world’s best ugly bran muffins

Alternate Title: Ugly As Sin and Equally Irresistible

I already have two* bran muffins on this blog — one is cake-ish and has bananas in it and the other is the muffin version of a self-righteous health nut — but then Kate posted her muffin recipe on Instagram and someone else posted a picture of the muffins they’d made using Kate’s recipe. They raved about them, so I was like, Okay, fine. I’LL DO IT. 

I had a bunch of freshly-made cultured butter, cultured buttermilk (from the aforementioned butter), as well as a big-ass bag of bran taking up valuable real estate in my butter-stuffed freezer, so it wasn’t like my arm needed much twisting or anything. 

I’ve made these muffins three times now, and two of those three times I doubled the batch, because: holy heck these muffins. They might appear underwhelming and look wholesome in an unappealing I-think-I’ll-pass way, and they might be flat as failure, but they are wildly delicious. In fact, my husband has said, unprompted and more than once, “These muffins may be the best muffins I’ve ever eaten.”

So even though the flat tops bug me (sunken muffin tops are usually a sign that something is off with the recipe), I’ve decided to run with it: these ugly muffins couldn’t be more perfect. So take that, muffin police (aka The Voice Of Perfection Inside My Head).

I eat my ugly muffins with cultured butter because I’m fancy like that. The rest of the family eats them naked (the muffins, not the people), often three or four in a single sitting.

The mini loaves, which I resort to when I run out of muffin tins and are less tedious to deal with than fiddly muffins, look pretty gnarly since they tend to fall apart when removing them from the pans. But this is, I think, in keeping with these particular muffins’ theme: the uglier the better!

*I lied! I have FOUR bran muffin recipes on this blog, not two! The other two are apple raisin bran muffins and refrigerator bran muffins. This one makes five. FIVE. It appears I may be partial to bran.

World’s Best Ugly Bran Muffins
Adapted from Kate of Venison for Dinner

When I eventually ran out of molasses, I used half corn syrup and half blackstrap molasses, and for my most recent double batch of muffins, I used three duck eggs instead of four chicken eggs. 

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 eggs
2¾ cups flour
2 cups wheat bran
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups cultured buttermilk

Cream the butter, sugar, and molasses. Add the eggs and beat well. Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the butter-sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk.

Scoop the batter into muffin tins or buttered mini loaf pans. Bake at 350-375 degrees for 15 minutes or so. The tops should feel firm(ish) when pressed, the edges will be pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the muffin should come out clean.

Cool and eat. Best eaten within the first 24 hours, but these also freeze beautifully, so do yourself a favor and bake up a humongous batch. 

This same time, years previous: salted chocolate chunk cookies, currently: a list, cousin week, the quotidian (6.18.18), puff!, smart hostessing, sinking in, dobby and luna, magic custard cake, language study, a dare.


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