In the summer of 2013 I experienced a muffin that was close to the best I’ve ever had; A raisin bran muffin in San Diego at La Costa resort. Normally I’m not a muffin kind-a-girl I'll normally choose a croissant over a muffin any day, but for whatever reason I was in the mood for a muffin, fruit, bacon and a boiled egg that morning. The bran muffin totally blew me away with how good it was, not too sweet, juicy flavorful raisins and a yummy crunchy cinnamon topping. This is what I tried to recreate for this post, and it’s a winner!
Needless to say I ordered a muffin every morning for breakfast while we were there, unfortunately that day was the only day they served raisin bran, every day they featured a new one, so I guess it was fate. The thing I loved about their muffin was the texture; I love the graininess of the bran and the sweet chewy raisins. I achieved that with my muffin, loads of fiber in this one because I used 1:1 ratio of wheat bran to flour, then one full cup of raisins, so every single bite will have a bit.
The recipe is not hard, and if you want to cut the calories you can omit the cinnamon streusel. However that adds another layer of flavor and texture to the muffin. You really have to love the internet. I have had muffins for years and always loved the crunchy topping but never gave a thought to what it was or how it was made. I think my google search was “crunchy muffin topping” because I had no idea what it was called. Now I know whats on coffee cakes, and who knew it was so easy. Make this for someone special one weekend, its sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients (printable recipe)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup wheat bran
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup maraschino cherry liquid
1 cup buttermilk
1 table spoon molasses
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Streusel topping
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ stick unsalted cold butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- Place liners in you muffin/cupcake tray and set aside
- In a mixer beat the sugar and oil for about 3 minutes
- Combine the raisins and maraschino cherry liquid and heat in the microwave for 1 minute so the raisins absorb the liquid, set it aside to cool
- Add the egg to the sugar and oil mix and allow this to beat at high speed for another 3-5 minutes
- Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a dish and mix
- In another dish combine the milk, vanilla, molasses and cooled raisin mixture (including the liquid), make sure the molasses is dissolved (should look like creamy coffee)
- On medium speed, add the wheat bran to the egg/oil/sugar mixture until it’s combined
- Then, on a lower speed add flour and milk/raisin mixture alternating ending with flour (see GTip)
- Using an ice-cream scoop fill the muffin/cupcake tin
- Cut ½ stick of cold butter into small cubes (see GTip)
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon, pulse until the grains resemble breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the streusel on each cupcake batter generously.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Pay attention to the streusel it takes just a few seconds to form. If you pulse it for too long the butter will start to melt and it will clump up into a dough ball. Remember you want it to be crumbly and fine like breadcrumbs, larger clumps are ok. You can also make this in a bowl with a fork.
- The butter does not have to be frozen, but cutting them in cubes and freezing for 15 minutes, would aid in preventing premature melting, especially if you live in a hot area.
- Remember once you have added the wheat bran, flour and milk, you want to keep mixing to a minimum, you only mix until the ingredients have blended well together and then stop. If you over-mix your muffin will be dense and heavy because you would have removed too much air and built up too much gluten in the flour.
- Make the streusel last, you don't want to set it aside and the butter melt. I made mine after the batter was in the muffin cups, so they went straight on top and then into the hot oven