Lightly sweetened, these vegan bran muffins are made extra flavourful with the addition of orange juice. Whole wheat flour, bran, and flax make them a filling grab-and-go breakfast. Bran muffins have a bit of a bad reputation and we know why - the grocery store ones are awful. Homemade, blueberry-packed, vegan bran muffins, on the other hand, are moist, chock full of fibre, and rich with flavour.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Blueberries: we've added frozen blueberries to the muffins pictured, but you can any number of fresh, frozen, or dried fruits. Try raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates.
- Light oil: this means anything from canola oil, avocado oil, or a light-tasting olive oil. You can probably do a melted coconut oil or vegan butter for this recipe but we haven't tried that and they might be dense after cooling.
- Whole wheat flour: feel free to sub in whole grain spelt flour for the whole wheat, and use spelt bran if you'd like. All-purpose will work too but take away some of the graininess and healthier aspects of these muffins.
- Spices: to make these a bit spicier, add a touch (maybe ¼ tsp) of nutmeg to the dry mix. You can also try adding 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon, too.
Step 1: mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Step 2: add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.
Step 3: scoop the batter into lined muffin cups.
Step 4: bake until lightly golden, 25-30 minutes.
- Use other add-ins: the weights are listed in the notes below the recipe if you'd like to use dried fruits in place of blueberries – it stays at ⅔ cup no matter which you're using, just the metric number changes. You could add some seeds or chopped nuts, too.
- Sweeten to taste: since these aren't particularly sweet, you can replace 1-2 tablespoons of the orange juice with maple syrup if you like a sweeter muffin. Or, try topping them off with a bit of coarse sugar before baking for a crunchy sweet topping.
- Don't over-mix: even bran muffins should be tender! Don't mix the dry ingredients for too long, or you'll get tough little honey pucks.
How to Store
Storage: keep the muffins in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.
Freezing: transfer fully cooled muffins to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
Bran is the hard outer layer present on grains – it's what gets sifted out of white flour to make it softer. Along with the germ, the part that sprouts, bran is part of what makes grains 'whole grain'. (Try our sprouted sourdough bread if you love sprouted grains!)
In flour mills, bran's often considered a byproduct and discarded, but you can get it on its own too. It can usually be found in the flour or cereal aisle of grocery stores and is often sold in bulk food shops. All whole grain flours contain bran!
It's high in fibre, iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium, so it's a good thing to have around. Some people add bran to their porridge or cereal but we prefer it in muffin form.
What Makes a Bran Muffin?
Typically it's a healthier kind of breakfast muffin that includes both bran and whole grain flour (as seen here) along with some fruit and spices. Sometimes you'll find molasses in the ingredient list, too.
It's an old recipe; the earliest recipe for bran muffins comes from a cookbook dating from 1857! These vegan bran muffins make a really great speedy breakfast or snack, and are nice to pack in a child's lunchbox. Try serving them with jam or (vegan) butter for a little something extra.
Are bran muffins actually healthy?
Depends on if you buy it or make it yourself, like a lot of things! Homemade bran muffins usually have less sugar and fat, and are high in fibre and nutrients from whole grains.
Is bran a Superfood?
We consider most 'whole foods' to be superfoods, bran included! It's naturally high in a whole host of nutrients along with protein and fibre, and all around good for your body.
What are bran muffins rich in?
Comparatively high in fibre, protein, vitamins, magnesium, and more, homemade egg-free bran muffins are rich in a whole host of nutrients.
If you make this Vegan Bran Muffin recipe or any other muffin recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Vegan Bran Muffins
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Muffin tin
- muffin cups
- Mixing bowl
- Wire rack
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup wheat bran
- ¾ cup light brown sugar lightly packed, if using cups
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Zest of an orange
- 1 ⅓ cup orange juice about 1 orange, juice the orange after zesting
- ⅔ cup light oil canola, avocado, light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup frozen blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, wheat bran, brown sugar, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the orange zest, orange juice, oil, and vanilla to the bowl and mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
- Add frozen blueberries to the muffin batter and gently fold them in until evenly incorporated.
- Scoop the batter into the 5 muffin cups as evenly as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top of a muffin springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool the muffins for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling fully on a wire rack. They'll last a few days in an airtight container at room temperature and freeze well.