Pumpkin Bran Muffins (with optional 2-ingredient frosting)

In Breads & Muffins, Breakfast Foods, Grains & Legumes, Healthy Options, Snacks
by Ann on 03/12


Bran muffins are a seemingly wholesome way to start the day, yet so many bran muffins rely on sugar and oil to create moisture and flavor…  Enter pumpkin!

These satisfying muffins offer the health benefits of bran and pumpkin with ingredients that are easily kept on hand. As an added benefit, the recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin, and the batter may be mixed the night before and baked in the morning.

In my house, there are always boxes of the kids’ favorite cereals available for a quick meal. Proof of a successful breakfast recipe occurs when the kids choose it over their go-to cereal. I’ve made countless batches of these muffins, and they’re the winner every time.  (I’m happy to say they’ve become a reader favorite, too!)  Use the optional two ingredient frosting for a tangy-sweet treat on these or other muffins and quick breads.

For a gluten- and dairy-free option that tastes nearly identical, click here.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

When using melted coconut oil or butter, it is helpful to bring the ingredients to room temperature prior to mixing. This will prevent the oil or butter from solidifying again.

  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup bran cereal (like Fiber One or All Bran)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: Shredded coconut and/or coarse sugar for sprinkling; Speedy Cream Cheese Frosting (see notes for easy recipe)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, bran cereal, raisins, butter or melted coconut oil, and sugars. Stir in the eggs and the buttermilk.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir to just combine.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin and scoop the batter into the pan. I like to use a large ice cream scoop. Cups will be rather full but they will not overflow.
  6. Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar, if desired, then bake for 23-28 minutes or until the muffins pass the toothpick test.
  7. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then remove to rack to cool completely.
  8. Store leftovers in refrigerator and rewarm gently in microwave, if desired.


My latest favorite addition to these muffins is coconut, which complements the flavor of pumpkin beautifully. If you are a fan, consider stirring up to half a cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened according to preference) into the batter and sprinkling a small amount on the muffin tops prior to baking.

For a slightly decadent topping option, stir approximately 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup into a quarter cup of cream cheese (the mixture will be creamier if the cream cheese is softened first; if not, just keep stirring until smooth). Use as a speedy cream cheese frosting for the muffins. Feel free to adjust the amount of maple syrup up or down to your liking and double the recipe if you’d like to frost all the muffins.


Pumpkin "Bran" Muffins

The photo above shows the gluten-and dairy-free adaptation for this muffin.  A few easy changes create a muffin that tastes almost identical.

….And some old photos.  The photo at the very top of the page was featured in the November 2014 issue of Susquehanna Style.