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I promise I’m gonna show you how to make these delicious, old fashioned, easily customizable, from scratch bran muffins in this post, but I gotta drive around the bend a bit first…
Have you ever eaten at a Picadilly restaurant? My great grandmother used to consider that one of the greatest dining treats! I have to admit, I’d much rather go to a cafeteria for lunch than an “upscale” restaurant. My tastebuds get far more excited about boiled cabbage and carved beef than a glass of wine and a …well whatever those places serve with wine.
Growing up, I’m sure there were nicer restaurants in Huntsville, but they didn’t exist in my little world. Every now and then on Sundays my grandparents would pick up Kentucky Fried chicken to go with our dinner and they’d take us out to eat at Piccadilly on very special occasions. On birthdays we’d get to go to Mullin’s Drive In, where I still find myself gravitating a few times a year for a small hamburger and an order of broasted potatoes.
Nowadays my favorite local haunt is The Blue Plate Cafe, a meat and three that is only open for breakfast and lunch. If you ever go there, ask for Selvenia, she’s a waitress who dishes up hugs along with sides of peach cobbler, and look up Jerry Sparks and tell him I sent ya – maybe he’ll send me an extra helping of tomato and cucumber salad next time I’m in! Speaking of Blue Plate, what a thrill for me to be featured in the latest issue of Alabama Magazine – which also lists Blue Plate as one of the “must try” restaurants in Huntsville! There is a big feature on me and my family (I love the photos) and another feature on my hometown and all there is to do here in the latest issue of Alabama Magazine. So if you live near the heart of Dixie, be sure and pick up a copy.
Now where was I before I went off in the ditch? Picadilly, yes! My favorite part about eating at Picadilly is that you can usually get a bran muffin as the bread to go with your meal – and I dearly love bran muffins.
With that in mind, I’m bringing you my incredibly versatile bran muffin recipe. These can be made plain, or you can add in your favorites mix-ins. They can be made only slightly sweet for a dinner bread or muffin-sweet for a breakfast muffin or dessert.
This is just a good basic bran muffin recipe so feel free to make them exactly as I am in this tutorial or run for the hills with it!
See? If you stick with me long enough eventually you will be rewarded by me getting to my point! ~grins~
OH! If you’re looking for the recipe using Raisin Bran cereal, just click here to visit that post. I actually like these I’m about to show a little better though!
You’ll need: Wheat Bran, Vegetable Oil (or melted butter), Self Rising Flour*, Buttermilk, Vanilla, Egg, Brown Sugar, and Dried Cranberries and Walnuts – but you can use different add ins if you prefer them to the cranberries and walnuts.
*If you don’t have self rising flour, see my FAQ page on how to make your own
If you want to make your own buttermilk, here is an easy way. For each cup of milk, add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and allow to sit for five minutes before using.
Finding Wheat Bran – Wheat Bran is the hard thing to find here. If you have a health food grocery store near you, they should have it. I seldom go to those though because they are just so stinking expensive. I understand that it’s worth it and all that…but understanding that doesn’t soften the blow to my wallet or make money magically appear. My Krogers has an organic foods section and I can usually find it there, but I always have to look pretty good in order to find it.
Place your wheat bran and buttermilk in a bowl.
Stir well. It will look kind of like sawdust paste 🙂
Add in egg, oil (or melted butter), brown sugar, and vanilla and stir well once more.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Note: I’m using chopped walnuts and dried cranberries but you can use whatever you like.
Get started customizing by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of any of the following or a combination of the following:
- chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, etc)
- Dried Cranberries, raisins, dried blueberries, chopped dried peaches, chopped dried apples, etc
- finely chopped fresh apple
- fresh grated carrots
- Seriously, pretty much anything you’ve got a hankering for!
Stir until it’s well combined.
You’re not supposed to eat it at this point because it has raw eggs in it. I would never do such a harrowing thing as tasting raw batter. No sirreee…not me.
~licks the spoon~
Oh, by the way this is a Pyrex bowl in a pattern called “New Dot”.
Spoon out into 12 muffin cups.
You can either line them with muffin papers or just spray your muffin tin with cooking spray.
I have done both but I usually put these in muffin papers because I like to freeze them and it just makes it a little easier.
