Are bran muffins high in calories?

Bran muffins are a popular breakfast food made with bran cereal, typically wheat bran. Bran is the hard outer layer of cereal grains, and it is very high in fiber. Bran muffins are often perceived as a healthy breakfast option. But are they really low in calories? Or are bran muffins high in fat and calories like many other bakery items? Keep reading to find out.

Calories in bran muffins

The calorie content of bran muffins can vary greatly depending on the recipe. On average, a small 2-ounce bran muffin contains about 150-200 calories. For comparison, here are the calories for some common muffin varieties:

Muffin type Calories (2 oz)
Blueberry muffin 182
Bran muffin 166
Oatmeal raisin muffin 196
Banana nut muffin 212
Chocolate chip muffin 209

As you can see, bran muffins are on the lower end of the calorie scale compared to other popular muffin flavors. But the calorie count can change dramatically based on the specific recipe.

Factors that increase calories in bran muffins:
– Large size – Jumbo muffins can be 400+ calories
– Added sugars like honey, maple syrup, or molasses
– Oil or butter in the batter
– Nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit

Are bran muffins healthy?

Though lower in calories than many muffin varieties, bran muffins are not necessarily a health food. Here are some things to consider:

Fiber – The bran in muffins provides a lot of fiber. A 2-ounce bran muffin may contain 5-8 grams of fiber, while other muffins contain only 1-2 grams. Fiber aids digestion and promotes feelings of fullness.

Sugar – Sugar offsets some of the benefits of bran’s fiber. Many recipes call for 1/4 cup or more added sugars. Opt for recipes with minimal added sugars.

Fat – Bran muffins can be high in fat if the recipe includes oil or butter. Healthier options use unsweetened applesauce or yogurt to add moisture instead.

Serving size – Muffin servings at coffee shops are often oversized at 3-4 ounces. This doubles the calories and fat. Stick to a 2-ounce portion.

Carbs – A 2-ounce bran muffin contains about 30 grams of carbs. For a low-carb diet, this may be too high. Opt for a half muffin instead.

Nutrients – Bran is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals. Bran muffins provide fiber, but they lack other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

So in moderation, bran muffins can be a better choice than many other baked goods due to their fiber content. But they should not be viewed as a nutrition powerhouse.

How to make bran muffins healthier

There are several easy ways to lighten up your bran muffin recipe:

– Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil or butter to reduce fat and calories. Replace each 1/4 cup of oil with 1/3 cup applesauce.

– Substitute Greek yogurt for half the oil. This adds protein and cuts fat.

– Use whole wheat or white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.

– Add shredded carrots, zucchini, or pumpkin for extra nutrition.

– Swap half the all-purpose flour for oat flour or almond flour.

– Skip the added sugars and sweeten with bananas, dried cranberries, or vanilla extract.

– Top with low-fat streusel made with oats, nuts, and cinnamon instead of streusel made with butter and sugar.

– Mix in nuts or seeds like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, or flax seeds to add crunch and nutrients.

– Use mini muffin tins to control portion sizes. Mini muffins have just 75-100 calories each.

With some simple substitutions and additions, you can create bran muffins that are truly healthy instead of just low in calories. Focus on increasing nutrition and fiber while limiting added sugars, butter, and portion sizes.

Bran muffin recipe

Here is a recipe for lighter, healthier bran muffins:

– 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1/2 cup oat flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup shredded carrot
– 1/2 cup raisins or craisins

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk together the wheat bran, flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey or maple syrup, egg, applesauce, and vanilla.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the carrots and raisins.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.

6. Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition per muffin:
– 150 calories
– 4g fat
– 28g carbs
– 5g protein
– 4g fiber

This recipe uses unsweetened applesauce, Greek yogurt, and natural sweeteners to create a bran muffin that is high in nutrition instead of just being low in calories. The use of whole grain flours adds extra fiber. With just 150 calories per muffin, you can enjoy them without guilt!

