Mini Cran-Bran Muffins

by Lauren


And yet again I discover…I do not truly enjoy the process of baking. Although I enjoy the result of baking enough to struggle with it and fulfill my cravings.

Bran muffins have been on the mind for quite some time, and I finally built enough confidence to whip some up.

I love, love, love bran muffins but do not love raisins. I shamelessly eat around them in just about every trail mix (and bran muffin), going straight for the chocolate and nuts.


Now, this recipe rehydrates and blends the raisins then mixes the raisin puree into the batter. I was still somewhat leery of the raisin situation though and figured since I’m baking them, I don’t have to endure raisins because I can simply substitute.

Oh the joys of doing it yourself.

I realize there is no butter in these and perhaps you think that’s sinful (muffin without butter?!), but I’m here to tell you, they are flawless as is.


I used dried cranberries. We have a Costco size bag of them on hand at all times, so I also avoided a trip to the store in my pajamas. Win, win.

Back to that baking situation. I find it hard to follow instructions…in life. Cooking allows for so much more freedom and creativity. If you mess up, you can most likely fix it. If you add a little too much of something, oh well. In baking, not so much.

Baking requires perfection and I’m more of an “eyeballer”.


It probably doesn’t help that our oven cannot maintain a constant temperature. The 200 degree setting often turns into 500 degrees, so we have to patiently stand by while things bake.

It’s a scene. My yoga breathing techniques have definitely come in handy while baking.

With this said, I can most certainly fight my frustration, lack of patience, and the urge to eyeball things in order to make a mean batch of cookies (or muffins). No matter the struggle in the kitchen, it’s always worth it.


Case and point…Cran-Bran Mini Muffins. The only problem with these: I didn’t make enough.


Mini Cran-Bran Muffins

Barely adapted from


2 cups wheat bran (or 1 cup wheat bran + 1 cup wheat germ)

1 cup, dried cranberries (or raisins)

1 cup, plus 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup plain low- or non-fat yogurt (or buttermilk)

2 tablespoon orange zest

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon chia seed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick baking spray. You can also make 12 regular sized muffins.

Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for six to eight minutes, stirring a few times so it cooks evenly. Let cool.

While the bran is toasting, heat 1 cup of the raisins with 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until the water is all absorbed. Puree the raisins in a food processor or with immersion blender.

In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, yogurt, and 1 cup water. Then mix in the raisin puree, orange zest, and brown sugar.

Stir in the oil, egg and egg white.

Mix together the flours, chia seed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and sift directly into the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are just combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, making sure the batter is mounded slightly in each one. Bake for 20-25 minutes (25-30 if larger muffins).

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One Comment to “Mini Cran-Bran Muffins”

  1. I am totally with you on the baking front–I suck. I will never be one to conceptualize a baking recipe all on my own. These look delish though :) And also with you on the “raisin situaiton”–yuck!