Many people think of bran muffins as bland or dry, but these are the exact opposite! They’re practically as tender as cupcakes and are bursting with warm, cozy flavors. So how’d we do that?

How I mixed together the ingredients determines the texture of the muffins. Many recipes stir in the oat bran along with the dry ingredients, but this leads to dry muffins. Instead, soak the oat bran in milk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla before measuring anything else. Similar to soaking oatmeal to make overnight oats, soaking the oat bran softens it and creates that tender muffin texture we want.

Two ingredients create the characteristic cozy bran muffin flavor: molasses and cinnamon. Molasses has a warm, rich, earthy taste, and I always envision cool foggy mornings paired with a tall cup of coffee and fleecy blanket whenever I bake with it. In other words, it adds the ultimate cozy taste! You can find it on the baking aisle near the maple and corn syrups.

Cinnamon also provides warmth and depth to bran muffins. Because I love to add it to my carrots cakes, I also sprinkled in a little nutmeg as well. When paired together, these two spices create a tantalizing aroma while the muffins bake and cool on the counter, which always tempts me to break into one while the steam still drifts off the top. The burnt fingers and tongue would be worth it!

The final important ingredient in these particular bran muffins is the shredded carrots. About 3 large carrots, peeled first, will yield the amount you need. To make quick work of shredding, use a food processor! Do not buy pre-shredded carrots; those are dry and would result in subpar muffins.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
Yields: 12 muffins
  • 1 ½ c oat bran
  • ⅓ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ c nonfat milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ¼ c honey
  • ¼ c molasses
  • 1 ½ c shredded carrots (about 3 large, peeled first)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oat bran, yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a separate bowl. In a third bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter and egg. Stir in the honey and molasses. Mix in the bran mixture. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Fold in the shredded carrots.
  4. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack.
Notes: AND WORTH REPEATING Do not buy pre-shredded carrots. They are not as moist and will result in subpar muffins. I iced mine with a combination of vanilla whey protein, almond milk and almond extract. The consistency will be similar to a glaze rather than icing – optional although encouraged.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk. Agave or maple syrup can be substituted for the honey. Do not substitute anything for the molasses; it gives the bran muffins their characteristic flavor.

With Love, From the Trench Kitchen,