Gluten Free Bran Muffins

Gluten Free Bran Muffins

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.

These muffins smell and taste just like you remember really good bran muffins to smell and taste: hearty and sweet, with a tender crumb and a light crispness on the outside.

Gluten free stabilized rice bran is a perfect substitute for the wheat bran in a conventional bran muffin. And of course, it has the added benefit of being gluten free.

I grew up in the 80s, and bran was a very. big. deal. So was margarine, though, so you can’t win them all. But I still consider bran to be a nutritional win. 

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.

All about (rice) bran

Bran is full of fiber and healthy fats. Unless you’re eating an entirely grain-free keto or Paleo diet, whole grains are beneficial to your general health.

Fiber helps keep you full, too. So a muffin filled with fiber that still tastes great if the perfect choice for a busy morning.

Why use “stabilized” rice bran?

The outer shell of a rice kernel is the bran. When it’s separated from the rest of the grain, it becomes unstable and will quickly go rancid unless it’s treated with heat to stabilize it (source). Any rice bran that you’ll buy will have been stabilized.

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.

What brand of rice bran to use

The gluten free rice bran that I use most frequently is from nuts.com. I have also successfully used gluten free oat bran in this recipe. 

Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t seem to make a certified gluten free rice bran any longer, but they do make a certified gluten free oat bran that can be used. Vitacost also has its own brand, as does NOW Foods, but I haven’t tried either brand.

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: In place of the butter, I recommend trying Melt brand vegan butter. You might be able to use Earth Balance buttery sticks, but keep in mind that they have a lot of salt and a lot of moisture. You might have to cut back on the liquid a bit. 

In place of buttermilk, just use half unsweetened nondairy milk (like almond milk) and half nondairy plain yogurt. It will mimic the consistency and flavor of buttermilk best.

Egg-free: There are four eggs in this recipe, which is double my limit for optimism in replacing the eggs in a recipe with an egg replacer. You can try a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each, but it’s iffy. 

Rice bran: See discussion above about rice bran. You can use certified gluten free stabilized oat or rice bran in this recipe. There isn’t another substitute for the bran in this recipe, since the recipe was developed to showcase bran.

If you’d like a basic muffin recipe, don’t worry; you’ve still come to the right blog. I recommend trying our recipe for easy gluten free muffins, which has plenty of variations—and no bran.

Honey: In place of honey, you can try using Lyle’s golden syrup or light corn syrup. Maple syrup doesn’t generally substitute well for honey in baking since it has a very different consistency.

Molasses: The little bit of molasses in this recipe really helps add depth of flavor to these bran muffins. You could try replacing it with more honey.

If you can have molasses but are thinking of substituting it because you don’t happen to have it on hand, wait until you can make it to the store. Grandma’s brand molasses is everywhere, and it gets a workout in warm, cozy fall recipes like these bran muffins and gingerbread, too.

These gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves.


Gluten Free Bran MuffinsThese gluten free bran muffins are special in how ordinary, but tender and tasty, they are. Try them with a smear of butter or preserves. #glutenfreerecipes #muffins #breakfast #bran

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 large muffins


1 1/3 cups (160 g) gluten free stabilized rice bran

1 1/3 cups (187 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

5 tablespoons (105 g) honey

2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 1/3 cups (10 2/3 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the rice bran, flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, honey, molasses, vanilla, eggs, and the buttermilk. Mix until the batter is mostly smooth. The batter will be thick and might be a bit lumpy but that’s fine.

  • Fill the prepared muffin cups all the way full with batter and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 22 minutes, or until a tester placed in the center of a middle muffin comes out mostly clean and the muffins spring back when pressed gently in the center. Do not overbake or the edges will burn.

  • Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Recipe scaled up to make larger muffins, most text, all photos, and video all new.


Comments are closed.

  • Ruth Broch
    September 9, 2019 at 5:55 AM

    It is hard to find molasses (and expensive) in Israel, so for all recipes that call for it, I substitute Silan – date syrup. It works perfectly.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 9, 2019 at 9:12 AM

      That’s a great idea, Ruth, and it makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for sharing that! You’re going to need a bunch of date syrup this fall and winter, so keep it handy!  😉

  • MA
    September 8, 2019 at 6:12 PM

    Thanks for a bran muffin recipe -going to try this tomorrow – have you or any of your followers tried adding raisins ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 8, 2019 at 9:19 PM

      Hi, MA, I actually used to add raisins to these muffins, but stopped since people seem to have such divided opinions about them! You can add about 4 ounces of raisins, but I wouldn’t add much more since it’s a very full muffin to begin with!

