These healthy breakfast bran muffins may sound pretty ordinary, but they’re packed with oats, apple, spices, dates or golden sultana raisins. So they’re not just moist but low in sugar too.

Healthy Breakfast Bran Muffins

Old Fashioned Bran Muffins

Looking for some cheery nostalgia in the bleak mid-winter mornings in winter, I brought out my Granny’s Black Book of Scottish recipes. I took it as a sign as the book opened directly at page 43, with Miss Adams’ recipe for Bran Muffins.

Only Granny would have known who Miss Adams was, as I can’t find any family members who had heard of her.  In any case, it was the perfect time to make these healthy bran muffins, as I’ve just discovered Hamlyn’s of Scotland’s new Oats and Bran.

It took me right back to the time my Mum used to make old fashioned bran muffins using All-Bran but when I checked the company’s website, the original recipe wasn’t to be found. However, who knew that my Granny had a recipe?

Breakfast bran muffins

Granny’s handwritten recipe for Bran Muffins and Hamlyn’s Porridge Oats & Bran

So bring on these deliciously moist bran muffins, adapted from Granny’s Black Recipe Book with added healthy oats, dates and apple – and using weights (grams/ounces) to volume (cups).

Healthy Breakfast Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins with Dates and Apple

Incidentally, if you’re curious why I always use weights rather than volume, see my post on why you need digital scales. If you still use cups, then I thoroughly recommend you read it now, as it will change the way you bake.  It’s not as important for making easy muffin recipes like this one, but boy – you just can’t make macarons, fancy cakes consistently well, or French patisserie without digital scales!

As you can see from Miss Adams’ recipe, granny suggested using dates. I love that squidgy concoction. She often mixed dates with apple in her recipes (see my recipe for sticky toffee pudding with apple). So I added the apple in these too for old times’ sake to be old fashioned, if you like. If you prefer without dates, replace with golden raisins or blueberries.

healthy breakfast oat date muffins

Moist Muffin Recipe Low on Sugar

The apple makes the bran muffins extra moist and with the raisins’ natural sweetness, there’s no need to add anything to them.

If you make the muffins the night before, just warm them slightly to serve for breakfast.

healthy breakfast bran muffins

Healthy breakfast bran muffins

Bran Muffins with Gingerbread Spice

To turn these moist bran muffins into festive treats, just add a teaspoon of gingerbread spice. Speaking of which, why not also try my French gingerbread recipe (pain d’épices)?


5 from 6 votes

Healthy Bran Muffins

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course : Snack, teatime, Breakfast
Cuisine : British, Scottish, American
Keyword : bran muffins with raisins, moist bran muffins, bran muffins healthy
Servings : 9 muffins
Calories : 153kcal


Easy recipe for moist bran muffins with oats, raisins and apple made healthy with low sugar.


  • 100 g (3.5oz/ ¾ cup) plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 50 g (1.75oz/½ cup) porridge oats with bran (Hamlyn's) or oats with 1 tbsp wheat bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt fleur de sel
  • 1 egg organic
  • 100 ml (3.5 fl oz / 0.4 cups) whole milk
  • 70 g (2.5oz / 1/3 cup) butter (unsalted) melted
  • 30 g (1oz/2 tbsp) soft dark brown sugar (Muscovado)
  • 100 g (3.5oz/½ cup) golden raisins or soft dates, chopped
  • 50 g (1.75oz) apple finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 tsp mixed/apple spice (optional)
  • 1 tbsp extra porridge oats for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan) Gas 6.
  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, oats with bran, baking powder and salt. Add the raisins and apple and coat in the flour.
  • In another smaller bowl, beat the egg with the milk, melted butter and sugar. Mix together then add to the dry flour ingredients, stirring well until the batter is smooth (this prevents lumps).
  • Spoon the mixture into paper cases inserted in muffin tins (or directly into buttered moulds or non-stick muffin moulds). Fill ¾ of the way up.
  • Sprinkle with a few porridge oats and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool completely for about 10 minutes before taking out of the tin.


Best served fresh on the day but for busy bakers, make the night before and store in an airtight container once cool.
Festive Version: Add gingerbread spice to make them into Gingerbread Apple Muffins!
Measures: Please note that all my recipes are best made using digital kitchen scales in precise metric grams. Both ounces (and cups) are given as an approximate guide. 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but was thrilled to receive Scottish Porridge Oats & Bran from Hamlyns of Scotland in return for this recipe in their ‘Oat Cuisine’ collection (I wish I’d thought of that one!)

From the market

From the kitchen

8 responses to “Bran Muffins”

  1. 5 stars
    Gosh, I do remember making these. I think I can smell them as well. Time to try again.

    • Well, Mum, I sincerely hope you do. I love these ones with the date and apple added.

  2. The oats have sold this recipe to me! And I’m now researching digital scales – you have convinced me I need them. Since the brand you use only seems to be readily available here from a certain intergalactic mail order supplier whom I have sworn to avoid if at all possible, I’m turning to good old John Lewis for my shortlist.
    On muffin recipes, my recipe book of choice up to now has been Susan Reimer’s ‘Muffins Fast and Fantastic’. As well as being a talented baker, Susan is a key figure in the Scotland-Malawi partnership which aims to increase food security in Malawi through teaching improved agriculture methods. I worked with her husband while I was at Edin Uni. You think academics talk about lofty things all the time? Not a bit of it – we discussed food, which is how I had Susan’s book recommended to me!

    • Thanks, Linda. I didn’t see your comment but hopefully by now you have the all important digital scales. After all the muffins from Susan’s book (sounds great!), you’ll be making the French teatime recipes too.

  3. 5 stars
    These look delicious!
    I’ve had trouble finding a good muffin recipe as I keep making the same old chocolate and blueberry ones and can’t seem to find many other variations online… These are perfect! On top of it, they’re healthy – thank you for uploading this! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I can almost smell these! They look like a soft and proper muffin, not one of those dry, cardboard-like concoctions! Lovely recipe and so nice to see the Hamlyn’s bag! My favorite oats!

    Nice recipe card, btw!

    • Thanks, Christina. You’re dead right: they’re moist and I tried a few attempts until it was just the right consistency. I hate a dry muffin, just like you! Thanks for your comment with stars – now we can see that they should be horizontal not vertical, lol!

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