Ditch the bakery stuff and make your own healthy jam filled bran muffins

Published: June 22, 2014

Baked goods are laden with sugar and fat but when baked at home, it gives us the liberty to control the ingredients and portion sizes. PHOTO: FARAH S KAMAL

Even though baked goods are notorious for being laden with sugars and fats, we crave them and indulge in them quite often. Our children love them and thoroughly enjoy them too. However, when these treats are baked at home, it gives us the liberty to control the ingredients and portion sizes.

And what can be healthier than wheat bran? It is an excellent source of dietary fibre that aids in preventing colon diseases, including stomach cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, haemorrhoids and hiatal hernia. It is also used for treating constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type-two Diabetes.

So, today I’m going to tell you how to make delicious bran muffins with a filling of your choice. Moist with a hint of sweetness; the molasses gives these muffins a great rich flavour. Some of these are filled with jams and fruit preserves, fresh chopped cherries or peaches while I left some plain.

Bake them at home to provide a fibre rich breakfast or an on-the-go snack for your family.

Photo: Farah S Kamal

Ingredients: (makes 12-14 regular sized muffins and 24-30 small muffins)

Wheat bran – 
1¼ cups (55 grams – can go as much as 100 grams)

White flour – 1 cup (150 grams)

Buttermilk – 1 cup (225 ml – add equal amounts of yogurt and milk. Mix well and leave for 10 minutes)

Vegetable oil – ½ cup (177 ml)

Brown sugar – ¾ cup (100 grams)

Egg – 1

Molasses – 1 tbsp

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Baking soda – 1 tsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Fillings of your choice – ½ tsp per muffin


1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Grease a 12-cup muffin tray or line with paper muffin liners.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the wheat bran and buttermilk. Set aside to soak for about 10 minutes until thickened.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg and molasses.

4. Stir in the bran mixture.

5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

6. Add in the batter until just moistened. Don’t try to make a smooth paste.

7. Spoon batter into muffin cups, but fill in only half of the tin; Spoon in ½ teaspoon of the filling of your choice and then top with some more batter. Each tin should only be ¾ filled.

8. Leave one of the tins empty and fill it halfway with water for even baking.

9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated oven. Insert tooth pick in the centre to check if they’re cooked well. If tooth pick comes out clean, take the muffin tray out of the oven.

Different variations can be made to the filling. You can add a mashed banana, any fruit jam, fresh chopped apple, cherries, peaches or even raisins. Also, increasing the amount of fibre will not affect the taste of the muffins; I went as high as 150 grams.

Not only are these a delicious snack, they are super healthy – so this time around, when you’re indulging in a moist muffin, you don’t need to feel guilty!

This blog originally appeared here.


Farah S Kamal

Farah S Kamal

An education and development consultant, who is currently leading the iEARN programs in Pakistan. Photography is her hobby and passion and she tweets @fskamal (twitter.com/fskamal)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.