Zella Lane's 2-Week Bran Muffins

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Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 18 standard muffins, or 45 mini muffins

Recipe photo

Some of you may remember hearing the voice of Betty Crocker over the radio a number of years ago. In real life, the radio Betty was Zella Lane, who gave us this recipe — "a whale-of-a-big-one which will keep for six weeks in the refrigerator." Interestingly, Zella regularly baked with King Arthur Flour. Sorry, Betty...

While we haven't let this batter sit for 6 weeks (it never lasts that long), we've left it for 2 weeks in the fridge, and it's been just fine. The recipe as written makes about 18 muffins; it doubles easily.

Put this together the night before baking, so the bran can soften and the batter thicken.

Zella Lane's 2-Week Bran Muffins

star rating (32) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 18 standard muffins, or 45 mini muffins
Published: 04/22/2010


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup bran cereal (buds or twigs); or 1 3/4 cups bran flakes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cup raisins or currants
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups bran cereal (buds or twigs); or 3 1/2 cups bran flakes


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1) In a small mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the 1 cup of cereal. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.

2) While the water/cereal mixture cools, blend together the flour, soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the raisins or currants. Set it aside.

3) Stir the vegetable oil into the cooled water/cereal mixture. Set it aside.

4) Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and sugar. Combine this with the flour/raisin mixture.

5) Stir in the dry cereal.

6) Finally, add the water/bran/oil mixture, stirring till thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

7) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan, or line with paper cups, and grease the cups. Use as many wells as you like; since this recipe can live in the fridge for a couple of weeks, there's no need to bake 12 muffins all at once.

8) Heap the thick batter in the muffin cups; a generous 1/4 cup batter (about 3 1/2 ounces, or 100g) is a good amount to use.

9) Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, till a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

10) Remove from the oven, and tip the muffins in the pan to prevent their bottoms steaming and becoming soggy. Serve warm; or transfer to a rack to cool completely.

11) To bake mini muffins, heap the batter in the muffin cups, and bake for about 15 minutes, till the muffins test done.

Yield: 18 standard muffins, or 45 mini muffins.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 muffin (104g) Servings Per Batch: 18 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260 Calories from Fat: 70 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 410mg Total Carbohydrate: 45g Dietary Fiber: 3g Sugars: 23g Protein: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/20/2015
  • June from Superior, WI
  • Love these, I add the zest of an orange and use just 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • star rating 07/20/2014
  • Kristen from Vancouver, WA
  • My 9 & 10 year old kids enjoy these. I grind a cup of nuts and use dried currants in the mix. I also add a pinch of allspice. They smell wonderful coming out of the oven. They make a fantastic kids' snack with a glass of cold milk.
  • star rating 02/16/2014
  • NPR from
  • The taste is amazing but feel the muffins were a tad heavy for me. I am going to try and make the minis tmrw am and see if a smaller muffin is better. I will say that the process is a bit much, but now that they are finished and in frig I am excited to just pour and bake. I added walnuts and mini choc chip in a few of the muffins as a test and they turned out good.
  • star rating 11/28/2013
  • Ava from Canada
  • Delicious. Really yummy, not like other heavier bran muffins at all
  • star rating 03/24/2013
  • Catherine from Northern Indiana
  • Made the batter last night, half with no raisins, half with craisins. I soaked the craisins with the half of the twigs and boiling water (added a touch of water to compensate for what would be soaked up by the craisins). Baked 12 mini muffins each this morning, and they are wonderful! Texture is perfect (great light crumb and right amount of moisture) and the flavor is delightful - no butter or spreads necessary for these. They remind me of the bran muffins my mom made years ago. If they are even better after a stay in the fridge for a few days, I can't wait to try them then!
  • star rating 04/07/2011
  • Jodi from Kingston, JAMAICA
  • I used the twig bran cereal to make my muffins and made the first batch (6 muffins) as directed, the day after. They were not baked in 20 minutes so i baked them for the full 25. I like lots of raisins do I used the full 1 1/2 cups. The following week, I decided to add 1 teaspoon mixed spice to the recipe and bake them for 23 minutes. Yum! They improved in texture and taste, and I think that the extra time the batter sat and got happy in the fridge also helped to make the second batch way more delicious than the first. Great breakfast! Didn't even remember I was eating fiber.
  • star rating 01/09/2011
  • wingboy from KAF Community
  • I found this recipe to be too salty and too sweet. I prefer the recipe in the Whole Grains cookbook.
  • star rating 07/15/2010
  • Kate from Charlottesville, VA
  • Fabulous recipe. I got a larger yield, I made the full recipe and have made 22 muffins so far and still have some batter left. I use a Nordic Ware Sweetheart Rose muffin pan so I do not fill the cups all the way since I don't want them to dome. I ran a recipe analysis assuming a 28 muffin yield and got 165 calories, 4.8 grams of fat per muffin. I used golden raisins and pulsed them a few times in the food processor before I added them to the batter. Next time I will try the recipe with whole wheat pastry flour, or maybe half white flour, half whole wheat.
  • star rating 07/01/2010
  • Susan from Warner Robins, Georgia
  • This recipe is awesome. It was easy to prepare and the muffins baked up beautifully. I used an ice-cream scoop to measure out the portions for baking and used raisins as directed. I am planning on trying dried cranberries or dried cherries in place of the raisins. The recipe indicated that it will make 18 muffins, but I was able to get 21. This is an instant favorite and it is hard to stop at eating just one!
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