Easy Cranberry Bran Muffins
These cranberry sauce muffins are moist, tasty, and healthful.
Full of nutritious ingredients, high in fiber, and easy to make, they can be a breakfast all by themselves or a filling snack that you can feel good about.
I have made this basic recipe for years, but in the past several months I have come up with an "enhanced" version that packs in even more nutrients and flavor. The important thing to remember is to mix in the flour and baking powder last—just before baking, as directed. (It is the interaction of the acidic cranberry sauce with the baking powder that makes the muffins rise, and you want most of this action to happen during the baking, not while you still have a lot of mixing to do.)
The Basic Recipe (12 Muffins)
- 1 1/2 cups-All Bran cereal
- 1 (16-ounce) can of whole-berry jellied cranberry sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Combine All-Bran cereal, cranberry sauce, eggs, wheat germ, and vegetable oil together in a large bowl. Allow it to stand for a few minutes so that the dry ingredients soak up the moisture.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredient mixture to moistened ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Portion batter into 12 greased muffin cups (or use paper liners). The batter will be pretty stiff. Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Tops should just barely begin to brown.
Super Cran-Walnut Bran Muffins (24 muffins)
In this enhanced variation, the addition of nuts, seeds, extra cranberries, and cinnamon really makes these super tasty—they also add extra protein and fiber.
I have also used chopped almonds when I was out of walnuts. If you wanted to add ground flax seed, that would be another nutritional boost.
- 3 cups All-Bran cereal
- 2 (16-ounce) cans of whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries that have been soaked in 1/3 cup orange juice (or cran juice)
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup (or more) chopped walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, mix All-Bran cereal, cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, eggs, wheat germ, vegetable oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to stand for a few minutes so that the dry ingredients soak up the moisture.
- In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and flour.
- Add dry ingredients to moistened ingredients. Stir only until combined.
- Portion batter into 24 greased muffin cups (or use paper liners). The batter will be pretty stiff. You can add a little extra fruit juice or water if it is too hard to handle.
- Bake at 375°F for 18 to 20 minutes. Tops should just barely begin to brown.
Note: This version can be halved if you only want to make a dozen.
Additional Thoughts and Notes
These are so much better than store-bought muffins—better tasting and better for you. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
You may want to keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator if they last more than three days. Another good thing about them, though they seem like a sweet treat, they are lower in sugar than most baked goods.
No additional sugar is needed since the cranberry sauce is already sweetened and there is a little sugar in the bran cereal. If sugar is a problem for you, you might want to check the labels of the ingredients.
When I was working, I counted on this recipe for a quick take-along snack (or breakfast) on mornings when I was especially rushed.
I hope you will enjoy these muffins. They are both delicious and nutritious, besides being very easy to make.