There are good bran muffins and a lot of really bad ones. This is a great bran muffin. It’s sweet, moist and full of rich flavors with out a bunch of unnecessary ingredients like raisins or nuts. It’s no wonder that bran muffins have a bad reputation with all the bad versions out there. I’ve had one too many raisin filled, nutty even carrot filled dry and boring bran muffins. I stay away from them most of the time. The exception is my dad’s bran muffin recipe. They are everything you want in a breakfast bread. They are warm, sweet and taste great slathered in orange marmalade.
My version is heavily influenced by his recipe, but mine are in disguise as a gingerbread muffins. They are full of all the holiday spices that are so warm and comforting this time of year. As a nod to my father’s orange marmalade accompaniment, I’ve topped them with an orange crumb. The topping makes the muffins strikingly attractive and tastes pretty fantastic too.
My dad always uses bran cereal made from wheat bran with a little sugar and other things added. I opt for plain oat bran because it doesn’t have any other ingredients in it and I like the final texture just a bit better. You can use either, but if you use the bran cereal, use the stick-like product (like All-Bran) and not “buds” or flakes as they have too many other things added. If you do use a cereal, you may also want to decrease the sugar by a few tablespoons.
The ingredient list looks long, but most of these things you’ll probably have in the house already. I usually have to make sure I have enough applesauce on hand, and I’ve successfully substituted several different types of whole wheat flour for the whole wheat pastry flour. My dad’s version uses strictly all-purpose; that works too. They do have a fair amount of sugar and oil. I don’t claim that they are either low-fat or low in sugar. They are, however, very very good! Enjoy!
Want to turn your breakfast into a real Christmas feast? Here are a few ideas from Cooking Light to go with the Gingerbread Bran Muffins:
- Baked Garlic Cheese Grits
- Spiced Winter Fruit
- Savory Bread Pudding with Goat Cheese
- Holiday Brunch Tonic