Want to go directly to the muffin recipe? click here to skip to the recipe for these date bran muffins!
I know that you are probably thinking “Bran muffins? Been there. Done that. Why bother?”, and I guess I see your point, but I want to blog about bran muffins. So here we are. I think date bran muffins are my favourite muffin. Am I allowed to say that? Everybody goes wild over blueberry muffins, or chocolate chip. I love all those other muffins too, but I really think date bran muffins are my favourite. I dream of waking up to a basket of date bran muffins, still a little warm from the oven, served with lots of butter. Date bran muffins are breakfast heaven in my opinion.
My mom was (and still is) the type of mom who would make us bran muffins as a snack. Sure, she made other kinds of muffins too, but the bran muffins were different. See, my little brother likes his bran muffins with raisins. Yuck. Raisins have no place in my bran muffins. I love dates in my bran muffins, and I don’t think I ever want to deviate or be forced into eating a bran muffin with some “other” dried fruit. So on days when my mom made us bran muffins, rather than favour one child over another and to avoid having to force one child to eat a bran muffin made with something they didn’t like (raisins? yuck!), she made a batch of bran muffins with raisins, and a batch of muffins with dates. Clearly, we were very lucky because we each got the bran muffin we wanted.
This is not the recipe my mom used to make because she used to follow “the recipe on the box of the All-Bran cereal.” Unfortunately, the box of All-Bran I picked up came without a recipe. So I googled a bunch of recipes and put together this version. It’s not too sweet and obviously, made with Medjool dates, not raisins (raisins? yuck!). Fresh from the oven, these muffins are tender and airy, but as they cool, they firm up into the perfect muffin to slice in half and slather with an obscenely thick layer of Stirling Creamery butter, just the way I like it. I even add a little sprinkling of salt over the thick layer of butter. I don’t think it can get any better than this.
By the way, I am not a complete raisin hater (see! I put them in oatmeal cookies sometimes!), just don’t put them anywhere near my bran muffin. K? And if date bran muffins are not your thing (what?), then check out these honey blueberry muffins, these red currant muffins, plum muffins, or these strawberry rhubarb crumble muffins. So many muffins to choose from!
Date bran muffins
Date bran muffins
These are my favourite muffins: date bran muffins are light and moist fresh from the oven, but they also taste great toasted with salted butter
- 115 grams Stirling Creamery unsalted butter 1/2 cup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 315 mL buttermilk or 300 mL milk + 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 100 grams maple syrup 1/3 cup
- 144 grams All-Bran Original cereal 2 cups
- 250 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 200 grams medjool dates 1 1/2 cups, about 15 dates, pitted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 6-muffin pans and set aside.
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and heat on high to brown the butter. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk, sugar, and maple syrup. When the wet ingredients are really well mixed, add in the All-Bran and stir.
- Switch to a wooden spoon. Pour the flour and baking soda over the wet mixture, but before you stir, take a spoonful of the flour out to mix with the chopped dates.
- Mix the dry ingredients until they are almost gone, then add in the browned butter and the dates, and stir til the batter is just mixed (don't overwork it!).
- Divide the muffin batter between the two pans and bake for about 22 minutes or until they have puffed and the edges are beginning to brown.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 or so minutes before twisting each of the muffins to release them onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with lots of butter and salt.
I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University.