Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Mini Cinnamon Chips

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

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It was time to get back into the healthy swing, after whipping up requested decadent treats like Butterscotch Brownies and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Still on a pumpkin kick, I went digging through my Pinterest board to see what might strike my baking fancy. Sometimes I’m in the market for a great, unique recipe, and sometimes I just want something I can play with. This one fell into the “play with” category, and play with it I did, for the betterment of muffinkind.

The first change was to turn these from oat bran into wheat bran muffins; I find that wheat bran is just a little softer, and less grainy. Instead of all purpose flour, I used whole wheat white and wheat germ. I kept the half cup of brown sugar, the salt, and the baking powder, and doubled the pumpkin pie spice.

(I was also playing with the camera — this entire entry was shot on Aperture Priority to see what the difference would be. Jury’s still out. )

dry ingredients in a bowl

I whisked.

dry ingredients, whisked

Next up, the pumpkin. I poured the milk on top of it, opting for 1% instead of skim because that’s what we have around. I can’t get behind the skim milk thing, it makes my coffee too watery.

pouring milk

Instead of two egg whites, I used an egg. (“I’ll just have an egg,” as my grandmother used to say.)  Despite the anti-cholesterol hype, I don’t fear the yolks, especially since that’s where most of the vitamins and nutrients of the egg are to be found.

adding egg

I added oil, using my exquisite blood orange-infused olive oil instead of canola.  I’ve seen other recipes for pumpkin muffins that included orange zest, so I thought it was a worthwhile flavor gamble.

liquid ingredients

I stirred it all up, anxious to turn this icky mess into something more appealing, and added my new concoction to the dry ingredients

adding liquid to dry

liquid ingredients added

After mixing, I decided to spice things up with some mini cinnamon chips. I order these from the King Arthur Flour company and they often melt right into the batter in the most delightful way, adding just a bit of soft sweetness to every bite.

mini cinnamon chips being added

Once those were folded in, I scooped the batter into muffin cups with an ice cream scoop.

batter in tin

They took 22 minutes to bake, although I started checking at 15.  They smelled like autumn.

muffins on rack

muffins on rack

Rustic, perhaps. Delicious? Yes. The blood orange-infused olive oil gave a nice little edge to the warmth of the pumpkin, bran and spices, and the cinnamon chips melted right in, adding a little sweet surprise to counterbalance the bite of the blood orange.  Bon appetit, pumpkin eaters.


My version of Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Mini Cinnamon Chips (adapted from Food.com)


1 cup wheat bran
2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons blood orange infused olive oil (or canola oil, or regular olive oil)
1/4 cup mini cinnamon chips


Spray or line a 12-cup muffin tin. Heat the oven to 450, you will reduce the temperature later.

In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat bran, flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, egg, and oil, mixing well.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.  Fold in the mini cinnamon chips.

Scoop the batter into muffin cups. Reduce the oven temperature to 425, then bake for 18-25 minutes. Let sit in the pan for five minutes before moving to a wire rack.

pumpkin bran muffins

pumpkin bran muffins

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