Mama's Make-Ahead Bran Muffins

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Mama made these for decades when she was a working mother (back in the day when most mamas didn't work). These are easy, so moist, and so good. And because you make up a big batch that's kept in the refrigerator and baked just a few at a time, they are a lifesaver for busy cooks. My kids can scoop 1 or 2 into a tin and pop it in the oven in the morning for their own hot and hearty breakfast. A lovely addition to a brunch because they can be prepared ahead and baked right before serving.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
72 muffins


  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 2 cups bran cereal (such as All-Bran® Bran Buds®)

  • 3 cups white sugar

  • 1 ½ cups shortening

  • 4 eggs

  • 4 cups buttermilk

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups shredded bran cereal

  • 2 cups raisins

  • 5 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Pour boiling water over Bran Buds® cereal in a medium bowl and let stand.

  2. Beat sugar, shortening, and eggs together in a very large bowl that has a lid (I use a large Tupperware® bowl) with an electric mixer until creamy. Add buttermilk, followed by bran-water mixture. Add flour, shredded bran cereal, raisins, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined; do not overmix and don't stir again.

  3. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 to 6 hours before baking.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin tins or line with paper liners.

  5. Scoop batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

This batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks (although I must admit I've never had it longer than a couple of weeks).

Over the years I've tried making some substitutions/changes with sugars/molasses, shortening/oil, different fruit, whole wheat flour, etc., but always come back to the original recipe. It can be doctored to your heart's desire, but it's a great recipe just as-is! Shredded apple, dates, or other diced dried fruit can be used instead of raisins.

For large muffins (that's what we usually make) bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

135 Calories
5g Fat
23g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 72
Calories 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 167mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 78mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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