Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins

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Muffins flavored with cinnamon & maple syrup strike the perfect balance between wholesome & indulgent.

muffins

My daughter loves to bake muffins for breakfast, and I love to bake with her. Problem is, most good ones are loaded with the bad stuff — white flour, sugar, and butter — and are really nothing more than cupcakes without frosting. On the flip side, most healthful muffins don’t taste very good.

These blueberry muffins flavored with cinnamon and maple syrup strike the perfect balance between wholesome and indulgent. They’re lower in fat and sugar than most, enriched with nutritious wheat bran and whole wheat flour, and chockfull of antioxidant-rich blueberries. The best part? My daughter loves them, and I can feel good about giving them to her.

Before we get started, a few words about the ingredients. I use a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour to give these muffins a distinct wheat-like flavor and texture — that’s what makes them taste like breakfast instead of dessert. Don’t be tempted to substitute all whole wheat flour or they will turn out very dry.

The recipe also calls for wheat bran, which is the outer layer of the wheat kernel that’s removed when wheat is milled into flour. It’s high in fiber and contains many essential vitamins and minerals. You can find it at most large grocery stores, Whole Foods or health food stores; if not, wheat germ (the most vitamin and mineral-rich part of the wheat kernel) makes an excellent substitute.

What you’ll need to make Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins

How to make them

Begin by combining the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.

Next, whisk together the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, oil, and milk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.

Whisk until batter is smooth. As you can see, it’s a very wet batter.

Before filling the muffin tins, toss the blueberries with a few teaspoons of flour.

Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full, then drop the blueberries evenly into the cups. If you’re wondering why I would do it this way, as opposed to just mixing them into the batter, it’s because the blueberries are heavier than the batter and have a tendency to sink to the bottom and cause the muffins to stick to the pan. This method keeps them nicely suspended in the muffins, and also ensures they are evenly distributed.

Using a spoon or your finger, press the berries just beneath the surface of the batter.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp on the edges. Let the muffins cool in the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a rack. These are best served warm out of the oven.

This recipe was inspired by a similar recipe in Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys.

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Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins

Muffins flavored with cinnamon & maple syrup strike the perfect balance between wholesome & indulgent.

Servings: 14 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran or wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, plus all-purpose flour for coating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two standard 12-cup muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray (the recipe makes 14 muffins, so 7 in each pan).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, maple syrup, sugar, oil and milk. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until batter is smooth (note: batter will be very wet).
  4. Rinse the blueberries and toss them in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons flour until they are well-coated (they need to be wet in order for the flour to stick). Using a ladle or half-cup measure, scoop the batter into the muffin cups until they are about three-quarters full. Using your hands, evenly distribute the berries into the muffins, pressing them just beneath the surface of the batter (about 5 berries per muffin). If you leave them showing, they will create holes in the muffins. Carefully fill the empty cups in each muffin tin half-way with water.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating pans midway through, until golden brown and crisp around the edges. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn muffins out onto wire rack. Serve warm. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container and reheat before serving. (To reheat, wrap muffins in aluminum foil and place in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.)

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 177mg
  • Cholesterol: 28mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • These muffins look incredible. I’m wondering if I could use buckwheat instead of whole wheat? Would I need to make any other adjustments with leavener or liquid? Thanks for your help, and for such amazing recipes!

    • — Alanna on August 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Alanna, I’ve never baked with buckwheat flour, so I’m not certain how it would impact the muffins. If you want to use buckwheat flour, I’d recommend using just a bit of it in place of the whole wheat flour, so in this case, using 1/4 – 1/2 cup of buckwheat and the remainder of that 3/4 cup should be whole wheat. If you like the texture of the muffins, you could up the buckwheat a bit more the next time you bake them. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • We aren’t in the habit of buying low fat milk. Do you suppose that whole milk will work?

    • — Mallory on April 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure! Hope you enjoy. πŸ™‚

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2019
      • Reply
  • These are delicious and easy to make. I made them this morning, following the recipe to a T. The best bran muffins ever! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Jennifer Workman on March 17, 2019
    • Reply
  • Very good recipe! I replaced the whole wheat flour with whole wheat PASTRY flour and the muffins turned out tall and round, and fluffy inside.

    • — Chris on January 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – this recipe looks interesting indeed – would I be able to usebuttermilk instead of the milk?

    • Hi Delada, I’d recommend sticking with the regular milk here. Hope you enjoy the muffins!

