Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 25 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 muffin)

This classic recipe is a wholesome base for mix-ins. Try adding sunflower seeds with blueberries, or grated carrot with walnuts.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Spread bran on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once.

Step 3

Combine dates and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 5 minutes. Place date mixture in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Add buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through vanilla); process until smooth.

Step 4

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, bran, baking powder, and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add date mixture to bran mixture, stirring just until moist. Add eggs, stirring just until combined. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan; cool on a wire rack.

Ratings & Reviews

FrancaVicendese's Review

January 10, 2015
I thought these were excellent! I have tried many recipes that attempt to omit refined sugar and include more fiber but they often taste very bland. These muffins were moist and tasty and with just the right amount of sweetness. I added blueberries to half the batch and I think you could add raisins, carrot or anything else that takes your fancy. It would only add to the fiber content. I think the best thing I can say about these muffins is that my 9 year old who is a refined foods junkie thought they tasted good. I finally found something I can feed him for breakfast that is not only fast and nutritious but has no refined sugar! It's a keeper!

hikerbuck's Review

December 30, 2014
Final product was tasty, but this is time consuming with lots of clean up since the recipes calls for toasting the bran, cooking dates/OJ in a pan and using a food processor to purees the dates/OJ. I bake a lot of muffins and the recipes are usually fairly easy to make. If I make this again, I would skip toasting the wheat bran (previous reviewer is correct that 10 minutes of toasting is too long & creates an unpleasant odor), dice the dates,skip the food processor. I'm thinking the muffins would still be great, with a little more texture, adding some diced pecans/walnuts would also be good.

Melsey62's Review

January 04, 2015
Not worth it! The instructions are poorly written. You have to refer back to the recipe list too often which adds more to the prep time. When roasting the grains, be prepared for a slightly obnoxious smell in your home. I found the recommended 10 minutes in the oven way too long. 6 to 8 minutes would have been long enough. My muffins came out a dark brown.I am sure there are other bran muffin recipes that are better and don't require as many ingredients. I feel terrible I sent my husband out to hunt down wheat bran. It's not the cereal. After the mess I made in trying to prepare these, they taste quite bland. I think the addition of honey or using a sugar substitute would have made these taste better. I did like the idea of the dates and orange juice. I may try that in a different bran muffin recipe. Now what to do with some of the leftover ingredients.

LindaO's Review

January 25, 2015
I agree with the other reviews. Great recipe but task intensive. I will try it without cooking dates, provided they are not too dried out, and skipping the toasting of the bran (although it does give them a distinctive flavor that is a nice change)

ElizabethinMN's Review

January 07, 2015
Hmmm....these are bran muffins. They are not supposed to taste like cake - they taste like bran! I toasted the bran for 10 minutes and it was perfectly toasty (and very little oder), so I wanted to throw that out there for anyone else who might make it - it sounds like others' were too brown, so watch your oven (it might be time for me to get out a thermometer to check my oven temp). I have to admit that I was bummed, after hunting down wheat bran (whole foods dry bulk section) that not only was the bran hard to find, but that I then needed to toast the bran and use the processor. I tend to think of muffins are quick things. But these were tasty and light, and I will be making them again. I will likely throw in some fruit (blueberries or carrots and golden raisins, or maybe apples with a touch of clove). Sure, there were a lot of steps for a muffin, but I liked the end product!


July 30, 2015
I've made these multiple times and it is always totally worth it. If you are looking for a slightly healthy quick muffin, this is not it-- it has great flavor and amazing texture, as well as very healthy ingredients. I use oat bran and it toasted fine with hardly any browning after ten minutes. White whole wheat flour works too, and they freeze and reheat very well for a quick breakfast.

Excellent Recipe!

August 08, 2015
I thought these were wonderful.  Yes, they are slightly time consuming, but you'll find they are definitely worth it.I made the recipe as it was written first and then the next few times I substituted Trop 50 for the orange juice to cut down on sugar.  I couldn't tell the difference.Great recipe!

Good bran muffins

September 07, 2016
Yes, these are a bit more involved to prepare (and more dishes to clean) but the taste is good and I really like how low in sugar and fat they are.  Nice cake-like texture.  I think they could be improved with some raisins.  My bake time on the bran was 7 minutes and it was perfect.


October 25, 2016
I loved this recipe, no added sugar you can't even tell. I used multigrain flour, added raisins and baked mini loaves for 30 minutes. Will make a million times more, thanks for the recipe.

I would give these muffins 4 1/2 stars if I could.

April 19, 2017
I'm all over the lower sugar thing these days.  This recipe uses only the natural sugars in the dates and the orange juice.  I didn't bother to tell my 13 year old that there was no added sugar in these and she loved them.  I substituted white whole wheat flour because I already had it and that worked just fine.