Friday, June 13, 2014

The Best Carrot-Bran Muffins

These are not your mama's bran muffins.

What do you think of when you think of bran muffins? I think of dense little hockey pucks that are so dry you're left chewing a mouthful of what can only be described as dirt. I've never been a fan of bran muffins. Yuck.

So what's a girl to do when the hubby asks for bran muffins? Why, turn to Google of course! What did people do before the Internet? They didn't have access to billions of recipes, that's for sure. I'm very thankful that I have the Internet because I was able to track down a healthy, yet fabulous-tasting bran muffin recipe. These are still healthy muffins- low in sugar, made with almond milk, Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour, and a substitution of carrot for the raisins. They just taste better than the garden variety bran muffin.

This muffin recipe utilizes a classic cupcake technique to add levity- creaming of the butter and sugar. This made the recipe different from most muffin recipes where you throw everything together in a bowl. I really think the creaming allows for an airier muffin than the standard dense muffin. The recipe also makes good use of the classic trifecta of spice cake- cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. The hubby goes nuts for this combination. He's a spice cake man, through and through. Whatever the case, the spices work beautifully in this muffin and especially with the carrot. The hubby took these muffins as a snack all last week, and he raved over them. I have a feeling I haven't seen the last of these muffins :)

I think I mentioned last weekend that I was going to remedy my hummingbird situation here at the house. And I did! I bought a beautiful, colorful new feeder that Mr. Hummingbird has become obsessed with. We seem to get the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds around here, which I've read are very territorial. Indeed. Mr. Hummingbird likes to guard his feeder all day. He sits on it and chases all the other birds away. He even gets buzzy when I go out there to change the feeder. He must be watching from the trees or something because anytime I get near that feeder, he's buzzing around my head. I'm not too concerned, it amuses me to no end. This picture is hard to make out (it was taken through the screen on my living room window) but I got a pic of Mr. Hummer guarding his post-

Even that blurry picture puts a smile on my face. I heart wildlife :)

And what's on tap for this weekend? Honestly, I don't know. The hubby is on day-shift right now, and he's working the next 6 days straight. That means all weekend. Boo. So, whilst I'm alone this weekend, this is the plan (in no particular order)-

1. Run
2. Bake
3. Read
4. Catch up on couponing
5. Clean

Now that I look at this list, I realize it is actually in order of what I'd like to do vs what I'd least like to do. LOL. Funny how that works out.

Have a great weekend, my lovely friends! :)

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup carrot, shredded
garnish- quick cooking oats (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. 
2. In a small bowl, combine flours through salt. Whisk to combine, set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add eggs, beat to incorporate. Add almond milk through vanilla, beat to incorporate.
4. Fold wheat bran and carrot into batter with a spatula. Mix until just incorporated.
5. Divide batter among muffin tin. Top each muffin with quick cooking oats, if using. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. *For best results, do not over bake*.
6. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storage.

Helpful links:


  1. As bran muffins go, these look and sound rather tasty. And anything that utilizes a classic cupcake technique must be totes awesome :-)

    1. If you hate bran muffins, I'll be honest here. These will surprise you! Definitely way better than any bran muffin I've tried :)

  2. As one becomes more mature, one loves bran muffins more and more. I can identify with the hockey puck analogy. My maternal grandmother used to make baking powder biscuits that my sister and I used to throw at each other. Boy did they hurt if you got hit! They left quarter size bruises if you got hit full on..

    1. Baking powder biscuits? Sounds interesting. I made biscuits the other night... Of course I made them AFTER roasting vegetables (which I turned the oven off after pulling the vegetables). Biscuits cooking in an oven that's off? Not stellar results. LOL.

  3. Just made these and I can literally taste the baking Soda in them. Is it supposed to be 2 tsp of baking powder maybe? The flavor didn't work for me at all :(

    1. Hi Bee! That was a typo, it should have read 1/2 tsp. I apologize for the oversight, the recipe and printable have been updated. Thanks for the catch! :-)