  • I made these. They were delicious and surprisingly moist.

  • I googled “blueberry muffin recipe” this weekend and your recipe was shown with many others. Your amazing description won me over without clicking any others to compare. The muffins were fabulous and received rave reviews from my family. Thank you! We will make this recipe many, many more times.

  • good morning! So excited I found this recipe and I have all ingredients except the bran. Would it be okay to use All-bran buds instead to save a trip to the market?

    Thank you

    • Hi Julie, Unfortunately, I don’t think those would work. So sorry!

  • I’ve tried making these in small load pans because I can’t find a muffin pan to fit inside my toaster oven. (My apt have only a toaster oven, no full sized oven, sadly.) The small loaf pan bread always seems to fall in the middle, though. Any suggestions??

    • Hi Katie, I wish I could be more helpful but the recipe is not intended for a loaf pan so it won’t rise properly. So sorry!

  • Dear Jenn,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I would like to try it but I have a doubt and maybe you could help.

    I’m Italian, so not a native English speaker. And I live in Belgium, which means, when I go to the supermarket everything is in French and/or Dutch! Just to add confusion to confusion… πŸ˜‰

    I saw a similar recipe on Zoe Nathan book “Huckleberry”. The recipe is called “blueberry bran muffins”, and in the introduction Zoe says “… the key is toasting the bran to a deep golden colour…”. But in the list of ingredients there is no bran, and there is wheat germ instead.

    I see that also here you mention bran OR germ, as if they were interchangeable.

    So my doubt is, are they? Because I always thought that bran was the external part of the seed and germ the internal one, so, two opposite things.

    Thank you so much in advance for the clarification!

    Francesca

    • Hi Francesca, You are correct that they are different but they are usually interchangeable in recipes — I’ve made these muffins with both and you really can’t tell a difference. Hope that helps!

  • I took these scrumptious muffins out of the oven 10 minutes ago and have already devoured two. I could not have just one! I also left out the 3 Tbsp sugar, used 3/4 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 cup sprouted spelt flour and the 3/4 cup whole wheat, and I substituted coconut oil for the canola. I used 2 cups freshly picked wild blueberries. Will definitely make these again!

  • This is my personal favourite, and I’m happy my kids love this, too!

  • So good and a bit healthy. They were too good, the dogs climbed on the counter and ate the rest when I went out. I’m making another batch.

  • I made these this morning. I didnt have any vegetable oil so I used olive oil. The muffins were so moist and delicious!

  • These are fantastic, 5 stars. I substituted the milk with Vanilla Almond Milk and it was great.
    This recipe is a repeat, indeed!!!

  • Hi there,

    Because blueberries aren’t in season right now, could I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh?

    • Hi Samantha, Yes, that’s fine. Be sure not to defrost them or they’ll “bleed” all through the muffins.

  • I followed the recipe exactly and they came out just as they look in the photos. I put them on a wire rack to cool and went off to have a cup of tea. I came back half an hour later and 3/4 of them had disappeared! I have 3 teenage mice, all of whom have no qualms about telling me I’m a rotten cook, so “Wow, Mum! These are absolutely delicious” speaks volumes! Breakfast muffins maybe – just don’t make them the night before!!!!

  • Wow! I swapped the plain and whole wheat flours, and doubled the wheat bran and baking powder. Split the batter in half, added one cup of mixed frozen berries to one half and to the other half added 1/2cup chopped dried dates and one small diced red apple. Probably a bit more ‘branny’ than your intention, but totally delicious!! My 2 ASD children have trouble eating enough fibre, but I think you may have given me a secret weapon πŸ™‚

    • So glad they turned out!

  • Fabulous tasting muffin. I cut back on the 3 tablespoons of sugar though as the blueberries add the extra sweetness needed.

  • I love blueberries and was wondering if it would be ok to double the amount of blueberries to say 10? (If I also increase the amount of maple syrup in recipe to say 1/2 cup?)

    • Hi Carol, Feel free to increase the blueberries. I don’t think I’d add more maple syrup as it might cause the muffins to brown too quickly. Instead, I think I might sprinkle some turbinado or brown sugar on top before baking. Please let me know how they turn out!

  • I made these on a Sunday and they are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. Hearty and sweet and satisfying. I only substituted applesauce for the oil to get that extra edge health-wise. But other than that, delicious! I wonder what these would taste like with almond flour? I have never cooked with it, but have always wanted to and these muffins sound like a good thing to try it with!