  • Julie L
    September 8, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    Thank you Nicole! Freeze dried apples it is. It may take me a couple of days to round up the rice bran, but I’ll definitely have a batch or two of these lovelies done this week and let you know how they turn out.
    I have to side with you on preferring a more tart apple. Granny’s are our go-to, but we’ve had amazing access to some uncultivated pink flesh apples the past couple of years that were barely sweet and a little spicy. If you can find them I highly recommend the nearly-forgotten variety of Gravenstein. They’re an early season apple that doesn’t store well, but very amazing to bake with. I look forward to what you bring us this fall!

  • Julie L
    September 6, 2019 at 6:04 PM

    Oh! Also, it seems there’s there’s a little discrepancy in the post- in your substitutions section you state that there’s 2 eggs in the recipe, but when I scroll down I see 4 eggs.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 7, 2019 at 5:04 PM

      You’re absolutely right, Julie! That’s double my egg-replacement optimism limit. I changed the text. Thank you so so much.

  • Julie L
    September 6, 2019 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Nicole, I have almost been excited about this recipe for what seems like ages, but then I remember the only bran muffin that had my heart was a McDonald’s apple bran muffin (I was a manager, and that was my breakfast most days). I’m not afraid of experimenting, but if you have any suggestions on where to begin… is there any way I could add any form of apple to make these an apple bran muffin? My first instinct is to sub sauce for the eggs or butter (I can never remember which one), but there’s also freeze dried, dehydrated, fried, baked, and of course raw. (We live in WA, apples for days.) Thanks for all you do!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 7, 2019 at 5:07 PM

      Hi, Julie, An apple bran muffin sounds great! I wouldn’t bother adding applesauce since that actually tastes neutral in baking (it is sometimes used to replace oil in a recipe, but with mixed results). I wouldn’t use any apples that had moisture, since it would unbalance the muffins, but you could definitely try freeze-dried. Maybe break up some freeze-dried apples into small pieces and add them as a mix-in!

      I so love apple season, it’s my favorite time of year by far. I do hate the trend toward super sweet apples, though. Even Macintosh seems to be too tart to be available everywhere in NY. I have to hunt for them!

  • Emily
    September 4, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Love you and your recipes! Is the nutrition info available for these? Apologies if I overlooked it. Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 4, 2019 at 2:47 PM

      Hi, Emily, I don’t provide nutrition information unless it’s a low carb recipe, for example, and I want to call out the number of carbs. Feel free to plug it into an online nutritional calculator yourself, though. That’s all I would do! I like Cronometer best.

  • Mary
    March 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Hi, I do a similar thing when I find a recipe I like. I set up a row of zipper plastic bags and measure out all the dry ingredients for as many batches as I want to have on hand, then stick ’em in the freezer. Then I only have to pull out a bag and make up the recipe with the wet ingredients. Saves pulling out all the various flours each time.

  • March 6, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Excellent. I was thinking about muffins and healthy sounds good and better than what I had in mind (think chocolate). Great tip about the water in the pan. I’m the one with the lone extra cupcake or muffin in a huge pan after the other dozen have been scooped. Now I know what to do with the empty real estate.

    • March 6, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Wait – isn’t chocolate healthy or something? Or good for you, at least in small amounts? Maybe I read that in The Onion. It can be so hard to keep things like that straight these days. ;)
      Empty real estate indeed. I like that. Just don’t do what I usually do and forget that there’s water in the wells when you go to take the tin out of the oven. :/
      xoxo Nicole

  • Linda
    August 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Well…I’ll be! I passed right by old Bob when I didn’t see ‘GF’ written anywhere on the label, then after reading your reply I looked at the label again (online, of course) and sure enough–there is the little GF icon on the front of the package. Duh me! Thanks for your help. Lots. xoxLin

    • Nicole
      August 24, 2011 at 2:27 PM

      Hi, Linda,
      Yup. I’m really glad you asked, then. His products can be confusing, since some say “Gluten Free” all loud and proud, and some just have the symbol toward the bottom of the package. You were right not to assume it was GF just because it was Bob’s. He often has the same product that is GF and one that is non-GF, and the only indication of difference is the presence or lack if the symbol.
      Pleasure. Any time.
      xoxo Nikki

  • Linda
    August 24, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Ni Nikki,

    Could you divulge the brand of rice brand you found? I know Ener-G makes it but the only place I’ve found it is via Amazon.com but I don’t need a bundle of it, just a single package or two. I checked at the local grocery stores and health food stores and haven’t found it anywhere local. Usually I’m pretty good at finding GF supplies, but this one eludes me. If you can’t mention the brand, that’s ok–I’ll keep sleuthing. Thanks! xoxLin

    • Nicole
      August 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Hi, Linda,
      It’s Bob’s Red Mill brand. I was able to buy just one package, but I did have to order it onine. I didn’t look extensively for it in any local stores, though, so it is possible that they sell it in health food stores, since their products are carried pretty far and wide.
      I hope that helps! Somehow I think that kinda helps, kinda makes it a bit more complicated! :)
      xoxo Nikki

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.