Zella Lane's 2-Week Bran Muffins

Some of you may remember hearing the voice of Betty Crocker over the radio a number of years ago. In real life, the radio Betty was Zella Lane, who gave us this recipe — "a whale-of-a-big-one which will keep for six weeks in the refrigerator." Interestingly, Zella regularly baked with King Arthur flour. Sorry, Betty...

While we haven't let this batter sit for 6 weeks (it never lasts that long), we've left it for 2 weeks in the fridge, and it's been just fine. The recipe as written makes about 18 muffins; it doubles easily.

Put this together the night before baking, so the bran can soften and the batter thicken.

10 mins
20 to 25 mins
9 hrs 15 mins
18 standard muffins, or 45 mini muffins
Zella Lane's 2-Week Bran Muffins


  1. In a small mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the 1 cup of cereal. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.

  2. While the water/cereal mixture cools, blend together the flour, soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the raisins or currants. Set it aside.

  3. Stir the vegetable oil into the cooled water/cereal mixture. Set it aside.

  4. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and sugar. Combine this with the flour/raisin mixture.

  5. Stir in the dry cereal.

  6. Finally, add the water/bran/oil mixture, stirring till thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

  7. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan, or line with paper cups, and grease the cups. Use as many wells as you like; since this recipe can live in the fridge for a couple of weeks, there's no need to bake 12 muffins all at once.

  8. Heap the thick batter in the muffin cups; a generous 1/4 cup batter (about 3 1/2 ounces, or 100g) is a good amount to use.

  9. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, till a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

  10. Remove from the oven, and tip the muffins in the pan to prevent their bottoms steaming and becoming soggy. Serve warm; or transfer to a rack to cool completely.

  11. To bake mini muffins, heap the batter in the muffin cups, and bake for about 15 minutes, till the muffins test done.

  12. Yield: 18 standard muffins, or 45 mini muffins.