Bran muffin mix

For a quick and easy bran muffin, you can use pre-made bran muffin mix. This allows you to skip measuring out all the dry ingredients. Here are some popular bran muffin mix options:

Bob’s Red Mill Bran Muffin Mix – Contains wheat bran, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and flaxseed. No added sugars. You add eggs, oil, milk, fruit, and nuts.

King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Bran Muffin Mix – Made with wheat bran and whole grains. Requires adding wet ingredients and sugars.

Trader Joe’s Bran & Oat Bran Muffin Mix– Includes oat bran and flaxseed. Lower in calories at 130 per muffin when prepared.

Stonewall Kitchen Bran & Maple Muffin Mix – Just add water, oil, egg, and maple syrup. Contains real maple syrup.

When using muffin mixes, you can control the nutrition by adjusting the wet ingredients and add-ins. Use unsweetened applesauce or Greek yogurt instead of some of the oil to lighten them up. And add nuts, fruit, and whole grains for extra nutrition.

Are bran muffins gluten-free?

Most bran muffin recipes are not gluten-free as they contain wheat bran and wheat flour. But there are a few ways to make gluten-free bran muffins:

– Substitute wheat bran for oat bran or rice bran. These contain similar fiber without the gluten.

– Use gluten-free oat flour or brown rice flour instead of regular wheat flour.

– Check labels for gluten-free bran muffin mixes made with oat or rice bran.

– Bob’s Red Mill makes a Gluten Free Bran Muffin Mix with sorghum flour and rice bran.

Gluten-free bran muffins will be slightly lower in fiber than wheat bran muffins. But oat bran and rice bran still provide plenty of fiber, making them a good option if you follow a gluten-free diet.

Are bran muffins Keto?

Most bran muffin recipes are too high in carbs to fit a ketogenic diet. A 2-ounce serving can easily contain over 25 grams of total carbs, mostly from the bran and flour.

However, there are some ways to make keto-friendly bran muffins with fewer carbs:

– Use almond flour or coconut flour instead of wheat flour

– Substitute wheat bran for lower carb oat fiber

– Skip any added sugars and use low carb sweeteners like erythritol

– Add extra fats from nut butter, coconut oil, heavy cream or sour cream

– Top with a keto-approved streusel made with almond flour, butter, and sweetener

– Mix in low carb add-ins like walnuts, pecans, flaxseed, and cacao nibs

Keto bran muffins will be smaller, denser, and heavier on fat. But with the right substitutions, you can create a satisfying bran muffin under 10 net carbs.

Bran muffin vs. oat bran muffin

What’s the difference between regular bran muffins and oat bran muffins?

– Wheat bran comes from the hard outer layer of wheat kernels. It’s very high in insoluble fiber.

– Oat bran is made from the outer layer of oat kernels. It contains soluble fiber called beta-glucan.

– Wheat bran has a rougher texture, while oat bran is softer.

– Oat bran muffins tend to be denser and chewier than wheat bran muffins.

– Wheat bran has a mild flavor. Oat bran has a subtly sweet, oat-like flavor.

– Oat bran muffins can be made gluten-free more easily.

– Fiber content is similar though oat bran has more soluble fiber.

Both types of bran give muffins a fiber boost. Oat bran offers the benefits of soluble fiber, which has been linked to improved cholesterol levels. Try swapping half the wheat bran for oat bran to add soluble fiber.


Bran muffins can range greatly in calories and nutrition depending on the specific recipe. On average, a 2-ounce bran muffin contains 150-200 calories – certainly not diet food but lower than many muffin varieties.

While bran muffins contain a lot of beneficial fiber, they can also be high in fat, sugar, and calories if not made carefully. Stick to recipes with unsweetened applesauce, Greek yogurt, whole grains, and minimal added sweeteners. And watch your portion sizes, as bran muffins are often oversized.

Made with simple, whole food ingredients, bran muffins can be a tasty way to add extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your breakfast. Just don’t rely on them as a low-calorie free pass. With a few adjustments, you can make bran muffins that are nutritious and satisfying.

Leave a Comment