If you love healthy muffins, you will love my Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins!
Although they have lots of wholesome ingredients, they remind me of a carrot walnut cake. That is, they remind me of a carrot cake that isn’t too sweet and has some depth to it. Perfect for breakfast or as a snack, these nutty, orange-spiked muffins make a nice treat in a lunchbox too.
A Family Recipe
When I was a little girl in Canada, there was a restaurant in Preston, Ontario called The Knotty Pine. My Dad used to stop in there a couple of times a week for one of their famous bran muffins and once in a while, he’d bring a half a dozen of them home for a treat. We loved these yummy muffins which were not too sweet, not too savoury, and full to the brim with raisins. One day Dad came home with the secret recipe.
Mom and I were delighted when the muffins we made using the recipe came out every bit as nice as the ones Dad brought home. I’ve been making them every since.
History of Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins
Although I rarely deviated from the original recipe in recent years I formulated a refined sugar free version and occasionally I made them with mixed dried fruit instead of just raisins. My family never liked these variations as well though, so I didn’t feel terribly inclined to experiment. Indeed, I was discouraged from doing so. (“I don’t know why you mess around with these muffins Mom, they taste good just as they are!”)
Even though I had resolved not to experiment any further, I couldn’t resist when I had a wonderful muffin at a Tim Hortons coffee shop on a visit back to Canada. It had Carrots and Walnuts in a wheat based batter. My Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins were the result. As you can see from the old photograph below, that was some time ago.
My family absolutely loved this variation and as time wore on, my Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins became nearly as popular with friends and family as my original bran muffins.
I first published this recipe back in 2011, but it’s far too delicious to leave it languishing in the archives of the blog. Hence this 2018 reboot.
You will be so glad you tried these Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins! Full of healthy ingredients with a rich depth of flavour, these cinnamon and ginger laced muffins have a hint of orange flavour too. They have some sugar, but these sweet and spicy treats are definitely NOT cupcakes.
The recipe makes about 12 large muffins, and they freeze beautifully. Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins will keep for a three days in a sealed container at room temperature, or store them for up to five days in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature or warm before eating.
Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins Printable Recipe
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup mild olive or sunflower oil
- 1 cup buttermilk (You can use ordinary milk if you do not have buttermilk. Buttermilk gives the best flavour though.)
- 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 cups bran (available in the cereal aisle in most grocery stores – you want bags of real bran, not bran flakes cereal)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- grated rind of one orange
- 2 medium (or one large) carrots, peeled and grated
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350℉ (170℃).
- Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease and flour them.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
- Add brown sugar and oil; mix well.
- Mix in the bran and cinnamon and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- Add flour mixture to the bran mixture alternately with the buttermilk, stirring well between each addition.
- Gently fold in the orange rind, grated carrot and the walnuts.
- Spoon mixture carefully into muffin tins, filling them about half full.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out without any batter clinging to it.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. These are delicious with butter and/or jam. If muffins have cooled to room temperature, you can reheat them in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds on high. I sometimes put them frozen in a lunch box and they thaw in time for lunch while helping to keep everything else cool too.