As promised, these muffins are moist, rich and full of good-for-you ingredients.

A few things: first, yes, you can substitute soured milk (milk + fresh lemon juice) for the buttermilk, but I  wouldn’t. Real buttermilk makes a big difference. Next, golden raisins rock. Forget the drier, regular variety and go for something chewier. Finally, this comes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (the same folks as Cooks Illustrated). I’ve tweaked the recipe–in my book, you can’t have bran muffins without honey and whole wheat.


Prep time: 15 minutes + baking

Servings: 18 muffins


1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 egg

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon ground flax (optional)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Soak the bran in the buttermilk for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Coat your muffin tin pan with baking spray.
  4. Combine the applesauce, raisins, sugar, egg, butter, honey and molasses together in a large bowl.
  5. In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices and ground flax.
  6. Add the soaked bran to the wet mixture and then fold in the dry ingredients. Stir in walnuts.
  7. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
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