I have a “stunt muffin pan” that I usually use for photos but it was way back in the cabinet and this one hopped out first so I guess it was feeling neglected. I had Mama look over this post before I sent it out and she called to say “The post looks good, but I can’t believe you used that ugly old muffin pan…” I’m just keeping it real. Oh the tangent I could go off on about folks talking ugly and hiding behind the phrase “keeping it real”….but I’ll spare you that one today.:)
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.
Allow to cool for a few minutes in muffin pan and then remove to cool completely on a towel lined counter or platter. Can serve warm, of course!
To freeze: Cool completely. Place in zipper seal gallon sized bags and freeze. Thaw by wrapping in paper towel and heating in the microwave until heated through, about 45 seconds or so.
What do you like in your bran muffins?
- 1+1/2 cups wheat bran*
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- ½ cup vegetable oil (or ½ cup butter, melted and cooled)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup self rising flour
- ¾ brown sugar (Dark or light, your preference. Use 1 cup if you prefer them sweeter)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped nuts - I'm using walnuts.
- In large mixing bowl, stir together bran and buttermilk.
- Add in egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
- Add in flour, cranberries, and nuts and any other add ins you want. Stir well until completely moist.
- Bake at 375 for twenty minutes, or until golden.
I’m giving away a complete Dollywood Vacation including tickets to the park, tickets to the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show, Tickets to Splash Country, AND A Cabin! Click here for details. Contest closes Tuesday, May 15th at midnight!
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse
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I can remember the muffin/cupcake tins that we had when I was growing up. They all looked well used which also means well loved. Those pristine pans in the dolled up food photos say FIRST TIME and NEVER REALLY USED! 😉 If I have a hard to find item that I’d like to have in my pantry, I first try out my local grocery–they do have a Red Mill section–and then I try Amazon for comparison. If I just want a little bit, I’ll buy the small Red Mill package. If I anticipate that I’ll use a lot of the product, Amazon is a great place to find larger packages.
I love Bran Muffins, Christy, thank you for a different twist to how I’ve made them in the past:)
I love Piccadilly! I really think they have the best vegetables in Huntsville. Their stuffed peppers are THE best I’ve ever had!
Love Blue Plate, too – especially their tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. I would love to know how they make theirs.
Can you tell I love to eat???
Hey Erika! The Tomato, onion, and cucumber stuff at blue plate is an old recipe, I call it Fire and Ice Salad and my recipe is here! https://www.southernplate.com/2009/06/fire-and-ice-salad-and-southern-plate-cookbooks.html
I kinda love to eat, too! lol
Thanks for the recipe link!
I love bran muffins. I buy the wheat bran at Fresh Market and freeze so that I have it on hand. Our local stores don’t always carry it.
I would love for someone to calculate the calories for me.
I recommend myfitnesspal.com. They have free calorie calculators and it’s really easy to use. They also have a free app.
LOL, love the muffin tin, mine are actually in much worse shape, but that only means that so much love has been made in them.
Oh and my Big Lots has had the red mill products a lot recently and they freeze well.
Awesome!!!!!! Nothing better than finding what you need at a great price! lol
I love this recipe, however I prefer to use the mini muffin pans, for some reason I think that they are sweeter tasting in the small version. Yes I know it is in my head but I like it that way.
I have a lot of things like that in my head, too, but they help me get through the day!
When I looked at the picture with the muffin tin, I thought “That is a well used muffing tin. Looks like mine”. Looks good, I will have to try this.
Thanks for the post.
HA! I love you Susan! That’s what I told Mama “Everyone has a muffin tin that looks like that, Mama.” lol.
Thank you Susan!
Christy, you are just so stinkin cute. I love your sense of humor and down home way of writing. I grew up much the same way as you and have fond memories from cooking with mama in the kitchen. Cooking just ain’t fun if you have to fuss over it too much. I’m always a little intimidated by those folks whose kitchen is spotless and every pan looks like it came right from the store. Bless your heart and keep up on sharing your divine dishes and your sweet inspiration.
My mom made bran muffins all the time. Reading this post made me think about mom this morning. I should get ingredients to make them. She used allbran cereal and raisins. Thanks for the memory this morning.