Five-Week Bran Muffins

Imagine padding into the kitchen some sleepy morning. You turn on the oven, let the dog out, make the coffee, scoop some batter into muffin tins. Twenty minutes later? Hot muffins! It must've been a dream, right? No ma'am, it's a make-ahead muffin recipe that's kept in the fridge, ready to make small batches of muffins any time later. Tis a busy cook's morning miracle!

Five-Week Bran Muffins | moist, healthy bran muffins to mix now, ready to bake any time later | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4 | Kitchen Parade

"I make this recipe with dried cranberries . . . it is delightful!" ~ Penny

Recipes that can be prepared in advance get my special attention. For two decades now, I have pulled out this muffin recipe whenever there’s a crowd at the house. It’s easy to transport to someone else’s place too!

During the next couple of weeks, many homes will fill with family and friends visiting for the holidays. With this make-ahead-and-bake-later recipe, treat family and guests to hot muffins every morning with all the pleasure and little the effort.

Add a big pot of coffee, butter and a selection of jams and you’ll find yourselves lingering over the morning table day after day. Still in your pajamas at noon? It happens!

And because the batter is in the fridge waiting to be baked, at the last minute, you can invite friends in for hot coffee and muffins before heading out into the cold.

This recipe is so flexible: it works for a crowd, yes, but also for a small household, a few muffins at a time. For big crowds, double or triple the batter. To bake a small batch (just two or three muffins, say), fill the inside muffin cups to equalize heat distribution.

ALANNA's TIPS In 2007, I had trouble finding the Post 100% Bran cereal even though the Post website says it's still being sold. So I used 3 cups of Kellogg's All-Bran and the muffins turned out just fine! I also used golden raisins; the taste was perfect but I missed the color contrast.


Mix now, bake later any time
Mixing time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Makes 21 medium muffins
  • 1 cup Post-brand 100% Bran cereal
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 312g
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups Kellogg's All-Bran cereal
  • 3/4 cups raisins or currants

In a small mixing bowl, soak 100% Bran in boiling water until liquid is absorbed and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add buttermilk and 100% Bran mixture and stir lightly. Add dry ingredients and stir lightly. Fold in raisins and All-Bran.

Cover and refrigerate up to five weeks.

When ready to bake, do not stir the batter! Just spoon out 2 heaping tablespoons (about 1/3 cup) of batter per muffin into a well-greased muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes at 400F/200C.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per muffin: 166 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 26g Carb; 4g Fiber; 268mg Sodium; 24mg Cholesterol; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4
Originally published in print in 2002, published online for the first time in 2007.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi! These look good. My grandma used to make a similar "refrigerator bran" muffin but we lost the recipe so I'm so glad you posted this! Do you know if it matters if you substitute butter for shortening? Libby

  2. Thanks, Libby! I've been making them so long, I have no idea where the recipe originated so who knows, maybe your grandma and I got the recipe from the same place?!

    As for the butter question, I asked that myself when I made them this week. I elected to go with the shortening (which isn't hydrogenated anymore so there's no longer the transfat issue) since Crisco, we know, is shelf stable and I am indeed not planning to bake any more muffins until Christmas, still 2+ weeks away. I really don't know if there would be a difference in the muffins, especially from a food safety point of view. And since I don't know, it's not something I feel comfortable recommending. (If others have a sense on this issue, I'd love to know your thoughts.)

    If I were baking the muffins right away, I wouldn't hesitate to use butter, however.

  3. Buttermilk will stay good for 5 weeks? That's a pretty impressive time scale for batter to hold up.

    If you're looking to replace the shortening with something a little healthier, you could try applesauce/mashed bananas. I actually just posted Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter & Peach Bran Muffins that uses no shortening or butter. I used applesauce, peach puree and peanut butter to make up for unhealthy fats.

    - The Peanut Butter Boy

  4. Anonymous5/21/2008

    Thank you for your five week bran muffin recipe . . . and also your note about the Post Bran cereal and using all All Bran . . .

    Just wanted to let you know that I make this recipe with dried cranberries (I don't personally care for raisins) . . . it is delightful!

  5. kirsten9/20/2011

    I love refrigerator bran muffins! Just finished off a batch for the kid's breakfast this morning!
    I don't use cereals, though. It always seemed silly to me to pay for the bran to be transmogrified into a cereal shape only to dissolve into . . . . well, braniness in the liquids. So now I buy a box of Hodgson Mill Wheat Bran and follow the recipe on the box.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna