Recipe: Bran muffins by Aunt Fran

By , 28 April 2020



Bran muffin recipe

I am finding striking similarities between my response to the COVID-19 crisis and psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief theory. First set out in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Kübler-Ross postulates a series of emotions experienced by terminally ill patients prior to death and/or people who have lost a loved one, wherein the five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. At present my progression through these emotional steps is daily and seldom sequential.

For the moment I am lucky enough to be also experiencing an additional emotion which I think is a sort of pseudo-survivor’s guilt. So far, everyone I know remains healthy and I have sufficient funds to sit out the siege in my comfortable house with internet, electricity and running water. I am not crammed into an informal settlement or a prison or a domestic violence refuge. I know I am extremely lucky. The survivors guilt loops back into denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Nothing can entirely assuage the survivor guilt – although donating to good causes does help. The only thing I know that helps with the five original stages described above is muffins. Specifically, my aunt Fran’s bran muffins. They taste great. They are quick and easy to make – wet ingredients are briefly mixed into dry. There is no bicep-building creaming together of butter and sugar required. All the measurements are in cups so there is no need to get the scale out. They always rise which offers a fleeting sense of certainty in uncertain times. Best of all the mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to a month and baked off in batches. This gives me, an albeit limited, faith in the future.


This recipe makes 20 medium muffins.

Bran muffin recipe ingredients

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bran
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ a cup oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cake fruit mixture or raisins

Baking method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease as many muffin pans as you mean to make in this batch of baking or use paper muffin cases.
  2. Combine the flour, bran, sugar, bicarb and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. In a second bowl beat together the eggs, oil and milk.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry until they are combined into a batter of dropping consistency.
  5. The mixture will keep uncooked in the fridge for up to 30 days (although I know no one with the will power to keep it that long).
  6. Fill muffin cases/ tin indentations ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 180˚C until they are golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean if inserted into a muffin (about 15 minutes).

Wine pairing

The sensible beverage to pair with muffins would be a cup of tea but in these strange times, a glass of Muscadel is recommended.

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1 comment(s)

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    Andrew | 28 April 2020

    I love the muscadel pairing suggestions. A brilliant excuse for a glass of Nuy with your coffee and breakfast muffin!

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