When I first saw this recipe card, I thought, “6-week muffins?! What does that mean? Do they last six weeks? Do they take six weeks to make?” A closer inspection of the card (and a quick google search) gave me some better clues. 6-Week Bran Muffins turn out to be a make-ahead muffin where you make a gigantic batch of batter and then stash it in the fridge for up to six weeks, portioning out what you need and baking it when you need it. Judging by that google search, they were (or still are!) a pretty popular recipe, but one that I had never heard of. But that’s the fun of the Recipe Tin Project – you try out recipes you might not have otherwise ever come across!
The Recipe Tin Project is a project where I cook my way through an old recipe tin full of vintage recipes. But you might have already guessed that. It’s chock full of old recipe cards, most of which seem to be from the ’60s and ’70s. I love food history, and the idea is to breathe new life into these recipes from the past and maybe learn a technique or two from them along the way. The recipes come from different people with different handwriting and some have sweet illustrations while others are on plain (often smudged and stained) index cards.
This one is on a smooth un-lined index card with a small crinkle in the corner and blue ink that’s settled into the paper so that it’s no longer glossy and shows a bit of its age. (Though not a ton of age – my guess is this is from the 80s, maybe late 70s, at the earliest.)
It calls for an entire box of bran cereal (or raisin bran cereal) and let me tell you that is A LOT of bran flakes. Use your very biggest bowl. In fact, I halved the recipe and I still used my biggest bowl.
Then you add in three cups of sugar, five (yes FIVE) cups of flour, four eggs, an entire quart of buttermilk, a cup of oil, five teaspoons of baking soda, and two of salt.
I told you it makes a big batch. But that batch is meant to last.
You cover the mixture and pop it into the fridge and when the mood strikes, you scoop out the batter, fill a muffin tin 2/3 full and bake it for fifteen minutes or so. It turns out a lightly sweet and fluffy muffin that’s studded with nutty whole-grain flavor. They are far better than I ever expected them to be.
A little internet research has told me that if you want to bake these straight away, it’s best to at least chill that mixture for six hours first. I didn’t go quite as long and so mine are likely a little lighter than yours will be. As they sit, those bran flakes soften and blend into the batter more, but still lend tons of flavor.
While “Bran Muffins” isn’t the most enticing name I’ve ever heard, these are really, truly a tasty muffin. They don’t taste like health food like the word bran would indicate, and if you use raisin bran you get delicious little bites of fruit in them too. This recipe makes a ton, like 48 muffins or so – it’s like the OG meal prep!
6-Week Bran Muffins
Yield 4 dozen
10m prep time
15m cook time
- 1 (20 oz) box bran or raisin flakes
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 5 cups flour
- 5 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup oil
- 1 qt buttermilk
- Mix all ingredients together well and cover.
- Mixture can be kept in fridge up to 6 weeks and used as needed. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes at 400°F.