  • These tast too good to be healthy! I keep a batch on hand for my high schooler who rushed out the door every morning. It makes me feel good to know she has some ” brain food”

  • Can I use frozen blueberries? do I need to thaw them first? Will they be too juicy?

    • Hi Walki, Yes, you can definitely use frozen berries. It’s best not to defrost them. Hope you enjoy!

  • I followed the recipe, except I substituted brown sugar for white. They came out so moist and perfect. Usually bran muffins are dry, these are perfection πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Maya. Good to know brown sugar works as well.

  • Yum so good! I used frozen blueberries and they turned out beautifully. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • We made this recipe a few weeks ago. I have a tried and true bran muffin recipe in my repertoire, but am always on the hunt for something new! These were so fluffy and moist – mine are usually a bit drier and don’t rise quite as much. I loved the idea of placing the berries on top and dipping them under the surface – worked like a charm and the muffins turned out perfectly as pictured. I always learn something new on your blog! Thank you.

  • I have a lot of frozen blueberries, do you think they will work out ok?

  • Hi, I would like to make these for a brunch with some families, and maybe even your french toast with challah (that one’s even more likely, actually). Any idea on whether I can make either of these batters the night before, or even two hours beforehand, or will that mess up the chemistry?
    Thanks,
    Patricia

    • Hi Patricia, You can make the French toast batter the night before but not the muffins. Hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚

  • Hooray… a healthy muffin recipe! Now I have muffins that taste good and are good for me. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • I made these tonight and they were FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe! πŸ™‚

  • Yum! I made these a few days ago, and they’re already gone. I’m glad you noted (and the pictures show) that the batter is so wet, because at first I thought, “Uh oh…this can’t be right. Did I add too much milk? Not enough flour?” Not to worry! They turned out just fine. Thanks again for another great recipe, Jenn!

  • I substituted cane sugar for white sugar, double the blueberries, and both wheat bran and sweetened wheat germ and they are really not very good πŸ™ I think it was the cane sugar – it’s just not sweet enough. I never like what I cook with it.

    • Hi Lindsdey, It was probably also the fact that you doubled the berries. Blueberries get very sour when you bake them, so they need a lot of sugar to balance them out.

  • Made these this morning w/ honey instead of maple syrup and they were delicious! I really liked the suggestion of putting berries in batter after t hey were in the muffin tins – made for a nice distribution of the berry in the muffin.

  • I just made these muffins – delish!!! Not too sweet, perfectly moist. Only one problem, I burned them, and they cooked for only 20 minutes. Any idea what I did wrong? I would like to make them again, but I don’t know how to prevent them from burning again…

    • Hi Elissa, So glad you liked the muffins! That’s strange that they burned. It may be that your oven is a bit too hot — you can try calibrating it or just cook the muffins at 375 next time.

      • Thanks! I will try the lower temp.

  • I’m not a fan of maple flavor, any suggestions on what I could substitute for the syrup? Honey, perhaps?

    • Hi Shelley, Yes, honey would work great!

  • We made these last night and fed them to the kiddos this morning (2 & 4) and they LOVED them! We didn’t even reheat them and they gobbled em up!

    Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

  • As you commented & we know, white sugar is bad for you, yet there is 1/2 cup plus of sugar used in this recipe! Can there not be a better substitute suggested?!

    • Hi Barb, Unfortunately, I know of no good sugar substitute. I tried making the recipe with less, but the sourness of the blueberries was overwhelming. You need the sugar to balance it out. That said, I’ve made this recipe using only 1/4 cup sugar with chopped strawberries instead of blueberries and it came out great.

  • Your daughter is so cute!! I love bran muffins…always have. These look great πŸ™‚

  • Do you think whole wheat pastry flour could be subbed for all the flour? I think it would work. I’ll try it and let you know. These look wonderful, and the idea to drop the blueberries in is a really good one. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi Sue, Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than all purpose flour, so you will need to add a bit more milk to make up for the difference, otherwise the muffins will turn out really dry. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you! I think the whole wheat pastry flour is a tad lighter, and might work better than the whole wheat flour; if it doesn’t work, nobody to blame but me!

    • You might try an extra egg yolk. It provides liquid (good) and fat (not as good) that can keep the dough moister.

  • I have ALWAYS LOVED bran muffins. I remember eating them as a kid thinking, “These are muffins for old people.”
    These look wonderful!

  • These look great! I love bran muffins, especially with fresh fruit in them πŸ™‚

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