s recipe — but beyond that, they are also very similar.

The two recipes are in fact very close: One has molasses, the other doesn’t, one has two eggs instead of one, but a bit less oil. This resulted in samples from each recipe tasting very much like bran muffins and somewhat similarly, although the molasses in my mom’s recipe added a new flavour profile, while the extra egg added a certain firmer cake like texture. The rest of the ingredients and proportions between the two recipes are virtually identical.

Now I’m waiting to bring the two batches to my mom to have another side by side taste test. 🙂

20191030 Update: I brought the two kinds to my mom, and she confirmed what she’d whispered weeks before: The Internet Recipe wins the challenge!