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.

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Thou hast sent my taste buds to heaven :DRecommend

  • Sane

    This does not suit for population in a country, where half of the population starves and majority of others are unable to fill their stomach even two times. Write some recipe for people of Thar and rural areas of Balochistan, KPK, Sindh and Punjab. Even lower middle class of Urban areas never ever seen a muffin in their whole life.Recommend

  • Talha

    Why do you people only know one thing and one thing only i.e. Criticize!!

    As your name suggests you should have ample of sanity but i beg to differ as you lack the basics…now let me criticize you too!! do you own a computer, ooh well i am talking just like you..course you do, you have read and commented on a blog right? probably u have a smart phone too right? do u eat out, go to branded food outlets to fed your belly??? do you own a car or a bike or a ricki?? do you wear trousers and shirts??? do u have a watch on your hand at the moment?? so can i just stop now or should i just go on and on and on!! If you are really sane u might have sensed what i am trying to say here…but i ll just tell to to save your precious mili micro seconds of brain processing here…every country in this round circular shape we call world/ earth/ home have people of different lifestyles, so is the case here like you can not eat donkey meat burgers sold in China because its not that you can not afford it, its because you are not in tune with it. People of Thar and other places have problems no doubt about that, but please save your speech for another editorial where its actually required or if 80% of the questions i have asked you are yes then please try to make a small change by selling your stuff, going there, living there and helping them. In the meanwhile, let us enjoy the muffin!!! Peace!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Brilliant stuff……….all I know is that anything like this made at home comes out ‘ hot and fresh ‘ …….and nothing tastes as good.Recommend

  • The real chef!

    Flawed cooking by a self-proclaimed chef! Did you even try the proportions of the batter yourself? The ratio of flour to butter is a total disaster!
    And by the way, in a country where over half of the populace is starving in the sweltering heat, here comes Farah with an apparently refined recipe that costs over Rs.2000 for one-time serving.

    Kudos to ET for marginalizing such a large part of Pakistan by endorsing such blogs!Recommend

  • Farah

    Thanks Taha for talking some sense to the apparently ‘sane’ one.Recommend

  • Farah

    and if you are a real chef not self proclaimed like me, you should know the food costing , and if you know the prices of Pakistani grocery you would know this recipe does not even cost Rs.500/= for baking 10-12 of these muffins.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Wheat bran – 
everybody has this lying around the house
    White flour – ditto
    Buttermilk – costs 35 rupees for this recipe
    Vegetable oil – costs 20 rupees
    Brown sugar – costs AT MAX RATE 25 rupees
    Egg – costs 10 rupees
    Molasses – now how does one put a price on a tablespoon of molasses? meh .Just borrow it from the neighbor aunty who borrowed that yeast from you last week. (she still has your cup)
    Baking powder – 5 rupees? cuz i dont think any shopkeeper will sell anything below Rs:5 these days
    Baking soda – same as above
    Salt – lying around the house
    Fillings of your choice – w/e u want
    SO UNLESS YOU ARE PUTTING BELUGA CAVIAR in your muffins. the cost is no where near the 2000 mark. and they taste very good, i had them made at home. Just cuz you burnt them or didnt cook them right does not mean that the recipe is flawed.Recommend

  • Sarah

    Dear “sane”, please be a little sane! How about you quit using your cell phone and laptop etc because half of the world or let’s just talk about Pakistan is suffering from poverty! Or how about getting off from your comfortable bed and live with them? Or how about becoming the type who actually doesn’t criticize but actually goes out and do “their” part.Recommend

  • GourmetGirl

    Guess what? I tried these muffins and they turned out amazing. I dont know about the proportions and all but I must tell those who have criticised that this is one must-try recipe guys. Ramzaan’s on the corner and I feel these can make an amazing Sehri item, have fun cooking!Recommend

  • GlobalNomad

    Hi, thanks for costing this recipe truly appreciate that, I bought a
    big 400ml of mollasses costing me Rs.350/= and if you are baking it
    goes like for more then a year. and anyway Mollasses is simply liquid
    unrefined gurr, and can be purchased for like 80some rupee for Kg from
    old traditional grocery store.Recommend

  • GlobalNomad

    Much a do about ‘muffin’!! are people really ‘sane’ around in this society, what is that big a deal for a simple Muffin recipe, be it by a
    ‘real chef’ or a ‘self proclaimed’ one, although non can be proved from any
    of the posts here or the recipe or the introduction of the author. A recipe is a recipe people just
    enjoying using it, if works for you!! Why bring the entire Millenium
    Development Goal, The Developing World issues and the complete bakers
    percentage of ingredients, this is no culinary arts school. Some might
    be in a hate relationship with the author here, who knows but the haters
    can find other more solid grounds to take it all off rather then poor,
    sweet, utterly buttery (though there is no butter in the recipe) jam filled muffin. OMG I am hungry.Recommend

  • Insane

    Sane I have an idea, why dont you go on a movement and close down or
    burn all bakeries in the country since they should not be baking
    anything. Move to Thar (with your family) live their and instead of
    criticizing on these recipes or their writers intentions bake some
    muffins or even plain rootis for Thar people. Then post a photoblog here with all your good work. You would be a Hero really!!!Recommend

  • Sane

    Before you criticize. First tell about you, which type you belong? Criticizing or doing your part.Recommend

  • Bugged

    Sane by now reading all these post, you ought to recheck your own sanity. It is you who begin critizising a muffin. Great choice btw. Everyone else is only responding to you. Recommend

  • DietConcious

    in what world are jam filled muffins healthy?Recommend

  • BakerShaker

    Jams were only an option, leave it out. Recommend