These mini bran muffins are a great healthy option for breakfast or a snack. At only 45 calories each, you can indulge without guilt! Packed with wheat bran, applesauce, and brown sugar, these muffins are moist and healthy. With only 10 ingredients, these muffins will come together in a flash. All the more reason to make two batches and freeze one for later!
It's time to breathe a big sigh of relief because we all made it through the holiday season and are well into the New Year! That means we battled out holiday parties and family meals that were no doubt filled with our favorite treats. For me, this included sweet potato cheesecake, mashed potatoes, macaroni, and cheese… the list could go on. I don't know about you, but my body is ready for a break from these sugar and butter-laden treats.
Why this recipe works
That's why I'm turning to a lighter recipe this week. Enter these delicious miniature bran muffins. At 45 calories apiece, these muffins are the perfect thing to give you a little morning boost without wasting the typical 400-500 calories that can be found in most muffins. I like to make a big batch and then freeze them individually in plastic wrap. That way all you need to do is pop a few in the microwave for 20 seconds and voila, a no-fuss snack ready in seconds!
Key ingredients and why we use them
- Wheat Bran: Great source for fiber! This replaces some of the flour in this recipe.
- Nonfat Milk: Adds moisture to your baked goods. Skim milk cuts down on the calories in this particular recipe.
- Applesauce: Great replacement for fat in a healthy recipe!
- Egg: Make sure eggs are at room temperature. I always purchase large eggs for baking to ensure consistency in the quantity.
- Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar adds a bolder flavor to this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances flavor adding to flavor profile.
- Flour: Basic building block for recipe that gives structure. Use your basic all-purpose flour in this recipe. Either bleached or unbleached will be fine.
- Baking Soda: Leavening agent (base) that reacts with the applesauce (acid).
- Baking Powder: Leavening agent that is activated when you combine with wet ingredients AND when it's heated. Most baking powder is double acting.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor!
Frequently asked questions
Truvia Baking Blend is a low-calorie alternative to using sugar in your baking recipes. It’s a mixture of Truvia and regular sugar made specifically for baking. It’s not for everyone, some people think it has a strange aftertaste, and others are opposed to artificial sweeteners. One-half cup of Truvia baking blend can be replaced with one cup of regular sugar. You can easily substitute 3 tablespoons of Truvia Baking Blend in this recipe!
YES, people over-mix muffin batter all the time! Don't let that person be you. My tip is to stir only until combined. This means your batter might still be a little lumpy and you might have a few patches of flour. That's okay!
Start out by pouring your milk into a small bowl with your wheat bran.
Mix the two together and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together your wet ingredients (applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla). Make sure everything is well incorporated.
Next, add the bran mixture into the large bowl. Stir to combine again. Finally, mix all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Take care not to over-mix your batter. See how I still have a few pockets of flour showing in the picture below? This is what you want!
Scoop batter into miniature muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 6-10 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.
Cool completely in muffin tin on wire rack. Remove from the tin once cooled. Enjoy!
Heather's helpful hint
To ensure that each mini bran muffin is the same size, simply use an ice cream scoop to measure your batter for each muffin. I keep a couple of different sizes on hand and use those to spoon out the batter. It's a game-changer, trust me!
Related muffin recipes
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating above and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and what didn’t — with a recipe! Be sure to check out some of our other recipes linked below!
Miniature Bran Muffins
- 24 cup miniature muffin tin
- 1½ cups wheat bran
- 1 cup skim milk
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1 each egg
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit 20 minutes before baking your muffins. Grease miniature muffin cups.
- Mix together wheat bran and skim milk, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add bran mixture to the bowl.
- Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into bran mixture until just blended.
- Scoop batter into miniature muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 6-10 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.
- Cool completely in muffin tin on wire rack. Remove from tin once cooled.
Notes and Tips
This recipe was originally posted in January 2016. It was updated in March 2020 with new pictures and a few updates to the recipe.