Spiced Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Bran Muffins

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I’m always on the lookout for more healthy muffin recipes, since that’s what I have for breakfast every day. Well now I have a new one to add to the collection.

We went apple picking today, and you’d think I’d be baking something with apples, but I don’t actually LIKE baked apples, or apple pie, or apple crumble, so I stuck with pumpkin. (I did pick up some apple butter and apple cider, look for something good to come from those over the next few days.)

Juliet was getting a little stir crazy this afternoon, so I suggested we bake together. She wouldn’t go near the pumpkin, though, and I thought it best to keep her away from the wheat bran, which is even more susceptible to poofing out all over the place than flour is.

pumpkin and wheat bran

She wouldn’t even touch the pumpkin but she did pour the bran into the bowl. She didn’t seem that excited about it, though.

Juliet with wheat bran

Then I needed three egg whites. I did each one separately so she’d get to pour each of them into the bowl, one at a time.

Juliet with egg white

When it came time to measure out the molasses, Juliet had already moved on to a Phineas and Ferb episode, so I was on my own. I ran out of molasses well before reaching 1/3 of a cup.  I was going to supplement with honey, maybe even cinnamon honey, so I went exploring in our pantry. I had completely forgotten that I’d picked up this gem on our trip to Pennsylvania back in June. Score!

supreme baking molasses

Saved by the molasses! I poured that in, then added yogurt (as a suggested substitute for buttermilk) and brown sugar.

wet ingredients

I stirred until smooth.

stirred until smooth

Then I lured Juliet back into my baking web by offering her the flour.

Juliet measuring flour

I added the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (heaping teaspoon), ginger (just over a teaspoon), and some improvised pumpkin pie spice (just under a teaspoon), and then let Juliet whisk.


Together, we added the dry ingredients to the first bowl.

adding dry to bowl

Juliet stirred for a bit.

Juliet stirring

After that, I took over, so I could stir thoroughly without overmixing. I doled out the batter into muffin cups, then added 5 cinnamon chips to the top of each one.

batter in muffin cups

I had quite a bit of batter left, so I poured it into a mini loaf pan. I know, a pumpkin wheat bran mini loaf is something of a hard sell. I added some cinnamon chips to the batter to make it more enticing.

mini loaf

Yeah…some spilled. It always does.

The muffins were done in just under 20 minutes.

muffins done

muffins on rack

The mini loaf took another 8 minutes or so.

mini loaf

I let everything cool, and a little while after dinner, I taste-tested one of the muffins. It’s good! It’s not desserty, but that’s okay; it’s a tasty breakfast muffin with some good nutrition and a lot of sweetness and spice.  Nice.

(And I can now report that they taste even better the next day! Sweet and pumpkiny.)


My version of Spiced Pumpkin Bran Muffins (adapted from Chef In You)


1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup wheat bran
3 large egg whites
3/4 low fat vanilla yogurt (plain yogurt or low fat buttermilk work too)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1 slightly heaping tsp ground ginger
1 tsp (slightly less) pumpkin pie spice
cinnamon chips, if you have them — I used 5 on each muffin


Heat the oven to 425 F. (You will lower the temperature when the muffins go in.) Prepare a muffin tin by spraying, greasing, or lining with paper muffin cups. I had extra batter, so I also sprayed a (single) mini loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the puree along with bran, egg whites, yogurt, molasses and the sugar. Stir until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk.

Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the wet, very gently mixing it. Don’t over beat the mixture.

Fill the cups of muffin tins two thirds full. If you have leftover batter, make more muffins or try a mini loaf. Top each one with five cinnamon chips, or use more and fold them in if you prefer.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400, and bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

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