Our first baking experiment

So the recipe that follows is actually the first recipe that we attempted together, though it’s taken a couple of days for us to actually post it. This is a great recipe that Halley’s Aunt Susan shared with her.  When I (Halley) first tasted these muffins, I went on and on about how amazing they were (probably should have shared some…)  They really were the best bran muffins I had ever had!  Unfortunately, they turned out a little different than we expected when we made them (a little salty), which could have been due to measurement error, but we’ll share some suggestions for variations to this recipe at the end of the post. Also, since this was our first recipe, we forgot to take as many pictures along the way.

It may seem overwhelming, but it is not a difficult recipe to attempt, especially if you have extra help in the kitchen, which also makes it more fun!


  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (though we weren’t sure if ours was unbleached)
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar; packed (we used light brown sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large carrot, grated (we just used the matchstick carrots)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple; peeled and chopped
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons canned crushed pineapple
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Take the nuts out of the oven and immediately stir with 1 Tablespoon with butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  4. Combine the oat bran, flour, dry milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Work any lumps out of sugar with your fingers if necessary. Add the grated carrots, orange zest, and nuts. Stir to combine.
  5. Beat together the egg, egg whites, buttermilk, oil, and pineapple in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.

6. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with Pam, grease well, or use paper liners. Spoon 1/3 cup muffin batter into each cup; this should just fill each cup to the brim.

7. You will have enough to fill at least a 12-muffin pan with enough batter left for a few more muffins. If filling two or three more cups in an extra muffin pan, fill the empty spaces with water so that they will not burn. Bake until browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Though the directions stated to preheat the oven to 450 degrees, we were afraid that this was too high, so we turned it down to 350 degrees about half way into baking.

8. Stick a fork or toothpick into a muffin to check doneness. (See muffin in bottom right corner). Also, the nonfat dry milk in the picture was the only normal size box available at Publix, you may want to go to Walmart/Target to get a “normal”/cheaper box of nonfat dry milk.

These muffins are great because they have a little bit of everything. At first we thought that they tasted a little saltier than we expected, but as I mentioned before, I may have measured incorrectly. The muffins still tasted great and we topped ours off with a little honey to add some sweetness. If you are lucky like we are, you’ll have a friend give you a jar of honey straight from her family’s bee farm (Thanks Kristi!).   Adding about 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the recipe may also help.

Other possible additions: craisins, dried coconut, toasted almonds, raisins, zucchini, and the list goes on and on.

We will definitely be making this recipe again and will try some of the variations listed above. Do you have any suggestions for variations to this recipe? Please share!

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3 Responses to Our first baking experiment

  1. Susan says:

    This is Halley’s Aunt Susan. I am so glad you liked the muffins, Halley. I need to make another batch today. I have a muffin for breakfast each morning with yogurt and an orange.

    I have changed the recipe a little and probably should have told you. I don’t put the salt on the walnuts, mainly because I usually forget. I also use unsalted butter. And the matchstick carrots are a no-no. Buy a single carrot at the grocery and chop it up yourself. I also do not peel the apple because that is simpler. If the muffins are not sweet enough or need vanilla, it is probably because you used light brown rather than dark brown sugar.

  2. looks delicious. will definitely try once I get settled in to wherever it is that i’m moving!

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